“‘Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do.”
“Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground Control to Major Tom”
I, along with the world, are mourning the loss of one of the greatest icons in music history, David Bowie. David lost his 18 month battle with cancer Sunday, at age 69. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by family. David Bowie’s passing has effected everyone of us in some way. The shocking news hit me this morning at 4 am as I listened to an AM talk radio station. It was only on Friday, his birthday, that I had heard he had come out with a new album, Blackstar. I remember feeling pleased, as I hadn’t heard any music from him for awhile. I was anxious to listen and silently wished him a Happy Birthday. I was happy. Since Monday, I, as well as the world, have been in a terrible funk. Thinking about all the great music and visuals that David gave us over his career. He was born David Robert Haywood Jones, on January 8, 1947, in Brixton, London, England, Bowie had just turned 69 on Friday. The same day, he released his last album. He had been married to model Iman, whose full name is Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid for 25 years. When once asked about his wife Iman in an interview, Bowie described her as “a smoky blend of Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn.” They have 1 daughter, Alexandria, 15. The late star also had son Duncan, 44, with his ex-wife, Angie.
David Bowie was a creative, intelligent star. His gender bending, sometimes outrageous fashion and hair styles, his balls out, over the top pop genre lyrics. He was a starman, his space-alien alter ego “Ziggy Stardust,” and a poet, and a visionary. There aren’t many people who didn’t recognize his sound. There are people who didn’t like him, but there were many more that adored him. Since 1969, Bowie has been a part of many of our lives. He was our soundtrack, our fashion guide and our deep feelings for change. He changed. He reinvented himself many times over the years. Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues. They were all Bowie. He challenged the way we thought about music. He inspired many music artists over his time.
“David Bowie was a true innovator, a true creative. May he rest in peace,” tweeted uber-producer Pharrell Williams.
British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his sorrow to the press. “Genius is an overused word but I think musically, creatively, artistically, David Bowie was a genius,” he said. “He was a master of reinvention, and one of the things that’s so incredible is almost all his reinventions were incredible successes and worked brilliantly. And so we mourn the loss of a great talent.” I have to agree.
Bowie’s songs, including “Changes,” “Fame,” “Heroes” and “Modern Love,” were anthems to us all. His hits, played constantly on the radio have inspired several generations of musicians. He didn’t have a #1 hit until 1975, with “Fame”. That didn’t stop him or slow him down. He kept creating, and morphing into what he felt at the time. And that was good for us.
In 1969, he released a song called “Space Oddity”, about a doomed astronaut, Major Tom. It was both eerie and sensational. It gave me the chills, but it was the first song that I fell in love with from Bowie.
Another favorite song was “Life On Mars“. This song was very popular and only last year, on season 4 of American Horror Story Freak Show, Jessica Lange did a cover version of it complete with wardrobe and makeup. It was a blast to see his music celebrated on such a popular show. Below is his original version.
One of the most beloved moments came in 1977, on a holiday special with Bing Crosby. The two crooners performed a duet of, “The Little Drummer Boy”. It was both strange and magical, when the two musical icons appeared together. It is a memory that few of us will forget.
“Blackstar” is a farewell from the artist known as Bowie. It clearly represents, the finality of his journey, here on Earth. Please give it a listen when you can, it is brilliant. I feel it is Bowie’s thank you to us all. A couple of the videos are on You Tube.I could write pages of text on this man. Genius, is the one word I will use to sum it all up.
Farewell Starman. Farewell Ziggy. And safe travels Major Tom. You are now returned to the stars, from whence you came. We love you and will miss you always.
Follow me on Twitter @OutlanderFaith