Woke up this morning to the news that David Bowie has died. As always when there is a major news story it becomes hypnotic watching and listening to the same thing being said and played over and over again. Flicking from one news website to another I was also reading the same thing over and over again as well. It had only just been announced 15 minutes previous so was still “breaking news”. Which means they need to pad out the bulletin by reading out things written on Twitter by Z list celebs, most of which David Bowie would never have heard of or, if he had, would have probably hated.
I always thought of Bowie as one of the first openly Bisexual men I had heard of. At a time when I was still trying to work out whether I was gay or straight the idea of bisexuality just passed me by. He was the person that planted the seed in my head. Even though it was years later before anything clicked for me. However I was disappointed to read that he didn't consider himself to be bisexual. Saying he was just a closet heterosexual who was hiding behind an image put out by his record company. Although I'm not convinced by that.
The fact that it all seemed to have come out of the blue and he wasnt really that old made it all the more shocking. From a personal point of view it just made me feel old myself. I have memories of listening to my older brothers Bowie albums as a kid and then buying the Scary monsters album myself when he became more relevant to me. Even the time he went all crap (as far as I am concerned) and formed Tin Machine has memories. I worked in a record shop back then and I remember the rep from the record company trying to sell the single to us. They were trying to sell it to us as if he were God. We were buying it as if he were a has been. Everyone in the shop thought it was crap. “Only the fans will buy it” was the consensus. And they did. Just because you have produced some of the greatest records ever made doesn't mean it's all gonna be good. For what it's worth I don't mind some Tin Machine now.
By the end of the day there were special programs on TV about him and as usual the over the top outbursts of public grief. Fans crying, holding candles, gathering around pictures of him, making little shrines with flowers. Holding hands and singing, whilst telling reporters how much he changed their lives. One woman dressed as Ziggy Stardust and stood in front of a Mural having her picture taken. The cynic in me wondered how many of these people were real fans.
I did love a lot of what he did, my iPhone is full of Bowie tracks. And I've got a loft full of his Vinyl singles and Albums. But by the end of the day all I could feel was, Another happy memory from my youth dies and I've just taken another step closer to the grave. I know that's a really selfish thing to say but if we are honest the sadness we feel when someone dies is probably more wrapped up in how it affects ourselves than the one who has died. And the more it effect our everyday life the more upsetting it is. When one of my friends died I was devastated, I saw him every day, we went drinking together we laughed together, I had known him since school. His death changed all that in a second. A piece of my history went with him. Conversations and experiences that only me and him had were wiped away in a flash. Small things that only we laughed at had suddenly gone. I had no one to call, even going out for a drink was different. But when my other friend died it wasn't the same. He had moved away a few years previous. So after the funeral nothing really changed. I always remember him, and I was really upset, but it's as if he's still alive somewhere in the world. I'd sort of gotten over losing him a few years previously when he moved away. He hadn't died then so it wasn't upsetting. Now I was supposed to be upset It didn't really hit me that hard because my life didn't change as much the next day.
We all die one day. I'm not scared of death, I'm just scared of dying.
|This is the Bowie I remember|