For David Bowie, 11/01/16

Categories: Winnthinks

Monday 11 January 2016.

I woke up this morning and through the fog of sleep thought I heard the R4 Today programme say that David Bowie would be sorely missed. I came awake with a start and no, it hadn’t been my sleep addled brain. Bowie had passed away, it had been announced in the last 20 minutes.

I’ve been saddened by the death of celebrities before, particularly those with a connection to my formative years. But I’d only ever cried for three: Freddie, Diana and today. So I’d cried for a queen and a princess already – but how to describe Bowie in a label? It can’t be done – which is sort of the point.

I have a day’s work to do today, but all I really want to do is listen to classic Bowie. I downloaded Blackstar, the new one, over the weekend, but I don’t feel ready to listen to that today. When I bought it, he was alive, the album had been well reviewed, the tiger hadn’t lost his roar and was still pushing the boundaries, according to the critics. But the first time I get to listen to it will be in the knowledge that Bowie is dead. No, not ready for it yet.

So today it will be Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke and the rest of those lives within a life that get my attention. I’ll be working through this ridiculous outburst of emotion (get a grip!). I’ll play it in celebration of a remarkable artist and innovator. I’ll play it as a retrospective of my life since a 10 year old. I’ll play it to remind myself that sometimes it’s OK to make mistakes, so long as you’re brave about it, and that crowd-pleasing is over-rated. And I’ll play it to say thank you.

I guess a Blackstar is one that you can’t see any more, but perhaps its energy keeps on buzzing out there somewhere.

Rest in peace, David Bowie. I think your spaceship knows which way to go.


  1. Thought of you when I heard the news this morning. A sad loss for us all… x

  2. Wow Rebecca I could not be as lucid or succinct on this very sad day… Like you, David Bowie and his many personas have been my soulmates through life. I handled many a brickbat as a youngster when I was possibly ahead of the game in recognising his talent. I attended shows, bought albums, replaced them with CDs and downloaded to iPods, iPads and iPhones!! He will always accompany me in some format and the world is a richer place for his amazing talent. RIP The Real Star Man

  3. Hey Nina, yes it’s been a real shocker. Very Bowie-esque for him to manage his own exit so eloquently, leaving something new for us all to listen to and scratch our heads over. An astonishing man.

  4. Beautifully said, David. I used to listen to Hunky Dory through my brother’s bedroom wall and that was that. I think a lot of us sensed he was something rather wonderful even before we were old enough to pick up on all that he was saying about difference and sexuality and bravery and the right to be weird. He was just rather magical, that’s all. There will always be people of extraordinary talent in many fields, but I don’t think Bowie will ever be replicated. Truly one of the greats.

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