Tonight, nobody wants to hear about a bunch of gun waving weirdos out in Oregon. Tonight, it’s not the right time to talk about why I think Bernie Sanders will win the Iowa precinct caucuses and the Democratic nomination and the presidency. Tonight, it would not be enough to write a little blog about how my day went.
David Bowie died today. In fact, I feel a little bit inadequate writing about him. Others followed his career much more closely, and can quote more of his song lyrics. I’ve been reading the eulogies and watching the videos all day.
But, he was great. I remember in the summer of ’73, there was me, Chuck Fitch and Steve McCullough driving out from Phoenix, Arizona to go inner tubing on the Salt River. We’d dropped some acid. We were listening to Suffragette City. The windows were open. The sound was blasting.
When I read the Hunter S. Thompson bit from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas about how they did all the drugs and then they picked up the hitch-hiker, who jumped out of the car and ran like hell at the first opportunity, that’s the moment in my life I relate it to.
I remember how cool I thought Space Oddity was, because I’ve always been a science fiction fan and I thought it was great that somebody in Rock was talking about outer space.
I enjoyed him in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” but, as I read through all the tributes today, I realize he was a much more prolific actor than I’d known.
The videos I’ve watched the most, perhaps, is Lazarus, from his latest album, Blackstar, which was released two days before his death, on his 69th birthday. He knew he was dying. The public didn’t.
Lazarus is a farewell song. It is about death. His own death. He produced that video, and acted and sang in it, while in the late stages of cancer.
Many musicians have written great songs, although he certainly did write an awesome number. Many actors have been in a few cool movies. But I can’t think of any artist, in any medium, in any genre, who had such an impressive death.
Good bye, David Bowie, and thank you. You changed the world.