Saturday, January 16, 2016
Knowledge Comes with Death's Release
It's been almost a week since David Bowie passed, and almost a week before I've been able to properly say anything about it. ABC's Rage is on the TV right now playing a selection of his videos, and even the later ones I didn't really get into are tugging at my heartstrings at the moment. I figure that where best to say something than the long neglected music blog named after him? Maybe this final post will be a fitting end to a website which I actually did quite well at maintaining for a good couple of years.
Yesterday I went out with my Ziggy Stardust album cover t-shirt on, and a lady at a pretty typical womens boutique recognised it and asked if I was devastated. All I could do was nod and say "yes. yes. yes." I've actually had multiple people (some who I haven't heard from in years) contact me and tell me they thought of me straight away and was I okay? It was overwhelmingly sweet to know so many people remember how much Bowie touched my life. I couldn't say much more to them than "I'm shattered, thankyou." I'll try and be a little more eloquent today.
Bowie wasn't always in my life, consciously. Subconsciously, though, he was everywhere. My parents were huge, ridiculous fans, as were most of their friends and family. I remember lying in bed (probably mum and dad's waterbed) while they were hosting a dinner party and hearing a song about some dude named Major Tom who seemed to be in a bit of a pickle. Quite a few times. One of their family friends owned a dog named Ziggy. Labyrinth, and Jareth's codpiece was on the TV often. He was very much around.
It wasn't until I was late in highschool and my family decided to have impromptu vinyl nights in the living room while my young sister complained from her room next door, that I started to discover him properly. Mum and Dad went to see him while on his Reality Tour (I was underaged and of course wouldn't have afforded it anyway) and I was jealous as hell. In my university year, I went along to a Bowie tribute music night at the Tivoli Theatre, with my parents in tow. Musicians such as Tim Steward, Katy and Tyrone Noonan, Annie Lee, Tylea and Guy Webster performed 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' in full. That was it for me, I was done.
Since that gig, important times in my life have always had a bit of Bowie tied in. There's probably a Bowie moment for every one of the important people in my life. There's a song for every feeling I've experienced, every lover I've had. The time I was tossing up whether to date someone; hearing 'Drive In Saturday''s lyric "She's uncertain if she likes him/But she knows she really loves him", helping me make my decision. Countless discussions of Bowie's music, or who right now fits the description of this generation's Bowie (no one), on an internet forum, many forumers of whom became close friends. Getting 'Pin Ups' (which I'd actually not heard at the time) from one of those close friends for my birthday. Dragging some friends and a sibling (some of whom didn't know much about him) to go to an appalling Bowie club night in a dingy bar. Going to see the film of 'The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' at the Gallery of Modern Art with another friend and accidentally clapping after a few of the songs finished. Wearing a Bowie mask and carrying a poster saying "This ain't rock and roll, this is genocide!" as I and a close friend marched down Brisbane city in protest of closure of aboriginal communities. And of course, debating whether "Heroes" was overrated or not with a guy I'd just met at a party, culminating in him showing me his Heroes dance in my living room. He's currently sitting next to me in our living room and four years later we're still debating.
When I turned 25, "All the Young Dudes" was posted on my facebook wall. When I travelled to Europe, "Fantastic Voyage" was playing on my ipod. When I've left an unpleasant work experience, "Look Back In Anger" or his version of "Friday On My Mind" have been blasting out of the car speakers. Whenever if ever I get engaged, "Be My Wife" will be playing in my head. When I reach my 5 year wedding anniversary, "Five Years" will be karaoke'd by the both of us (if this doesn't happen, I've married the wrong guy). "Kooks" will be the theme song for my first child.
My life is David Bowie in some way or another. Hearing his passing was like having a piece of my life die. He'll never know the impact his life had on me, and I'll never be able to see him in the flesh to at least scream my praise to him along with the crowd. But, as one of those repeated memes has said, I'm so glad to have got to know him in my lifetime, even experience some of his new music as its being released. I'm a lucky girl to have my life so enriched by him.
Thanks David Bowie. No, you're wonderful.