David Bowie: 1947 to ∞ in 2016
I didn’t want to believe the news was possible. He should have been one of the immortals.
I awoke this Monday, and it apparently is more than a bad dream. News outlets are still reporting this morning that David Bowie died yesterday.
It just seems so surreal.
With some musical artists, it is difficult to pick a favorite song to remember them by upon their deaths. Bowie was such a master of transformation, it is almost impossible to pick a favorite phase of his career. From his first hit in the 60s, Spacey Oddity, he never relented, releasing Blackstar on his 69th birthday, just two days before his death.
Not only was this gift in human form a superstar who shone brightly, he was, by all accounts, a great friend and huge inspiration to other artists.
When his friends Peter Watts and Ian Hunter were ready to give up on music because they were having no success, he offered them a song he had written, Suffragette City, that he was going to put on his next album. It didn’t really match their style, so he sat down and quickly wrote what would become the signature song for their band Mott the Hoople: All the Young Dudes.
His collaberations with other bands and artists resulted in Under Pressure with Queen, Dancing in the Streets with Mick Jagger, and a hauntingly wonderful version of Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby.
My own memories of him include seeing him in 1991 - twice. A group of friends and I went to see him do a sort of farewell tour in which he would do all his old songs before moving on to a new phase of music. We then went to see him perform as part of Tin Machine at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. They were, at best, okay, but the opening act, that was not advertised, sure rocked. That unadvertised opening act was Nirvana.
So, as I try to come to grips with the passing of David Bowie to whatever he will move on to, which he assured us would not be boring, I will think about a song with significance to me: "Changes."
Some other things I've written about: