January 10th 2016
I snoozed my alarm at around 6:50am, I didn’t want to get up. This is usually the case as I am not a morning person. But that night I hadn’t slept properly having woken at around 2am for some unknown reason. So now I was fighting the morning approaching and my ever annoying alarm clock. I eventually woke as my whatsapp tone went off and this made me realise that everyone else is up and about getting ready for work I really should be too. It was my friend Morgan. She wrote me a simple message that made me sick to my stomach and I didn’t quite believe or understand at first, it read:
“Bud I’m so sorry: Bowie RIP (lightening bolt emoji, cat crying emoji) xoxoxox”
It has taken me a while to think about this post. I wasn’t sure I wanted to write it or even if I should and now I am beginning it I know I have to. It may go through several iterations and probably take several days – hopefully not months but David Bowie was and still is very much a part of me and my life that I can’t let the events of January 10th go unrecorded in my own blog.
Typing it out like this makes it sound a little like that it has a affected me in the wrong way like that its only me it has affected, but I realise that this is bigger than me. The only people who this hits to the core are his close family and friends they are the ones who knew David Jones from Brixton, London.
The hours that followed the news were I guess blurry to be honest. I couldn’t quite believe he had passed, he had just released his new album and reached the age of 69 on the 8th January. It seemed so sudden, and it was. After trawling through several news stories on the web I came to realise the circumstances of his death and that it had been kept hidden from all but his close family and friends. This gave me some comfort in a way because at least he had those private last moments/years with his family and was able to keep his dignity without it being splashed across the press about his treatment and deteriorating self (I am sure it would have been written this way). I can’t imagine what it would have been like for them on the flip-side of having to deal with this all in silence or private and no one really knowing what they are going through day to day. I guess in all cases of dealing with a loved ones illness you have to do it your way and everyone should respect that – he had such a strong family and close circle around him.
After the shock of learning David had passed I began to just feel grateful that I known his music, art and creativity. Grateful that I had appreciated it, immersed myself in it totally.
Becoming a fan or follower of David Bowie happened quite late for my regrettably, but I do feel that the path that I chose and where I grew up and came from was a factor of this. I grew up in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The only knowledge I have of Bowie from an early age is seeing him in Labyrinth and being completely freaked out but also intrigued to carry on watching. He was different, I couldn’t understand, I wanted to see more. The next time was when I saw him on the 1996 Brit awards singing Hallo Spaceboy with the Pet Shop Boys, again I was intrigued. But at this age I don’t know why but this initial interest never gave me the impulse to further explore…
I moved to London at the end of summer in 2006. I had accepted a job at a small design agency, I hadn’t finished my degree but I was dead set on moving to London and nothing could stop me. In my last few weeks of being in Doncaster I hung out with a friend who had given to me hundreds of music files, albums upon albums and within the collection was the 2 disc David Bowie at the Beeb – this became the soundtrack to my first few months in London. I moved here not knowing anyone but my new work colleagues, for some this would have sounded pretty crazy but for me I was living! I wanted to be here so bad and wanted to be away form my hometown just as bad. I loved my early days in the city. Weekends would be spent exploring the city from corner to corner by foot or bus (rarely the tube as I could get my bearings more if I could see everything) my London A-Z in hand (which was the best thing I ever bought, after taking the advice of one of my friends Jen). Blasting on my iPod mini and in my headphones would be that David bowie album – I was experiencing Bowie from the beginning – it was wonderful! I ventured far and wide exploring all I could and educating myself on the great mans music. I quickly became a fan of Janine, Karma Man I lived out west at first and used to stroll through Portobello market whilst listening to God Knows I’m Good It was a perfect time. I had no worries, I was free, lived on my own, earned my own money. My only heartache was that my boyfriend was living in the states completing a Football scholarship. I think this made me create my own world with this new interest to distract myself from missing him so much. I began to go see live bands in Camden with some new friends. I learnt how people had been influenced by David and my vision of him became richer and as my life changed over the next few months and years I became more influenced and drawn to his work.
I discovered album after album over the coming years and realised although he changed his style so much from year to year I could find a place for each of his styles in my life. Some days I could be in a Hunky Dory mood and others I may be more connected with Scary Monsters. I loved this colourful spectrum that was David’s music! Although I have obsessively played a lot of his tracks over the years my all time favourite has to be Heroes.
I love this song so much. The video is so simple but so beautiful. I see the artistic-ness in it, I guess thats what makes me a designer (I notice these things) the way the light hits him to make a silhouette. He almost looks like an alien at the doors of his spaceship greeting us all, it’s curious childlike pose.
In much of the video he looks so vulnerable and stripped down. I think its seeing him near the end of his drug addiction days and showing us David Bowie for the first time rather than a persona. I think I will always love this video and song it never gets old and I always come back to it time and time again.
I want to draw attention to a certain thing that has happened since David’s passing and something that really angers and upsets me as I feel it so far from what David Bowie is about or would have wanted. There have been a number of people, celebrities thats have spoken out about their desire to put together some sort of tribute for Bowie. Some of these have turned out to be false and it is just the press, people on the internet stirring up rumours. Now whether they are true or not does it really matter? The result of some of these statements has led to fans of David Bowie creating so much online hate, petitions, memes to stop anyone they feel is not “worthy” to have the freedom to create said tributes. This is so sad, shouldn’t anyone who has the passion and desire to pay David a tribute be allowed to do so? Although it may not be to everyones taste or like it is from the heart and done out of love and respect that we all have for him. Lady Gaga’s recent tribute at the Grammy awards this year shows just that. She only had a certain amount of time within the slot she was given she showed a diverse spectrum of the work David has left us with and it was in her own way which I think is great! Yes we know Gaga is heavenly influenced by David and she knows I am sure she owes a lot to him so I can understand why she wanted to do this and I respect her for it.
I think her red carpet costume choices were excellent also! She has a look of Angie Bowie.
I want to wrap this post up now as it is long over due It has now been over a month since David left us and I still find it hard to believe but I know he has left us with a lifetime of musical, artistic talent that we can all enjoy! Here is a playlist of some of my favourite songs in no particular order.