David Bowie passed last night. He was my favorite musician of all time, including Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and James Brown all put together. Maybe Jim Henson's death came close (please read his biography if you have the will), but his creations aren't intrinsically part of my life in the way Bowie's music is. Nothing shapes our lives when we are young like music does, not even movies.
Those who grew up on Bowie felt our childhoods precipitate into the heavens tonight. There are just no other artists like him and we can't have true rock stars like him ever again. It was a specific cultural era that allowed him to become so massive. The world desperately needed him at the time; a freak to just show up and make us believe in something bigger, to give us a sense of magic. He constantly metamorphosed, yet remained steadily self-possessed up until his last album. He was elegant and strange, creating endlessly elaborate lyrics and compositions that unified us and made us dream about space travel and the life of a rock star. Today these are memes, but when Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity arrived, they were nearly unattainable.
Someone asked me what my favorite Bowie song is. I think it's Lady Stardust, but his hottest love song is definitely Moonage Daydream. We all know what a love like that feels like. It's what keeps us on our best behavior.
I listened to Bowie all day at work today, trying not to cry like an unprofessional baby. After work I didn't want to go home, but didn't want to see my friends, so I got in my car where I could be alone and drove up the 1 to the top of Malibu, singing and crying like a spastic emomonster (except when cars got too close). Sometimes you just need to say goodbye to your heroes in your own way. It makes me happy to think of millions of people singing, celebrating, mourning, saying goodbye, sharing stories and listening to his music tonight. I'll always love you, Starman. Thank you for being part of my life xo