Today, January 11th, after my cellphone went postal with a “serene waterfall” alarm that sounded like a thousand screaming babies due to its shitty speakers, I was instantly slapped awake. Wait, to be completely honest, the sensation was less a pat across my cheek and more along the lines of a cannonball deep into my gut. The sort of lasting effect that has you feeling weightless. The room spinning on its axis. “Ahhh, where did the floor go?!”
Nothing can actually prepare you for a loved one’s death. And, although I never actually knew him, Ziggy, Mayor Tom, the White Baron, was part of the family. He was there every step of the way. Cheering me on through deep sleepless nights in college, accompanying me on dates, humming in the back of my ears while I waited at the DMV, pushing me that extra mile so I could finish my first marathon. Telling me about mice and life on mars.
Yesterday, God only knows at what time, David Bowie kicked the bucket at 69. The enigmatic and intensely private Duke had been battling cancer for several months. His death was far too sudden to a public that did not expect it. I’ve always supported the idea of the dead cat. If you leave your feline with your neighbor, and Garfield manages to get run over by a car during that fateful stay, then you just hope his caretaker eases you into the tragic event. Unfortunately, David’s demise was a fast tug of the band-aid of the “be a man and stop crying like a pussy,” sort of affair.
The man, the “Picasso of Music”, will forever be missed. His contributions to pop, rock, glam and basically absolutely everything with a beat were not only undisputed but wealthy with divine knowledge infused by the very Gods.
In honor of the legend, I implore every individual to slap on some makeup, get into a pair of skin-tight pants and Spotify the heck out of his legacy. And, because this is a 21 salute of the icon, here is a loaded list of bullets full of fanciful facts for the fans. Let us hope they each blast loud and clear to hail his arrival into the Rock and Roll mega-festival up in the sky.
21 David chose his name on account of Jim Bowie, creator of the mythical knife. His real name was David Robert Jones.
20 His first album wasn’t a success. It was released the same day as Sg. Pepper by the Beatles. There was competition in the market.
19 “The Elephant Man,” with David Bowie as the lead Victorian, was a resounding hit on Broadway.
18 His first instrument was the sax, which he started in high school.
17 His eye has become an urban legend. No one is entirely sure why it’s like that. The internet is flooded with theories that range from playground accident, attacked with a compass, to a case of heterochromia.
16 His 50th birthday was a televised event, and it scored big on the ratings.
15 John Lennon co-wrote “Fame” with Bowie.
14 “Under Pressure,” his collaboration with Queen was recorded in less than a week after the band and Bowie decided to chill out in the countryside and pass the time. The creative juices would not let them unwind.
13 His album “Next Day,” was released and kicked off into the top 10, with no-one even knowing he was about to throttle the music industry with something new, not even his PR team.
12 The idea of Ziggy Stardust, David’s strange persona, was inspired by a washed out pop star and acid freak by the name of Vince Taylor.
11 The track “TCV15”, was inspired by a dream Iggy Pop had, which he recounted to David. In the nightmare he saw his girlfriend being eaten by a T.V. set.
10 David didn’t drink any tea, a stark contrast from most Brits, on account of an undisclosed “horrible” accident with the liquid he had when he was 5.
09 Lady Gaga: “I look at Bowie as an icon in art. It’s not just about the music. It’s about the performance, the attitude, the look. And that is where I live as an artist.”
08 When David asked his fans which track he should play for his World Tour in the 90’s, “Laughing Gnome” was the most voted. Surprisingly, David didn’t play the track.
07 David worked all the instruments in “Diamond Dogs” even the famous guitar riff.
06 On his iPod’s most -played list were: Lorraine Ellison’s ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Dinner At Eight’ by Rufus Wainwright, and ‘Gathering Storm’ by Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
05 David, in his last years, was rather reclusive. One of his closing appearances was for the premiere of his son’s movie, “Moon” at the Tribeca Film Festival.
04 At the high of his cocaine addiction, David Bowie was so absolutely bonkers that he actually stored and kept his urine in a fridge, just in case a black wizard wanted to practice voodoo on him.
03 While working on the film “The Prestige” producers were so enamored of David that they actually sent a blue helicopter to pick him up. Local tales said he only traveled by air and just by blue crafts. Upon seeing the odd vehicle, David remarked: “I really don’t give a shit. Do I look daffy? Who told you that?”
02 David dropped out of school with just one qualification under his belt… a CERO in art.
01 “Space Oddity” became David’s breakout hit. He can give thanks to Neil Armstrong and the folks at BBC. His famous track was used to cover the Moon Landing in 69. The next day, it broke all sale records.
Thank you, David, you will be missed.