Monday 11 January 2016.
I woke up this morning and through the fog of sleep thought I heard the R4 Today programme say that David Bowie would be sorely missed. I came awake with a start and no, it hadn’t been my sleep addled brain. Bowie had passed away, it had been announced in the last 20 minutes.
I’ve been saddened by the death of celebrities before, particularly those with a connection to my formative years. But I’d only ever cried for three: Freddie, Diana and today. So I’d cried for a queen and a princess already – but how to describe Bowie in a label? It can’t be done – which is sort of the point.
I have a day’s work to do today, but all I really want to do is listen to classic Bowie. I downloaded Blackstar, the new one, over the weekend, but I don’t feel ready to listen to that today. When I bought it, he was alive, the album had been well reviewed, the tiger hadn’t lost his roar and was still pushing the boundaries, according to the critics. But the first time I get to listen to it will be in the knowledge that Bowie is dead. No, not ready for it yet.
So today it will be Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke and the rest of those lives within a life that get my attention. I’ll be working through this ridiculous outburst of emotion (get a grip!). I’ll play it in celebration of a remarkable artist and innovator. I’ll play it as a retrospective of my life since a 10 year old. I’ll play it to remind myself that sometimes it’s OK to make mistakes, so long as you’re brave about it, and that crowd-pleasing is over-rated. And I’ll play it to say thank you.
I guess a Blackstar is one that you can’t see any more, but perhaps its energy keeps on buzzing out there somewhere.
Rest in peace, David Bowie. I think your spaceship knows which way to go.