Late Sunday evening, the world was shocked by the announcement of the death of David Bowie. Bowie was taken by the scourge of cancer. He had endured an 18-month battle with the disease, a fact that none of us knew except a select few. David Bowie passed from this world at the young age of 69. In these times, that age now seems like nothing near death’s reach. If there ever was one that we thought would be here forever, it was Bowie.
David Bowie left behind a legacy of songs, all tucked into neat containers of complete albums. He left behind a wealth of personas, all crafted to add to his songs, to give them timeless anchors. He left behind countless stage shows that play out the beauty of his art. He left those behind in wonderful live albums, and shows that some of you were able to attend and experience. His ability to change styles of music was effortless. Those musical changes were eased by the creation of characters to transition them. And we went along for the ride. All of his works are museum pieces that can be pored over and revisited, enjoyed and marveled at.
To say what David Bowie meant to me would be a disservice to you. Because he meant just as much in as many different ways to you. He was that rare entertainer that had a higher understanding of art that we all were equally able to enjoy. His art that was – and still is – like a brilliant, exquisitely cut, multi-faceted diamond that urges a million turns in the hand just to look at it.
In life, David Bowie was a highly paced creative individual. With more than 25 studio albums to his credit, Bowie delivered music that could not be categorized and was accepted through it all. His latest video, “Lazurus” (see below), shows Bowie turning his inevitable and inescapable death into an art form. As he sung, “look up here, I’m in heaven, I’ve got scars that can’t be seen” in this eerie but darkly beautiful song, we are reminded of one clear fact that we’ve always known: David Bowie was not intimidated.
“I was running at the speed of life
Through morning’s thoughts and fantasies
Then I saw your eyes
at the cross fades
Secret secrets never seen
Secret secrets ever green…”