The Stars Look Very Different Today, As The Heavens Welcome David Bowie – Where Are We Now?

I have not been feeling well for the last week, and was set to go to sleep early last night after watching a most lackluster Golden Globes. I was a bit sad and depressed already, for a multitude of reasons, but quite disappointed at the horrible speeches that almost all of the recipients delivered.  There were some great exceptions… but they were too far and few in between. An acceptance speech should not be a stumbled through, laundry list of names to thank. Sorry.

I am not saying that everyone has to take a political stance or say something meaningful like Leo did, but at least inspire us… Speak from the heart… Let the soul burn and ring and sing a few verses. Inspire the rest of us who dream of those moments.

Inspire the world to get up and be creative… to embrace and love art even more… because art does mean something. Film and TV CAN change the world. Music CAN change the world, and it does! It moves it, and heals it, and brings us closer together!

As I lay in bed, getting ready to drift off, I saw a friend had posted that David Bowie had died. At that point, only two other news sources were picking up on it, so I was hoping it was a hoax… and in fact, there was an article talking about it being a hoax, but that was from a few months ago… And since I had been sucked into the Hugh Hefner one some time ago, I was not re-posting until I knew for sure.

And then… one more news outlet posted… and then the next… and the next… and then CNN had its Breaking News… and I knew…

It was done… over.

69 years old… had privately been battling cancer for the last 18 months… His son, film director Duncan Jones tweeted:

“Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”

Reality! No, not A Reality Tour… actual reality.

Tears… shock… heart-break.

His death comes just two days after his 69th birthday, in fact… and two days after the release of his new album, Blackstar… One I have just gotten and not even had the chance to listen to in its entirety… yet. Clearly this album will be revelatory, in terms of what was in Bowie’s thoughts and heart, as he privately fought his illness… an illness that I am still amazed we have not yet figured out how to properly battle and kill. We have so much brain power… so much intelligence…

Cancer sucks!

As I listen to the album now, I am haunted and saddened…

Just yesterday, I was listening to KCSN and was so happy to hear them playing the new Bowie. I had a smile, a big smile… and a fleeting thought that he would be touring again, and that I would finally be able to right the wrong of not seeing him live. Finally!

After staring at the TV screen and CNN for what seemed like an eternity, I shut off the TV. It was too much.

I lay in bed and I started playing Bowie… and lamenting the same thing I have lamented way too many times…
Yet another favorite artist I had never seen live… and now, sadly, frustratingly and inconceivably I never would.

Why?  Why did I keep doing that? I am usually quite resourceful… and will beg, steal and borrow my way into shows.

Why did I wait? Lack of money? The hassles of sometimes seeing a live show in LA? (Mostly that means the seeming inability for the general populace to get great seats at face value… at least in LA. It’s a scam and a sham.)

I could not recall what my reason was… but whatever it was, it now left me feeling empty… lost… like I missed out on something I needed.

For those of you who get live music… understand the importance of it… the holiness of it… you will feel my very real pain.

For those who don’t, well… I wish I could help you understand the magic and power of live music. It will change you… transform you… It will literally make your life and the world a better place.

It brings humanity together… swaying and dancing and singing… and for a fleeting few hours, leaves all your problems… all the world’s problems at the door.

“Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.”

“Where Are We Now?” was my favorite song from his fantastic, previous album, The Next Day… the first he had put out in over a decade… and so, now, here I was asking myself that very question…

Where are we now?

Rumors stirred of a tour for that one… and perhaps now we know why it never materialized.

My soul came into this world in New York City… and that is where David Bowie’s left…
No… wait… that is where his body left this earthly realm.

I would like to think that his soul will be in the air… on the air… for a very long time to come.

I always go back to those lines in La Bamba, so perhaps it was no coincidence that I saw Lou Diamond Phillips in my Trader Joe’s yesterday…

Buddy Holly: “The sky belong to the stars.”

Ritchie Valens: “My mom reckons I’m going to be a star. And stars don’t fall from the sky.”

We really don’t think they do… We believe they are invincible… And yet we have lost many… literally… to falling from the sky.

David Bowie died peacefully… not in the air… not in the sky, and yet he was a Spaceman… a Superman. He was a star… a bright, shining, shooting, glowing, most memorable star.
He was almost like an alien, a man who came to earth to influence music and art and fashion. And he did… he did.

I remember the story my friend Josh tells of being in a record store (Tower or Virgin) and looking through the Bowie section… when he looks up to see who else, but David Bowie himself. I gave him a lot of shit… A LOT… for not having immediately bought out the section and had him sign each and every one. Or at the very least gotten one for each of us. Agh!

A few months back, thanks to KCRW, I got to go to the closing night party of  Mick Rock: Shooting for Stardust, The Rise of David Bowie & Co. at the TASCHEN Gallery. 

I really, really wanted to win the book they were raffling off… It was utterly astounding…
Pieces of art bound in a true piece of art. I didn’t Oh well. I didn’t win the Powerball either… well… except for $4!

I guess TASCHEN was as close to Bowie as I will ever get.

So here’s to David Robert Jones… a man who did not sell the world, but changed it…

Here are a few photos I took at the gallery… and some of my favorite Bowie songs…

IMG_8580 IMG_8582 IMG_8584 IMG_8586 IMG_8594

My Top 15 Favorite Bowie Songs:
15) Where Are We Now

14) G-d Knows I’m Good

13) Young Americans / I’m Afraid Of Americans

12) Suffragette City

11) Five Years

10) All The Young Dudes

9) Ziggy Stardust

8) Ashes To Ashes

7) Under Pressure – Yes, I know this was with Queen… but come on… what a song!

6) Life On Mars?

5) The Man Who Sold The World 

4) Space Oddity

3) Starman

2) Heroes – Let us make it so!

“We could steal time, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever
What do you say?”

“We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day.”

1) Changes – This song moves me each and every time I hear it… Stunning… Rocking… Meaningful… quintessential Bowie.

“Still don’t know what I was waitin’ for
And my time was runnin’ wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse of
How the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
Mmm, yeah I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re goin’ through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time
Strange fascination, fascinatin’
Ah, changes are takin’
The pace I’m goin’ through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n’ rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time”

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