It is, I believe, unarguably true that David Bowie is a music legend. I say “is” because although the man is gone the legend is not. In fact, everywhere you look, the legend is more alive than ever before. People are buying his albums, sharing their memories of him and their thoughts on what he means to them everywhere. Bowie is alive, all over the place!
I was never what you’d call a Bowie super-fan. I’ve always listened to his music, watched his films (The Man Who Fell To Earth is one of my favourite films of all time), but I can’t claim to be an expert on the man. I know people who are, though. I was saddened to learn of Bowie’s death but what hit me hardest was seeing the outpouring of genuine, life-altering grief from those I know who are Bowie mega-fans. I feel for them. They’ve lost an icon!
David Bowie was always absolutely what he wanted to be. A weird, carefree outcast. A trendsetter. He inspired almost every single artist he came before, I think it’s fair to say. He was a comfort and an inspiration to literally generations of kids of who felt as though they didn’t quite belong in the world they saw happening around them. I don’t think it will ever be possible to quantify the number of lives he saved just by being himself (whichever one that was).
He left us as he lived, glamorously and with style. He had his birthday, released a now-obvious goodbye album and just went. He planned his exit from the stage that had been his life and, when the time came, he gave us a bow and walked away leaving us heartbroken, thankful and – frankly – wanting even more. As it should be. The last person he followed on Twitter was “God” and the last photos taken of him were of him laughing and smiling as thought he had no care in the world, so it’s safe to assume he left us in good humour. We should take comfort in that, at least.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you’ve heard him sing. You’ve seen him act. You’ve watched him change himself and the world around him, time and time again. And now he’s gone. But he’s not forgotten. He never will be. I have friends that will make sure of that. I will make sure of that. And who knows?! One day, in the far-off future, maybe he’ll turn up, looking just as he always did (however that was at the time) and tell us that he was from up there after all.
David Bowie, 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016