Being a teen in the eighties in rural England, I was dazzled and bewildered by the wonder that was David Bowie. How was Ziggy Stardust also the Bowie of Lets Dance?
At age 14, infinitely wise and helplessly emotional, a group of us would meet at lunch down at the Orchard on the school grounds. We were of the belief that we were unobserved there as we would lounge and flip through our Smash Hits magazine. Color photo spreads of the dreamy David Bowie (old enough to be our father!) lay before us as we sang “Oh Baby, you just shut your mouth!” in chorus from China Girl. The warm spring sun warmed our faces and cool English breeze carried our singing and giggling swoons, while David Bowie hustled our imagination.
I knew there was more for me than that small English school, and I now find myself creating art here in Los Angeles. It is good to be reminded of ones inspiration, it motivates once more. As one of the most Theatrical and most photographed performers I have known, your legacy will live on.
My son wanted to know why I was crying. I told him that a great Artist had died, and he had helped shape our world culture.
“Was it the Piano guy with the glasses?” he asked.
“No” I replied, “That’s Elton John, this was David Bowie.”
“How did he die?”
“Cancer,” I told him. He was familiar with this as he lost his grandfather who was also 69 last year.
My son stared at me, his young mid unable to comprehend what I was getting at. I showed him a video on the BBC website about David Bowie. My son asked lots of questions after that, curious. He has no comprehension yet just how much one man influenced his world.
Goodbye, Mr Bowie. I hope we can live with the passion and die with the grace you did.
My class of teen girls, ’83? (I was taking the picture, of course!!)