RIP David Bowie

The passing of David Bowie has been all over the news today.  Not just music sites, but major media outlets, which is a testament to the global star that he was.  You can find plenty of good summaries today of his varied and multi-faceted career in music (both as a musician and producer), film and fashion.  I’ll just add a couple of thoughts I’ve had today.

His death today hasn’t hit me in quite the same way that Adam Yauch’s did because I haven’t spent as much time with Bowie’s music and so there’s not all the personal memories I have associated with his music.  Part of what I’ve felt today is regret for not having done so, which I know is a little bit weird given his music is and will still be available.  I don’t really know why I never did; growing up there was never a song of his I heard on the radio that I didn’t like and I still remember young me enjoying my cassette of Let’s Dance.  A few other of his albums have made their way into my library over the years; I think I just have taken for granted how good he was.  Probably for similar reasons, I never got to see him play live which is another regret.

I’ve also been feeling admiration for the man.  The fact that Bowie didn’t allow his illness to stop him from recording another album, Backstar, which was just released, as well as an off-Broadway musical. With over 20 albums to his credit and his illness, he certainly could have decided that he was done making music.  But, I have a feeling that thought never seriously crossed his mind.  I certainly plan to listen to Blackstar soon, which will now be listened to in a new context.

I’ve been enjoying seeing everyone listing their favorite songs and the breadth of the favorites is a microcosm of the variety of musical styles he dabbled in over the years.  My favorite song is from 1971’s Hunky Dory, Queen Bitch.  I wrote briefly about it five year ago here.  Often cited as a tribute to the Velvet Underground, I think he made a song that out-Velveted Lou Reed.  The guitar riff is an all-timer that still gives me chills and I love the conversational way Bowie sings this song (a nod to Lou Reed’s style for sure).  The ability to take a song that on its face seems so simple and generate such a powerful energy with it is an amazing thing.  While his body is gone, that energy will live on.

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One Response to “RIP David Bowie”

  1. Quick Hit or Miss – David Bowie, Blackstar | Nothing to Write Home About Says:

    […] mentioned in my short post after his death that I would make sure to listen to his last album and post about my thoughts. […]

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