I was recording till around 6am last night so I woke late and the first thing I saw on Insta was pics of Bowie. My heart fucking sank as I unplugged my phone from the charger.
You know when you’re trying to will something to not be true?
Then, once I got my laptop out, I saw all the obits and outpourings of grief. Well, I’m no-one famous and I never got to meet Bowie or even see him live but his music means a lot to me. Bowie made a space that was welcoming for the freaks and the geeks. Bowie, much like Wilde, re-defined the different as what was interesting, the deviant as divine.
I medicate myself with music. The way others use drugs and alcohol, I use songs. Bowie was my pusher, that fucker had a song for everything. Feeling down? This ditty Kooks will pick you up! Too manic because you’ve not slept in forty hours? Here’s Sound And Vision, it understands. Stressed the fuck out and want the world to fuck the fuck off? Suffragette City on stupidly loud on your headphones helps.
He was the whole deal. Impossibly good looking in a consumptive-android-from-the-future way, he created worlds that were way more fascinating than sitting in double French for fifty years trying to recall what VAST RED MAP stood for. Here was an escape hatch from everything banal and ordinary and bonecrushingly teenage. Bear in mind, the first Bowie I heard was Ashes To Ashes and then I worked my way back from there: I’m not claiming to be a diehard year zero fan.
I was trying to explain to a friend why I’ve been so upset at Bowie’s death today. I think it’s because Bowie was Bowie: while he was here, I knew there was a musician, an artist, who was always trying, always pushing to be creative. It didn’t matter if I didn’t like it all, that’s actually a sign he’s doing his job well. Every now and then, I’d check on what he’d been up to and it was always some mad shit that I’d go ‘Oh! Okay…’ and then like or dislike. But now he’s not here, who will be doing that?
I never knew him, I’ll miss him.