Monday, January 11, 2016

"We can be heroes, just for one day"

Not too long ago I read or heard or a quote that said, "I'm in that half of life when it no longer gives you things, but takes them away". This is one of them. As of late we have had too many friends and colleagues pass away and I myself have had my own battles with cancer over the past 3 years. Last night, cancer took away one of the truly great iconic artists of our time, and my favorite recording artist, David Bowie. He was 69, I am 57. For 40 years I have been a huge Bowie fan, and today, another part of me is gone.

Last Friday night, my wife and I watched a broadcast of "Ziggy Stardust" on VH1 and this past Saturday, we bought his latest album, "Blackstar". While driving home we both commented on how much of the album seemed autobiographical and jazzy. How ironic that seems now, and truth be told, that is who Bowie always was. He always recorded who he was, when he was that person. As many who knew him well, like the great Brian Eno commented this morning, he was saying goodbye to all of us on that last album.

Bowie was, "Ziggy", "The Thin White Duke", "Chameleon", "The Elephant Man", "Major Tom",and many other labels to many people, but the truth is David Bowie was simply always himself and in HIS moment. Too me, he was the artist I admired and respected the most and as "cool" as Dean or McQueen. Musically, Bowie was always light years ahead of everyone else in the industry. He could funk, rock, dance, and croon with everyone from Bing Crosby, John Lennon, to Freddie Mercury, he could rock anthem and rip an amplifier apart with "Suffragette City", he could do electronica and paved the way for legions of followers. Bowie could play a gazillion instruments and he worked with and influenced many of the greatest artists in rock and roll as well as rejuvenate some from ashes. While almost every other musical artist simply repeat themselves, Bowie explored new ground at every turn. His lyrics were often prophetic.

I'm proud to say I saw every tour David did except "Ziggy", many several times in one year, and once spent an entire day in LA with my good friend Michael, watching a retrospective of Bowie videos and filmed performances which was nothing short of amazing. I own all the albums, several collectable pieces, and decades ago in my 'Punk Days", had the honor of meeting both David Bowie and Iggy Pop together in NYC. One of the highlights of my life was seeing Bowie live in Milan, Italy on the Glass Spider Tour from front row center. I've seen many great concerts, but none ever came close to that.

My favorite songs were: "Let Me Sleep Beside You", "Heroes", "Young Americans" "Slow Burn", "This Is Not America", "Gene Jeanie", not necessarily in that order, and the list goes on and on and on and on.

Little Richard may have "invented" Rock and Roll, Elvis may have been "The King", Morrison "The Lizard", and Led Zeppelin, Stones, ACDC, and Queen the greatest bands who rocked. But...there was no one that came close to the sheer creativity and genius of Bowie, nor will there ever be again.

RIP David, the world of art has a huge hole in it now which cannot be filled.