Such a sad loss - Such an awesome inspiration
8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016
It's always sad to see such a bright star pass, but David Bowie burned so brightly for so long - enthralling fans and critics alike - with a career that played out like a circus crossed with a kaleidoscope.
I'm not going to go on about his life story or his illness and subsequent death, because I wanted to share my personal story about the David Bowie who inspired and entranced me ever since I can remember.
This is how we add our two cents worth to the flood of grief and memories when someone leaves our lives. It's a way of shining a light on those who've passed - to remind ourselves and each other how the departed touched our lives and how life is so precious.
I'm going to keep it short and sweet.
When I was a child and growing up in the seventies, David Bowie was a big deal to everyone everywhere - or at least - that's how it appeared to me and the people I associated with. It wasn't just the razzle-dazzle of his incredible shape-shifting abilities - it was the awesome music.
Like other fans, I was always mystified by how he was such a chameleon - musically as well as physically. I loved him through the Ziggy Stardust era, then as the Thin White Duke, Berlin, New Wave and beyond.
Songs that stand out - for me - include:
The Jean Genie
Ashes to Ashes
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
China Girl (Co-written with Iggy Pop)
This is not America
and many more!
I remember many people with his Ziggy Stardust hairdo in the seventies and eighties. I thought it was so cool (and still do). What I loved about his music was that it had such an urban feel at times, making me think of city streets, after hours and strange people in strange circumstances.
Then there were threads of alien existence, subterranean worlds and characters, struggles with drugs, social commentary, alter egos and many intricate sub-plots and references to pop culture.
He was always pushing the envelope and paving the way for others to follow - although I don't believe that anyone ever came close to the breadth of vision and artistic excellence that seemed such a breeze for such an intriguing man. He did it all with finesse and dedication - harnessing the creative urge and producing exemplary works - even when down and dirty or "slumming" it.
His life was an inspiring onslaught of talent and creativity - tempered with savvy execution, style and wit. He made it all seem so easy - keeping his finger on the pulse - but at the same time, infusing his creations with originality and a fresh approach that made other's efforts pale in comparison.
David Bowie will live on in all the hearts and minds of those of us who dare to dream. May his light burn brightly and may his work continue to inspire us.