I was awoken by the BBC News app on my phone this morning with the very sad news that David Bowie had died after an 18 month battle with cancer. A few days after his 69th birthday and the release of his new album Black Star. Incredible to think that he’d had the creative strength (maybe that’s what keep him fighting the cancer) to bring out 2 albums since being diagnosed and amazing that he’d kept it all secret – as Visconti posted on Facebook:
He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.
Along with the rest of the world my reaction was grief similar to that of losing a member of my family, bizarre reaction really as I only own a couple of his albums and wouldn’t call myself a fan, BUT he has soundtracked my entire life, with each new decade his music has always been in the background – my earliest memory being ‘Let’s Dance’ in the early 80s.
BBC 6 Music decided to play Bowie songs all day, not just the classics but the songs that seemed to have escaped us, apparently he was there most played artist, I hope that continues.
There is now a visible hole in the world where his genius was, our best way of remembering him is to simply keep playing his music – with 20 plus albums across 4 decades there is plenty to choose from.
Let’s dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let’s dance to the song they’re playin’ on the radio