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The loss of David Bowie

I blog. I blog about things I feel strongly about. I blog about things I love. So today of all days – what else can I do but write down a few feelings on the passing of my idol, David Bowie.

Those of you that know me, already know that David Bowie has been a huge part of my life. I may have met some of you at the Bowie Isexhibition or a Holy Holy gig…others I may never have met. But today we are all in mourning. Today is not The Next Day but the worst day.

It is surreal how I found out. I was actually sick last night and took today off work. When I woke I had lots of texts from friends offering their condolences before I knew what they were on about. I logged into Facebook to find more messages. I couldn’t believe it. Surely it cannot be true. I rang my sister to confirm it. She thinks I have a sixth sense as I was sick the day he died without even knowing. I am struggling between moments of disbelief and moments of terrible grief. I cannot stop crying. Even when I am not sobbing I have the odd tear sneaking down my cheek before I can stop it.

My husband ‘likes’ David Bowie and has tried to comfort me. But right now I need to be around people who really ‘get’ Bowie. People whose lives were changed forever by him. People who share and understand my grief. I have often joked that I would get rid of the husband and kids before I got rid of my Bowie collection. Of course I love my husband and kids, but it was me trying to explain how much Bowie meant to me.

So why do I love him? It’s hard to explain. I love his individuality – how he wasn’t scared to be different. This spoke volumes to me as I never felt I fitted in a ‘normal’ society. And he didn’t much care for being successfully commercial. He kept reinventing himself. Killing off Ziggy was such a brave move yet he made it work. Who else would do that? Even when he had huge commercial success with Let’s Dance he admits it was one of his less creative periods.

I love his compassion and generosity. During his early years he shared his songs, resurrecting the fading career of Mott the Hoople with All The Young Dudes. He quietly gave up a slot in his performance on Live Aid to show a film about the starving children. He always gave to others.

I love his talents. He doesn’t just have a few tracks or a few albums that I love. I love his diversity and range of genres. His ability to continue to shock with his music. This doesn’t mean I have loved everything he has released. I was never keen on Tin Machine and more recently I hated Sue. (I’ve never been a fan of Jazz). But ask me which is my favourite album and I would struggle to answer. I love Hunky Dory. Kooks always makes me laugh. I love Ziggy and always thought Five Years was a genius piece of writing. Young Americans is such a sexy album and Station To Stationis one of my favourite tracks from the album of the same name. I have recently rediscovered and adored, The Man Who Sold The World, especially ‘All the Madmen’ which feels like ‘All the Bowie fans’. A huge thanks in part to Holy Holy for bringing this album back to life to live audiences. It really felt special to be part of it.

It’s not just his talent for music that I love. He is (was? – I’m not ready to put him in the past tense yet – it’s all still too raw) an accomplished actor. Just watch him in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence or see a clip of his performance of The Elephant Man to know he was Oscar worthy. And everyone’s guilty pleasure is watching Labyrinth as an adult. My personal favourite is Absolute Beginners. Not because of the role he played particularly, but the entire film feels like a cult film and the theme tune of the film by Bowie is an outstanding piece of music that always sends shivers down my spine.

He has a wicked sense of humour which can be seen in his extended video of ‘Jazzin for Blue Jean’ Video where he plays two parts. The end of the video he is arguing with Julien Temple, the director, to say Vic should get the girl instead of ‘Screaming Lord Byron’. Its truly perfect.

I grieve his passing. It is a personal loss. I am as devastated as if it were a member of my own family. But it’s not just my loss. It’s a loss to all his fans all over the world. All those who loved him deeply even if they had never met him. It’s also a loss to all those potential fans who may ‘get’ him now. I hope you do. You don’t know how much you miss without Bowie in your life.

I will give the final word over to Morgan Visconti (Tony Visconti’s son) who said -

"Another day, another adventure!" was the last thing you said to me. I'll always remember that. My hero. Rest in peace, David Bowie.

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