I’m in shock, it feels like family, David Bowie died without telling anyone he was ill. I suppose he told his real family but he didn’t tell the world, those of us that think he is connected to us on some profound level and our loss feels personal. David has always been around throughout my life, like an older brother, younger father or cousin, uncle or very special friend. David has been singing songs for me and mine since forever. We sung them too, at the top of our voices to karaoke while drunk and silently in times of great pain, he was with us at those most poignant of times. He shaped our youths, he gave us ideas and introduced us to great works of art and thinkers like Burroughs, he allowed us to believe. He had something to say and that something was very important, will we see the world in the same way again. David gave us strength and belief that anything was possible, he was weird and wonderful, beautiful and sexy. I love to put on Bowie, knowing every word or thinking I do, strum of the guitar and blow of the sax. David was a musical genius, trendsetter and musical rebel and he will be missed by the world.
When my mother died we played Jean Genie as the first song at her wake, it felt like he wrote it for her, it spoke of her to us. I felt that David knew my mum, knew all of us, I think he actually did meet some of the family. I’m sure my uncle Tony, made some of his guitars back in the day, when Tony was still alive, although I think it was Tony Visconti that picked them up and I’m absolutely sure Bill met him on the club scene. Simon’s claim to fame is the day in the recording studios when Bowie walked past and said to him ‘nice shirt’ and my cousin was born on his birthday so there has to be a family connection.
When people die, I like to have their music, know what they want at their service, I have a note section on my phone called ‘Dead Songs’ where I keep my friends favourites. I do have a ‘David Dead’ section but that’s another David, a friend who doesn’t sing very well. We knew my mum’s and we knew Bill’s it was important for us to get it right. Mum chose the exact recording of Judy Garland singing Closer live at Carnegie Hall and Bill, Stan Keaton’s Intermission Riff, of course they had four more each all perfect on the day. David released his own death songs three days before he passed, his last album Black Star, he was a poet, his music and lyrics move me, especially today. David wrote his own epitaph, he was incredible he will be missed.
There is an outpouring of grief today, social medial and TV and Radio have covered it all day. It seems to me watching and listening to the news today an awful lot of people are crying. David inspired generations, he gave us hope. Some think it strange that we grieve for a man we didn’t even know, but we did know him through his music, we knew that quiet, sure and brilliant artist. There is a party in heaven today, or maybe somewhere on Mars as David has gone home. He is rocking with angels tonight and I think it is probably very colourful, none of your white and serene. He has friends there to greet him and we will see him if we look to the stars and believe.
Goodbye David, you will never really truly leave us.