David Robert Jones, 8th January 1947 – 10th January 2016.
Today, the world has been shaken by the passing of David Bowie.
The first thing I want to say is that my heart goes out to his wife Iman, and his two children Duncan and Alexandria. They and the rest of his family and friends are at the forefront of everyone’s minds at this time, and I’m sure it’s ok to speak for everyone when I say we all respect that and keep them in our thoughts.
At the same time, there is a huge group of people who have come together today to talk about Bowie, his music, his life, what he told us, what he gave us, how he inspired us and how he makes us feel. We are his fans, and we speak with sincerity, compassion and a different kind of love to that of those closest to him in life.
This morning when I woke at 7am and found out the news, I was numbed to my very core. I had no words to say.
My 12 year old daughter adores David Bowie – she first heard of him when I sat her down to watch Labyrinth, and since then it’s pretty much been her favourite film, and she has also spent time discovering his music. I told her I didn’t really know what to say or do, and she said “Let’s just listen to his music and watch Labyrinth”. She couldn’t have said anything more perfect. She proceeded to play Space Oddity (her favourite song) on her tablet, and she came back to me asking why that particular song made her feel tearful. It was then that I think she realised the power of music. What a moment. We hugged (a rare thing indeed, as any parent of a nearly teenage child knows!), then I drove her to school with the Changes compilation as our soundtrack.
On returning home, my daughter told me about the science test she took today, then said they were allowed to doodle on the back of the paper when they were finished. She chose to write and draw a memorial to David Bowie. I like to think he’d enjoy and be amused by something like that.
“I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture I was living in.” – David Bowie in an interview with G2, 2002.
At various points throughout today, I have either kept up with comments on social media, or have had a random Bowie song pop into my head, and simultaneously welled up at what I’ve seen or heard. On the drive home I allowed a few tears to fall, and had already decided that tonight would be all about Bowie, so have no doubt there will be more tears yet.
Talking of social media, the outpouring of love for David Bowie has completely overtaken everything else today, as it has across the world as flowers and tributes have been laid in significant places in his memory. It has been a beautiful thing to witness at a time of heartache and sorrow.
I’m not sure it’s necessary for me to mention every single thing Bowie did during his incredible career… from his prolific discography to the films he appeared in to the awards he won to his induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… we know, appreciate and adore him for all of this, and for his genuine honesty at all times, including when turning down a knighthood, saying “It’s not what I spent my life working for.”
He worked at what he was passionate about until the very end of his life, releasing his final album “Blackstar” on his birthday, January 8th 2016, just two days ago. This in itself was the talk of all who love music, with what seemed like the whole of twitter positively buzzing with anticipation as they awaited delivery of the record, and the reaction to it was akin to a squeal of delight. There are many people who listen to each of his records who will have and will continue to go and write and record their own music. I have no doubt that witnessing such reactions to what he produced for us would have given him complete pleasure, so I really hope he was content in his achievements when it came to the end of his incredible life.
“Make the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere.” – David Bowie in an interview with Esquire, 2004.
David Bowie was a man who was the very definition of inspiration. He put every iota of his being into everything he turned his mind to. He was abstract, daring, humorous, strong in his beliefs yet open minded, and endlessly innovative. The absolute epitome of a creative individual, he saw no barriers, felt there was nothing to stop him and did what he wanted to do.
We will never ever forget that.
Goodbye, Mr Jones. We have loved and will continue to love you and your work. We may have lost you, but we will always have your music and the feelings you gave us. Rest in Peace.xxx