Today the world will mourn the passing of a creative genius. In his own words a mortal, with the potential of a superman. David Bowie (1947-2016) touched many with his music, and changed lives with his fierce, unique energy.
It was announced on his official twitter page. The rock god, actor, and fashion icon passed peacefully after an 18 month battle with liver cancer;
Bowie’s reach stretched beyond his music. When Ziggy Stardust, Bowie’s androgynous alter ego, appeared on the scene, followed by Bowie’s exaggerated confession of his own bi-sexuality, he inspired generations of men and boys to embrace their inner Ziggy. While he later regretted his confession, he has been, and will likely always be, a hero of the LGBTQ community.
Bowie will be remembered for his music by those who came of age in the 70’s, when Bowie and The Rolling Stones were changing music forever, but those who grew up in the 80’s will never forget his turn as Jareth, the Goblin King.
In his later years, when the glow of glam had faded and the big hair was a thing of the past, Bowie carried on embracing the odd, that lay just outside whatever everyone else was doing.
Bowie’s 1971 album Hunky Dory featured a song about famed pop artist Andy Warhol. Where Bowie was changing the face of music, Warhol had changed the face of art. In a 1987 interview Bowie spoke of meeting Warhol, who he would play ten years later in the 1996 film Basquiat.
Bowie’s acting roles, like his music, have been off beat characters, roles that were either totally unexpected, like his turn as Pontius Pilot in Martin Scorsese’s 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ, or simply silly like his role in SpongeBob: Atlantis Squarpantis
Bowie, despite his iconic status, seems never to have lost his sense of humor. In a cameo appearance in Ricky Gervais’ Extras he pokes a bit of fun at himself, and Ricky
Even in his dying, Bowie was a showman. His final album, Blackstar, includes a farewell to his fans. Released just days before his death, Lazarus is a poignant homage to how Bowie lived, and how he faced his own impending death.
Tony Visconti, Bowie’s producer, wrote of the him,
He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry
Bowie is gone, but he will not be forgotten. Fuck Cancer.
How did Bowie touch your life? Tell us your memories in the comments below, or join the conversation on Grizzly Bomb’s Facebook page.
Images: Gif By Helen Green
Editor’s Note: Just wanted to throw in one of my
favorite Bowie songs; Panic in Detroit, which he wrote
after hearing Iggy Pop describe the 1967 riots. – BK
And from Inglourious Basterds…