Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Man Who Fell to Earth and Why I'm Glad We Caught Him

Following the announcement that rock icon, film star and innovator David Bowie had died of cancer on January 10, the Internet and social media blew up with countless memes, photos, quotes from his songs and pithy sayings.

One of the more profound - if there are such things in a universe that values a total character count of 140 as a good thing - was one piece that read: "If you're sad today, remember that the planet is 4.7 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."

I must say that I am truly blessed to have managed to exist at the same time as many people, not the least of whom are my parents, my wife, my son and many friends. To consider Bowie a major influence seemed trite and certainly a bit on the silly side, yet I found myself strangely drawn back to listening to his music in all of its many shapes and forms.

I can honestly say I listened to more David Bowie music these past few weeks - from the space rock themes of "Space Oddity" and "Starman" to the punk anthems of "Rebel Rebel" and "Suffragette City" to the disco-tinged "Let's Dance" and the exotic and sultry "China Girl" - than I have in the previous decade combined. But I was fine with it. It brought about a sense of closure and a realization that he had made an impact I hadn't fully considered beforehand.

So for all of us similarly affected, I say thank you, my glitter and rock friend, for introducing me and others to Ziggy, the Diamond Dogs, the pitfalls of "Fame" and what it means to be under pressure. Those blue and brown eyes of yours will not soon be forgotten.

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