It’s been nearly a month since David Bowie left this earth. In my 27 years of life, I haven’t seen such a day of grieving within the world of music since Michael Jackson passed away.
I’ve long been aware of Bowie’s presence, but my objective listening and study of David Bowie only began within the last three years – and yes, I realize that this fact may very well tarnish some of my credibility as a public radio music blog contributor. For many more years than that, I had been well aware of who Bowie was, and what exotic baggage he carried with him. That baggage, I believe, is what intimidated me in years past; it’s a daunting task to wrap your head, and hands, around such a vigorous body of work.
But as I reflect on Bowie, struck by an epiphany, I fully understand the void that, like so many other music lovers, adherents, critics, etc. have acknowledged, permeates my world of music with his loss. Unknowingly, and quite ignorantly, I have overlooked just how many cogs David Bowie was in my musical wheel.
I do not wish to rehash Bowie’s career timeline—something that has been done in abundance by eloquent minds throughout cyberspace and beyond. What I would like to put down here is a respectful recognition of what Bowie was, and will live on as:
David Bowie, definitely outspoken, was a musical—scratch that, an artistic—chameleon. He fearlessly broke down barriers of aptitude, individuation and vision that inevitably wall off even the most imaginative minds. David Bowie was unique in that sense, and lived in scarce company. With a drive for exploration he challenged fashion, façade, and most importantly, music. I am hard-pressed to think of a musician as influential as David Bowie who did so much confident experimentation and who retained relevancy for five decades.
I simultaneously say hello, and goodbye, to a unique once-in-a-lifetime mind who threaded his way through the world of music in an astonishing number of ways.