"Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth..."
Oh you sad pretty things,
There are those who are content to simply listen to music. Passively, like a television show you aren't really watching. Then you have those of us for whom music is much, much more. It is a salve against all the other things, the stinging things, the bad things, the scary monsters.
"Look out my window and what do I see, A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me."
When I about 13, I started getting into music. It worked its talons under the skin and dug a furrow into my heart. I was never content to just listen to music. I listened to it, devoured it whole and kept it under tongue to absorb every lyric and chord. I have never stopped loving music that deeply. At this point, when I began becoming interested in music, my Dad began to let me look through his enormous record collection. He would let me look them over, read the sleeves and eventually, I could borrow one or two to take home and listen to as long as I brought them back.
The first two I ever borrowed were Alice Cooper's SCHOOL'S OUT and David Bowie's STATION TO STATION. But the first Bowie song I ever heard was 'Space Oddity," that broke the cherry for a lot of us, but it was the very first brick in a very long and beautiful road that Bowie built for the ages.
Bowie hit me in ways I can't articulate exactly. All I can say is that his lyrics are as influential on my writing style as the works of Stephen King, John Skipp or William Burroughs. I mean, nobody writes like Bowie. He could turn a phrase that's for sure. The fact that he managed to not only maintain a signature, in that voice and his ever-tenacious strive at staying innovative without ever compromising his vision, just icing on the proverbial cake and a testament to the kind of artist he was.
His fingerprints are all over nearly every aspect of music as we know it. You'd be hard pressed to find a single band that came about in the 80's or even, the 90's that wouldn't cite him among the reasons they picked up a guitar or put on that eyeliner. We would definitely have never had THE CURE, BAUHAUS, DURAN DURAN or even game-changers like GUNS N' ROSES or NINE INCH NAILS and MARILYN MANSON. None of it.
His music certainly wasn't for everyone. But those who like David Bowie, Love David Bowie. And I have no shame in admitting I love David Bowie. Seeing Bowie with Nine Inch Nails was one of the best concerts I ever attended.
He was an artist, a musician, an actor...and a good one, we aren't counting THE HUNGER but THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH...LABYRINTH. He was always ahead of the curve. Always mining new ore and never afraid to remind you that he was, indeed, the Duke.
"...I've never done good things, I've never done bad things, I never did anything out of the blue..."
When I heard this morning that he had passed away, I immediately teared up. I have no qualms in being open about how easily I cry, nothing to be ashamed about. The last time this happened, with a celebrity or anything, was when Johnny Cash passed away. They were quite similar in a lot of ways. See, the problem is...we will most likely never see another artist of that calibre. Like Cash or Bradbury. Our society isn't poised to receive another gift like that. Hell, you practically have to go underground to even find artists who write their own music anymore.
David Bowie was a chameleon and a charlatan, a magician and a Martian. He was everything and nothing like what he wanted us to believe.
Thanks so much for all the songs. For the blood and the sweat.
All hail the Goblin King,
"...I need you flying, and I'll show that dying is living beyond reason..."
Rest well, Sir.
And never enough, Thank you!