David Bowie: R.I.P

I have just read that David Bowie has passed away, aged 69; on his birthday I understand.  I find myself very upset by the news too.  He had apparently been battling cancer for 18 months.

I have been a fan, of sorts, since catching him doing ‘Scary Monsters’ on Top of the Pops when I was about 8, he has just always been there.  As a dumb 15 year-old metal head I remember asking my mum if he was actually any good, in reply she handed me a cassette with Ziggy Stardust on one side and Aladdin Sane on the other; has any musical question ever been answered more emphatically?  they became and are still, amongst my favourite ever albums.

Bowie Diamond Dogs 01

Later I fell for the more grown up charms of Low through to Scary Monsters and parted company with him after Let’s Dance.  Well, almost totally, the film Labyrinth is what flashed into my mind as soon as I read the news.  I can remember a rather drunken conversation with some friends around closing time where the impressive size of Mr Bowie’s, umm, ‘packet’ was debated at some length – some Spinal Tap style ‘cucumbering’ was suspected, but hey if you’d asked me to appear in a  film dressed in tights I’d go the same route.

As well as his own music, I think David Bowie always had a great eye/ear for collaborators and you can’t argue with the likes of Robert Fripp, Iggy Pop and Brian Eno.  You also can’t argue with the way in which all these chaps really do appear to have brought out the best in each other too.  Chuck Lou Reed into the mix too and you have much that is holy and good to me, stemming from, featuring and/or facilitated by one man.  Bowie also had particularly great taste in guitarists, Mr Fripp, Carlos Alomar and Earl Slick all coming in joint second to Mick Ronson.

Bowie Low 02

Personally I always picture Bowie with the Spiders From Mars, lots of stage make-up, tin foil outfits and thrusting.  It wasn’t his most innovative, sensitive and intelligent work, by a long stretch but definitely his most endearing and rocky, I also rather like the fact that there was always a slight element of the ridiculous about it too, a touch of the pantomime and a hint of amateur dramatics around the edges.  Give me that over icy cool, most days.

The planet is, without a doubt, a touch poorer than it was yesterday.



33 thoughts on “David Bowie: R.I.P

  1. Great tribute. I’ve always loved the fact that Bowie was at his heart a big music fan; his productions and writing for Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Mott the Hoople came out of him being a big fan of those artists in the first place. I also read somewhere that he used to always take the car when touring because he was scared of flying and would listen to album after album during the car drives – everything from old to new, from popular artists to obscure ones.

  2. Had just this past week been really intrigued by the two new songs I’d heard from the new album after not really listening to much of his output after Low despite being a fanatic for everything up until that one. Specifically thought how neat it was that I could allow myself to look forward to new Bowie and be excited. And now this. Damn. I will say that there is no longer any doubt as to whether or not I’ll buy Blackstar; I’m headed over to order it as soon as I hit “Post Comment” here.

  3. First bit of news I saw this morning. Completely unexpected. Strangely affected, as I’m was more familiar with his genius than his music. Only just really started exploring his incredibly rich musical world (with my mind completely blown by the music and videos of Black Star).

      1. One of the few I’m ever so slightly familiar with (and one that’s been on my Bowie list). Only one I own os Diamond Dogs, but Blackstar is in my Amazon basket (but out of stock).

  4. Really sad. I like the camp guitar song Queen Bitch a lot. The two songs of my life-long love affair with my wife have been Heroes and New Rose by the Damned. He was a colourful chap wasn’t he. In my grey council house childhood, he brought a splash of colour. My big sis was into Bowie and T-Rex. It was great to have had them around. I especially liked Bowie, though without any sort of real musical comprehension – but his gender bending did my dad’s head in and I’ll always thank him for that!

    1. Thanks – I think that’s an important thing to remember, just the sheer flash and colour of the man at the time.

      Queen Bitch is a real gem, I always pair it with Lou Reed’s ‘Vicious’ when I’m playing imaginary DJ sets at fictitious New York night clubs.

      1. Just to add a little more here,it was Mr 1537s blog here that I first read of Bowies passing as the first things I do in the morning is check the WordPress reader and Joe’s fantastic story of how Bowie resonated with him was a great read / tribute to Mr Bowie all the while I was like wow he’s actually passed.
        Some day I will Blog about some Bowie but for now I’m just reading and listening…
        Well Done ….

  5. Very good tribute to a great man of music. Over the years, I have had the same reservations about his “Let’s Dance” album and was in two minds over whether or not to visit it now that I’m journeying through 1983. This has made up my mind to do so. But Jeeez, first we lose Lemmy to cancer and now Bowie. 2016 isn’t starting off very good.

  6. I feel like I’ve got a brick in my gut right now. Such a shock. He puts out his next record in years and the next day he’s gone. I’m with Heavy Metal Feline, I’m hoping he rises from the dead. RIP Ziggy.

    Thanks for this fitting tribute. Now I’m off to try and get through this damn day.

  7. Just found out about this on the news… umm… can’t actually believe it. I’m convinced it’s some sort of wild promo stunt for his new album! It’s a song on it called Lazarus right? Wishful thinking but… wtf?!

    1. I know, I was really quite floored when I read it. Sadly, I’m getting quite competent at dashing off these 5-minute obituaries before work, for people I really admire.

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