Bob Dylan. Paul McCartney. Neil Young. Elvis Presley. John Lennon. Morrissey. Nick Cave. Mick Jagger. Bruce Springsteen. Leonard Cohen.
10 greats of music. 10 giants.
I can’t help thinking that, if he’d wished, Bowie could have done a fair approximation of any of their musical styles (and often he did).
But none of them could ever do Bowie.
Listen to Hunky Dory. Listen to Young Americans. Listen to Low. Listen to Let’s Dance. Listen to Outside. Listen to Blackstar.
Think of any other artist that has recorded half a dozen great albums in such different musical styles.
Any of the above?
That’s why Bowie is the greatest.
Such horrible news to wake up to this morning. My radio comes on automatically at 7am & I was still half asleep as I half heard. I hoped I was wrong as I grabbed my phone.
Just so terribly sad.
I think most of you would agree it’s a strange thing to feel a sense of mourning or loss for someone famous. Someone who isn’t family or a friend. It is strange, of course it is, but as I said in a previous blog Bowie has been ever present in my life, in so many of our lives. I actually don’t remember the last entire day I didn’t listen to at least one Bowie song. His music has been all things to me. Sometimes a comfort. Sometimes an inspiration. It inspires memories – good & bad. He’s soundtracked so much of my life. At least in some way he probably has yours too.
I’ve been listening to his music all day. 6music has been wonderful. The stories from so many fans on Lauren Laverne’s show were brilliant. To hear so many people were feeling the same was a lovely thing. Of course they were. It’s David Bowie. Twitter has been great to read today too. A spontaneous heartfelt emotional outpouring of shock & loss. But all together. I’ve loved hearing & reading so many people’s personal memories.
So here is mine, the thought that has been most recurrent today is just how thankful I am for having music that my son & I could enjoy listening to so much together. He’s 8 now & we’ve been listening to Bowie together since he was very small. First it was the Laughing Gnome, then it was Starman. Starman remains his favourite song & he said a couple of weeks ago that he was determined to learn every word off by heart. When it came on while watching The Martian at the cinema, my son turned round and fist-bumped me, we then both silently sang along together to the whole song. Beautiful. We sang Space Oddity together on karaoke on Christmas Day. We have listened to the Ziggy Stardust album so many times on a Sunday morning. So many times. It is special for a father & son to share a mutual love of something, especially music. I am so thankful to David Bowie for giving us that.
Whatever loss we feel today is nothing to that of his teenage daughter, his son & his wife. I hope the love & loss felt all around the world is some comfort to them.
He’s gone. I imagine the rawness will last for a while. There’ll never be another new David Bowie song. There’ll never be a new David Bowie album. Such a loss. However, all the music he recorded in his life is here forever. It lives on. It’s ours. It won’t stop being the soundtrack of our lives. It won’t be enjoyed any less. In fact, it’ll most likely mean more.
Goodbye David. Thank you. We loved you.
We’ll be listening to Ziggy Stardust on Sunday morning.