It's been quite some time since I wrote in here, but something has made me want to. I know I'm a bit late with this, but I've kept meaning to and not quite managing to make the time for it but that thing is the death of David Bowie.
I don't even want to write much about it - so much has already been said that I wouldn't have a lot to add.
The thing is, I was shocked and upset to hear he'd died, and even now, a couple of weeks on, I'm still very saddened by it. And I don't know why.
I'm not the type to get all caught up in celebrities. Lemmy Kilmeister's death just days prior saddened me, but not to this extent. I'm not particularly a person who follows all the ins and outs of a celebrity's career or life. I'm not even a massive Bowie fan. I've listened to a fair amount of his stuff but by no means all. I've listened to and can sing along with all the stuff you'd expect; "Heroes" "Changes", "Life on Mars", "Starman", "Let's Dance", and a lot more. Years ago, I listened to his very first album when, as a teenager, I felt I should get into Bowie, and recently I listened to his very last and bits of every album in between.
My favourite track of his has for years been "The Glass Spider". I grew up loving, and still do love "Labyrinth" and also enjoyed "The Man Who Fell to Earth" and "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence". I liked his appearence in an episode of "Extras". Basically, I liked the stuff of Bowie's that you'd probably expect.
I find some of the music he made completely not to my tastes though and really don't like some of his stuff. I find him to be quite hit and miss for me. I didn't rush out to buy "The Next Day" album when he dropped it with no warning a few years ago, and when I heard about his last album, "Blackstar", being released, I think I wanted to be excited about it more than I was genuinely excited about it. You're meant to like Bowie, aren't you? He's a legend. You just don't get music if you don't like Bowie, right?
I'm trying to work out why I'm so saddened by his death. It really won't affect me that much.
But he was David Bowie! He was theatrical! He was creative! He helped change the face of music forever and his influence is quite apparent on some of the other artists that have a more daily and more direct impact on me such as Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor, and Adam Ant. Like him or not, he was important as an artist and changed fashions and attitudes.
I think I always found it comforting just knowing that a creative mind like Bowie's was out there, doing its thing, putting out bursts now and then such as Blackstar.
Two days after it was released, I was recovering on a friend's sofa after their party the night before. We started absent-mindedly just flicking through YouTube videos and somehow ended up on the "Lazarus" single video. It was brilliant! I loved it! It was creepy, and poignant, a wonderfully produced, if a little morbid. I was genuinely enjoying it, rather than just wishing I did. We both agreed that we'd meant to listen to this album but hadn't gotten round to it so we let a few of his newer videos play such as "Blackstar" and "Valentine's Day".
We talked about how he looked quite old these days but how we were both glad he was still doing things and sounded quite healthy for a man his age and agreed we were both genuinely excited to listen to this album because it sounded exciting and relevant and we chatted about how exciting it would be to see whatever he did next.
The next day, David Bowie was dead and it felt wrong. It felt like his game-changing presence was meant to always be there. I may not have always liked his music, but I rarely found it boring and there aren't many artists I could say that about.
He was a legend and I'm glad I got to experience being genuinely excited by a new Bowie release at the time, just once.