When I grew up, you couldn’t flip the radio dial (that’s right –we had an actual radio and it had an actual ‘dial’) without bumping into Bowie. That dude was everywhere and when you weren’t dancing ‘new wave’ to his music, you were watching him with awe in the 80’s classic “The Hunger”. If you were me, you were also silently planning your whole new look around Catherine Deneuve’s vintage and elegant style.


the hunger

Image: Taste of Cinema


For me, David Bowie was a staple in my musical diet, a regular in my culture and cliques. You didn’t just like one or two songs – you liked them all whether you actually did or not. There is something magnetic about David Bowie. He’s not a part of music – he IS music. You could probably travel the four corners of the world and still not find anyone who doesn’t know who he is. He was unstoppable, he was fearless, he was cutting edge, he was on the edge, he was a brand of his own. He wasn’t just a musician – he was a pillar in the musical world.


Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973. Photograph by Brian Duffy © Duffy Archive


I was saddened this morning when I woke up. I felt a sense of loss for someone I never knew but knew so well. I never stopped to question what the world would be like without him. It never seemed possible.

I thought my daughter would grow up to behold Bowie. She would look up to me not because I’m old – but because I’m someone who grew up in the era of Bowie and that automatically makes me hip and relevant. I also thought she’d sleep through the night right from birth and figured that she’d always behave and do everything I say. I’m not saying ‘it sucks she’ll never meet him,” because I never did! But it does suck that she won’t experience him the way we all did. Now he will be like Marilyn Monroe to her. At first she won’t understand what all the fuss is about and that as she gets older, she’ll do her own research into this legendary icon of music and culture and she will develop her own admiration and adoration for him.

The world will feel like a different place for a little while as we all adjust to this loss but moving forward, I’ll have an even deeper appreciation and a more melancholy reaction every time I hear “Space Oddity”.

I’d say RIP David Bowie but I’m still in shock and not at all prepared to say farewell.


Feature Image: Heroes album cover shoot, 1977, photograph by Masayoshi Sukita. © Sukita, courtesy the David Bowie Archive