Are you like me feeling moved by the death of David Bowie today? Perhaps you’re wondering at the media outpouring, or young enough to think he was just some old guy who used to dress weird. You could even be like David who?. I’d have to admit to being somewhat unmoved the day Elvis died, although it ruined my mum’s birthday no end. Thing is, now I understand why.
Bowie’s been present throughout my life, immeasurably creative, making it OK – indeed you better believe it cool as Clough – to be different. He produced incredible seemingly unlimited art let alone music. I had a crush on him when I was a kid. Both him and Mick Ronson who played guitar with Bowie for so long. A double whammy with their spangly pants, big hair and fuzzy Les Pauls. Let’s face it, they looked like the girls from ABBA, but with fuzzy Les Pauls. What’s not to love?
For many people of my generation Bowie’s longevity means he wrote the soundtrack to our lives, was the ever-changing odd-eyed face of avant-garde, both King and Queen of misfit cool. So now like the millions moved by the deaths of Elvis and Lennon et al before him, the feeling on the day of his farewell is that some part of us has died too. A part that previously spangled and sparked. Can the overnight popflop X-Factor age produce an artist capable of engendering such a reaction upon their passing? I’m not so sure. Because that was no DJ. That was hazy cosmic jive.
I’m a writer, editor, and Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
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