|David Bowie Photo Via KEXP.org (Credit Jimmy King)
I was introduced to the legend when Bowie's "Space Oddity" received constant airplay as an unlikely radio hit in 1970. To my girlhood ears, it was basically a death scene that was sadly tragic and spoke of a longing I could not quite understand. Moving into my teens, he was the one helping me to try and make sense of the world as I wrote out the lyrics and memorized key lines that were woven into conversation. I can still remember the order of every song found on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dorky, and Young Americans. Amid hair bands and hippie throwbacks, Bowie's appeal became my own teenage day dream, the suave British chameleon constantly challenging our perceptions of the artist.
With "Let's Dance," Bowie created the dance party that was the 80s. His "Serious Moonlight" tour in 1983 was easily named in the top of Our His & Hers 25 Top Concert Lists with my husband Paul. (I was in the city but Paul was at Syracuse University so could easily walk into a Ticketron to nab some tickets!) He was our everything really. With his wife Iman at his side, Bowie was everywhere. We continually absorbed all that he put his name to while he dabbled in what interested him personally. We even supported his acting efforts on screen, from the director's cut of The Man Who Fell to Earth to the brutal Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence when he played a Japanese prisoner of World War II.
Now we learn that the latest release, Black Star, is actually a parting gift composed after Bowie was diagnosed with cancer. I listened to the entire album over the weekend, thinking how frail he sounded. On "Dollar Days" he tells us in song, "I'm dying too." If only this was simply not true. Here's some of my vinyl collection pulled out in tribute...