David Bowie has died. The 69 year old musician and actor was battling cancer for 18 months before his death.
Every Bowie fan probably has a story about how they discovered him. Mine is somewhat mundane, but etched in my mind nonetheless. I got my first CD player for Christmas when I was eleven. With it, my mother gave me Bowie’s Station to Station because it was one of the first records she bought for herself at my age. Station to Station is a wonderfully strange album and I remember lying on the couch with my headphones on, the kind that curled around the back of your head and are terribly uncomfortable to lie on, eyes closed, listening to slow dawning intro in the eponymous first track. That album and my consequent Bowie obsession phase introduced me to wonderfully weird music and really started my education in classic rock.
Bowie died a few days after his birthday and after releasing his final album Blackstar. He was very private about his battle with cancer, leaving most people in the dark until his death, only hinting at it in his song ‘Lazarus.’ In hindsight, the song and accompanying music video plays like Bowie’s eulogy for himself. In it he seems to see death with clear eyes and a smile.
“Oh I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Oh I’ll be free
Ain’t that just like me?”
Yes. Yes, it is.
David Bowie stretched the boundaries of music, gender, art, fashion, and film. He left the world a stranger, more interesting place. The man was, and always will be a rock and roll legend. Mr. Bowie, you will be missed, in all your incarnations. Look up, you’re in heaven.