The last time I cried in a kitchen over someone I’d never met, the world lost Iain Banks, and I grasped just how much my life had been influenced by the Scotsman with a heart often as black as mine. This morning, at about 7.50am, Life on Mars played on 6Music and I just lost the plot completely.
Some people define what a generation became, and I suppose that’s what the London boy did. All those people who didn’t know where they fitted in, felt dispossessed or somehow *different*… that’s what he gave them all. He defined musical output for every one of the 69 years he lived, and the fact his last album released on Friday? He knew the end was coming, but because David was a showman, he never stopped until the last breath, and for that he garners the most respect of all. Because life is about living, the first moment until the last, and that’s what the man did.
So, ask me how David defined my life, and here’s what you get.
Everyone will look to Space Oddity, but this is the song that defines me, without fail. The lyrical beauty if it is incomparable, and the relevance even at this moment? Take a look at the lawman/beating up the wrong guy and it’s last week, last year: this song is timeless, eloquent regardless of context.
But really, you need to go to 1977 and Low to realise where this man completely changed everything. This is his collaboration with Brian Eno which pretty much began my love affair with ambient electronica, the same year ELO gave me instrumental rock. I went though Scary Monsters and Super Creeps with an almost joyful enthusiasm and that was it, I was utterly hooked. I’ll freely admit, early Bowie has pretty much escaped my notice because this was when I began my love affair with the man’s brilliance, and there’s going to be quite a lot of catching up this week. Also, anyone who does summat like this is a fucking genius.
Of everything I’ve read thus far today? A random Tweet sums it up better than I ever will. If there was ever a metaphor for current life?
This is probably it.
If you’re ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.
— Dean Podestá (@JeSuisDean) January 10, 2016