David Bowie, 1947–2016
There’s a very well-known photo taken by Mick Rock during David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust tour that I keep going back to. I’m sure you know the photo I’m talking about — it shows what is commonly referred to as The Sacred Triangle: Bowie, Iggy, Lou. The reason I mention it now is beyond obvious, isn’t it? Although many morbid jokes have been made over the years regarding who would be the first to go (with most bets obviously going to Iggy, who — like Keith Richards — remains a medical mystery to mankind), nobody really wanted to live in a world where these three didn’t exist.
Following Lou Reed’s passing in October 2013, we were all taken aback by the sad news of David Bowie’s untimely passing today. With his new album Blackstar — his 25th — released only last Friday and a very secretive personal life, nobody (except for his closest friends and family) could even imagine Bowie had been struggling with cancer for the past year-and-a-half. The fact he died only two days after the release of Blackstar (and, according to the announcement on his Facebook and Twitter page, “peacefully surrounded by his friends,”) led to speculation regarding his plans to say his final goodbyes right after Blackstar was out — which sort of makes sense when you think about this being someone who wasn’t keen on receiving good reviews out of pity, posthumously.
This is the part where I’m supposed to go on and on about his legacy and artistry, but, frankly, do I even need to? It’s David fucking Bowie. Even if his music/films/fashion/art is not your cup of tea (and you’d have to be very picky, because there’s a Bowie for almost everybody), it’s virtually undeniable how much he changed the Pop game forever. Hell, not just the Pop game; David Bowie basically reinvented the concept of “star” by associating it with constant mutation and evolution instead of the still-life disposable agents that had been populating the pop music world since its inceptions. And the grace; the geniality he made it with elevated him to that god-like status that gets mentioned far too often and lightly: immortality.
Deep down we all pray this was just one more of Ziggy’s disappearing acts. But the emptiness everything suddenly seems surrounded by confirms the sad news: we’re now living in a world without David Bowie, and this is too surreal to believe in, and yet too painful not to.
Oh, how I sighed when they asked if I knew his name.
Originally published at https://www.thefourohfive.com on January 10th 2016.