A Tribute to David Bowie: 1947-2016
Those who were by the radio on Monday morning would have heard of the sad passing of one Mr David Jones aka David Bowie at age 69 from cancer.
There aren’t many artists that you can say were truly legendary but Bowie was one of them constantly defying convention and challenging societies perceptions with every release and every new persona.
The total amount of personas that Bowie took on is something that the average artist can only imagine accomplishing. From his Ziggy Stardust days which are now the stuff of legend to his thin white duke periods to his current output which was his way of coming to terms with past activities possibly.
Bowie remained a reclusive with every release never fully revealing the man behind the mask always preferring to remain a mystery to his expanding fanbase. This is what made him so alluring as an artist. At times it seemed like his reality was close to his fiction as he demonstrated during his Aladdin Sane period. He was a purveyor of current trends whilst also changing the world’s perceptions of what an artist could achieve. He appealed to all generations and spanned all musical tastes. Whatever people thought of him there’s always a song that people can identify with. How many artists can you do that with?
It might have been ‘Heroes’ from his Berlin Period or ‘Starman’ from his Glam rock period. He was an artist in the true sense of the word with some of his guises questionable but you could never say he was boring. To his credit he never sought fame like the Z Celebrities of today choosing to let his art, music and performance do the talking rather than pander to the press’s advances.
In his later years he settled on one persona and the past two years provided some insight on his clear state of mind with last year’s ‘ A New Day’ which features ‘Where are we now?” where Bowie is in a reminiscent frame of mind coming to terms with his life and the recent ‘Blackstar’ which was seen as his most adventurous yet.
I spent some quality time with Bowie for several months during my studies for my thesis and got to know him quite intimately strangely experiencing his ups and downs in his career and his personal relationships. One of my favourite albums is Hunky Dory (see above) as a piece of work its practically faultless containing two of the best songs in 'Changes' and 'Life on Mars' which is quite bonkers lyrically but musically fantastic but it was one of the underrated songs 'Quicksand' that came into mind when hearing of his passing. Bowie sings how he is sinking into quicksand while their gorgeous strings accompany his shaking vocal. I'm everyone has their favourite track but that was mine.
Bowie lived and breathed rock n roll and brought happiness and joy to global fanbase always leaving them wanting more. He was someone who embraced outsider status given all alienated walks of life a voice and a stage whilst also changing the face of current music trends and of course fashion.
At 69 he was gone too soon seeming to have so much more to give to the world but his legacy will continue to inspire new artists as the set off on their musical journeys.
Ziggy played guitar and he will be sorely missed by all. RIP Davey Jones.