I wrote a post in honour of David Robert Jones – aka the inimitable David Bowie – the day after he left us. The visionary artist died a year ago on the 10 January 2016, just two days after his 69th birthday.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how much his extraordinary talent touched and transformed the collective and what a void he left. I was always attached and intrigued by the enigmatic person behind his work: as a fellow Capricorn, I really admired his personality and behaviour on that front. I admire his determination and ability to find balance within after the turmoil, of rising like a phoenix from the ashes. The following post was originally published on my Tumblr account here.
There’s a Starman Waiting in the Sky
Merely putting into words what millions of fans are thinking, a day after your passing. Ashes to ashes, funk to funky… Enjoy your moonage daydream, you absolute Legend. Thank you for making the world a more magical place. Your legacy will live on forever. RIP.
David Bowie’s death shocked me, like it did everyone. I can’t recall the last time our human collective was so deeply affected by a public persona’s passing. Young, old, prime ministers, rock stars, pop stars, the average Joe – we all lost something, or rather someone that can never be replicated: the Bowie we know and love, who is more than an incredibly gifted singer, musician and lyricist. So much more.
In fact, if there is anyone to have walked this earth that truly deserved to be called a ‘visionary’ and ‘trailblazer’ it was him: the man born David Jones, who simultaneously inhabited and influenced our cultural landscape across films, fashion and art for over six decades and was setting the zeitgeist. In my eyes, no one is more worthy than being called a ‘modern day icon’. I mean, who else can be credited with helping with the fall of the Berlin wall and simultaneously inventing glam rock? This is just a fraction of what he achieved, working relentlessly and turning his addictions and demons, handing them to the rock gods and turning them into legacies of ephemeral and everlasting beauty.
Like a symbol, an icon, a myth, Bowie’s appeal was and remains universal: the way he changed personas, attitudes and haircuts with such aplomb, as fast as he did musical genres and sexuality, is what had us hooked and coming back for more. The best thing about it, is that he did it all incredibly well. There was ever no predicting where he would go next. And yet, this beautiful enigma and oddball of a man always managed to find a way to really speak with us and shake us to our core, through all these different guises. The older generation cried when he staged the death of Ziggy Stardust, the younger when he induced nightmares as the Goblin King in the cult film Labyrinth. Whether he was singing as the Thin White Duke or Ziggy, his voice and presence really shone and connected with us – because he spoke from his soul. Soul is real, and ever present. Mesmerising on stage as he is on record or on paper, his allure doesn’t conform to forms, nor to anything or anyone. He played by his own rules – and I believe, this is why we love him for much more than just his music. Ultimately his lust for life and creativity translated to this: he showed us that we can be whatever we want to be. The weirder, the better.
A sign that Bowie a true great artist is that he made his life a work a unique, inimitable of art. He challenged conventions and taboos, but never lost his integrity. Unlike plenty of other musical stars in showbiz who have achieved a similar status and have been known to disappoint fans upon meeting them, Bowie had a reputation of being a gracious and kind gentleman, who was respected and loved by his peers and fans in equal measure for his gentle soul and impeccable manners. Unlike many other rock stars in the public eye, he led his private life privately and quietly. As his wife Iman said: “I fell in love with David Jones. I did not fall in love with David Bowie. Bowie is just a persona. He’s a singer, an entertainer. David Jones is a man I met.” As a fellow Capricorn (oh how we love planning) I always had the feeling that Bowie “never did anything out of the blue” – his final farewell album Lazarus, conceived as a parting gift for fans and kept secret until his final days before his illness consumed him is a testament to that. And yet, with his magic touch, he turned everything to gold and made it seem effortless, with a playfulness and ease that is, I suspect, superhuman – he just had “it”. That strange magnetic force. Buckets of it too!
You’ve just got to marvel at his craft and appreciate his larger than life attitude. He once said: ’Once you lose that sense of wonder at being alive, you’re pretty much on the way out…’
Thank you for everything David. You will be missed – but never forgotten. Commencing countdown, engines on.