I read the news this morning, at about 6:30 local, barely awake, firing up the browser to do my regular search for possible projects.
I read it. I understood it, man I may even have groked it. Or at least so I thought.
Not David Bowie. You didn’t need to say “David”. “Bowie”, there was only one and we all knew. Of course, this being Sweden and the 70’s, limited information and all that, it was an endless battle if you should pronounce it ‘bouie’ or ‘bauie’.
But all my long haired, bell bottomed jeansed chums around me were listening to Black Sabbath, Status Quo, Nazareth, the Stones, Blue Öyster Cult, then later Judas Priest, and so on.
Bowie was kink.
Me and ‘Tosser’, we listened to the same bands as the others but also.. to Bowie.. to Diamond Dogs, Ziggy, digging back, even if it was a bit too early for us, albums like Hunky Dory.
Many years ago, I was asked to name my fave songs of all times.
Third place was The Clash White Man In Hammersmith Palais, second Television Marquee Moon, both having a profound impact on my life.
Number one? Life on Mars?
So I listened to Life on Mars? today. I was reflecting on the times past, but not really feeling a connection to my present. Ziggy, The Thin White Duke, the angst of sweaty palms and hoping to follow the girl home for tea as a teenager, it is all in my past, like quaint memories, but not really… not really affecting me today.
I mean, honestly, apart from Bowie and Arcade Fire’s live version of Wake Up, when was the last time he had a new record that really affected me?
I listened to that song I have always loved, that.. well even if Life on Mars? feels like a great song, that one, that makes something in me still kick. That was it, it still kicks me, at the age of 54 like it did when I was 14.
I mean the few lines don’t make sense, do they?
Yet to me, they conveyed a fundamental, rebellious feeling somehow.
I doubt I could explain it back then and I still sure as hell can’t now. But fuck it.
“I’m the space invader, I’ll be a rock ‘n’ rollin’ bitch for you
Keep your mouth shut,
you’re squawking like a pink monkey bird
And I’m busting up my brains for the words”
And it hit me, I could really feel what you have given me through these years, what legacy you have created in me that then carried over to so much else.
Shite, Bowie, you really changed my world in more ways than I can only guess.
I am an atheist. There is no afterlife. There is no “better place”.
But you made, if not this world, then my life, a better place.