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Our David Bowie

Posted in Things We Love

David BowieIf you are in the neighborhood of my age, it is not possible that David Bowie passed you by. Waking up to the news of his death, I felt as dismayed and incredulous as when, a lifetime ago, still in high school, the news of John Lennon’s shooting made the rounds faster than even Twitter could imagine.

There are artists whose contribution transcends the collective and seeps into the personal. Not many, but those who do have a paved highway to immortality. I am who I have become also because I spent hours listening to some man who fell to earth, whose message wasn’t entirely clear but who made me believe anything was possible. The realization of the musical and technical brilliance came much later: at the beginning, it was just the impetus of looking at life through a different lens.

There are artists whose private life we don’t care much about, because what their art gives us is enough to satisfy all cravings. When, on a trip to London, barely out of my teens, I made a pilgrimage to a white house I was told was Bowie’s, it wasn’t in the hope of snapping a selfie, but to feel closer to greatness. When I briefly met him, many many years later, on a tv show in Paris, there was nothing I really wanted to say or know. Expressing my gratitude was enough.

It’s touching to read a tribute from Yoko Ono, reminding us of the man behind the art, the man who would pick up Sean Lennon from boarding school in Switzerland to take him to the museum or to let him hang out in his recording studio.

We are not left with any personal memories of the man, just the memories of the part he played in shaping our youth and maybe a part of our life. More than just a soundtrack.

To me, Suzanne Moore, a columnist for the Guardian, put it best “My David Bowie is not dead. Nor ever can be. What he gave to me is forever mine because he formed me. […] in the years when I was trying to become myself, he showed me the endless possibilities.”

Mr. Bowie, from Sue and I, thank you.

 

There are too many favorite songs so, in case you haven’t heard it yet, I picked “Lazarus”, from the newly released album “Blackstar”. Another classic – haunting lyrics.

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6 Comments

  1. silvia
    silvia

    Thanks girls for sharing the piece written by Moore. It’s a pure act of love and it perfectly explains his greatness. I spent yesterday the whole day floating from melancholy to nostalgia but today I’m grateful because I was young at a time he had fallen on earth

    January 12, 2016
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      You were so in love! I remember playing Spaceoddity over and over again in Fabio and Giovanna’s garage.

      January 12, 2016
      |Reply
  2. Ellie Toffolo
    Ellie Toffolo

    Yes the world is indeed a lesser place without him. At times like this we all want to share memories, in memory. I really must share mine…..
    I don’t think anyone who saw the 6th July 1972 Top of the Pops performance of ‘Starman’ shall ever forget it – it marked the entry of David Bowie into immortallity. I may have been an extremely impressionable young schoolgirl, but I couldn’t believe the sweet, fair-haired young boy who sang ‘Space Oddity’ and Ziggy were one and the same. The impact on everyone was huge – unforgettable. Had someone taken possession of the other David Bowie? Had an extraterrestial changed places with him? Had he had a sex-change to a new gender ? We had witnessed only one of Bowie’s many transformations. It didn’t take long before the boys started colouring their hair and three schoolfriends, Colette, Ruth and I would go sneaking off at break time down to the local coffee bar, which had a juke box and while we sipped asparagus soup (the things you do for music!!) played the b-side Suffragette City again and again and again……

    January 12, 2016
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    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      What a lovely memory Ellie! and what I would have paid to see that Top of the Pops. I am sure it is archived and viewable but now without the impact of the novelty. Thank you for sharing that.

      January 12, 2016
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  3. The latest release and video really seems like a masterful step in self image even to the very end and I love to think that he took control of his end in his art. The world is a lesser place without him

    January 12, 2016
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    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I agree with you and everything points to a burst of activity in the last year, once he knew his time was up. Remarkable, generous and admirable.

      January 12, 2016
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