Today, I woke up to the news that David Bowie had died of cancer. He had just turned 69 not days before. He was the first rock icon I had ever seen on the big screen. He was Jareth, the Goblin King. As a young nerd there was nothing cooler in the world than a movie that Jim Hensen put his hands on, and The Labyrinth was no exception.
Bowie made Jareth not only a villain but a sexy villain, and I had a hard time putting those two things together, but he did it masterfully. David Bowie did a lot of things masterfully. He was a consummate pro, working with stars like Bing Crosby, Paul McCartney, and Pete Townsend.
Bowie kept himself out of the lime light. He was not the kind of artist who craved the attention of the media or the masses, but he was revered by fans all over the world. Bowie’s alter ego – Ziggy Stardust, seemed to make it okay for the wierdos to be weird, for people to learn to accept themselves for who they were, and not conform to what people thought they should be.
If you were a child of the 80’s like me, you couldn’t ignore the awesomeness that was David Bowie. His hits from the 80’s are classics – Modern Love, China Girl, Let’s Dance – all from one album, Let’s Dance. Not to mention his hits from the 70’s such as Rebel, Rebel, and Changes. And who could ever forget the first time they heard Space Oddity? Everyone knows the lyrics “ground control to Major Tom…”
One of my best friends, Eri Riot (aka HaleBound Ride for those of you in the Teen Wolf and Etsy worlds) made, what in my opinion, is the best tribute to David Bowie:
“I had to be here, last night and today. I had to be here to join in the collective grief over the loss of David Bowie. I’m not able to express how I feel yet, other than to tell you that the sadness and the emptiness shouldn’t be able to coexist in the mass amounts I am feeling them in.
What I would like to tell you today is simple enough – listen to Lazarus, friends. This video was released the day before Bowie’s birthday, the day before the full album dropped. We know now that Bowie and his family, and their closest friends, knew what was coming nearly a year ago. When he gave us this song, he knew what was coming, and he knew that we’d need it. He took his chance to tell us that he’s okay, he’s at peace, and that we don’t need to worry about him or feel sorrow that he’s not with us any longer.
So listen to Lazarus. It will make you cry like hell, because it hurts. But you’ll also get something amazing – you’ll get Bowie, in his own words and his own voice, reassuring you. (Oh I’ll be free, just like that bluebird.) His words are for you, for all of us. (Oh I’ll be free, ain’t that just like me.)
And it is. Fuck, Bowie, it is. It’s just like you. The face you showed us until the absolute last moment of your life was perfectly orchestrated and choreographed by you. The last musical gift you gave us was the finale of the performance that the world has been followed for nearly fifty years. And we’re here, we’re listening and applauding, we’re giving a standing ovation after your curtain call.
I can’t add anything to that. It’s Perfect.