David Bowie is one in a billion. Crowned the world chameleon of rock n’ roll, despite his inability to really fit into one labelled formula, Bowie spent over 45 years constantly challenging himself and pushing new boundaries. And whilst there’s very few that have the courage to live a life without compromise, he dove head first into a world of it; creating an impact on music, art and culture that is simply undeniable. But Bowie wasn’t just a ‘pop Picasso’ or ‘rock chameleon’ – Bowie was Bowie, and that was more than enough.
What elevated Bowie above other entertainers was his diversity – something that can’t quite be compared to anything or anybody else we know. Applying a level of sheer artistry to all aspects of his work; the unique voice, epic songwriting skills, wide-spread personas, costumes, excessive makeup and marveled stage presence – Bowie brought everything so perfectly together to create beautifully cryptic world that hardly seemed real. A world that millions upon millions have been able to draw courage and inspiration from.
Despite admitting to being very “disconnected and numb” in multiple interviews, Bowie lived a life that was vibrant and energetic; fuelled by a creative brilliance and profound wisdom like no other. He had the power to make you feel freer and braver through his music and various characters, without stepping too far away from the roots that make us who we are. His freakishly talented work reminded us why it’s good to be weird and I don’t believe it’s a wild exaggeration to say many people in the world wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Bowie’s music or one of his spectacularly bizarre personas to relate too.
It’s hard to sum up this artist’s life when his influence and life of multitudes leaves you in such awe. There was never just one Bowie, but a ridiculously massive jigsaw with the numerous layers of him everyone can put together differently. There’s something very powerful about what Bowie put into the music industry…and saying goodbye to yet another genius leaves you wondering what’s next to truly grasp onto.
Just a few days before David Bowie passed away from his 18 month long battle with cancer, he released his final album Blackstar. But with typical style, Bowie didn’t just release it to coincide with his 69th birthday on January 8 – he was using it to say goodbye to the world. Have you seen the video yet? Make sure you check out the emotionally moving track here.
Whichever version of Bowie you loved best – the glam starman of Ziggy Stardust, the slick archduke, the whimsical balladeer – here’s a few of my favourite quotes and lyrics to honour his memory with. Thanks, David Bowie – you’re in space now X
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I thought fuck that – I want to be a superhuman.”
“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.”
“As an adolescent, I was painfully shy, withdrawn. I didn’t really have the nerve to sing my songs on stage and nobody else was doing them. I decided to do them in disguise so that I didn’t have to actually go through the humiliation of going on stage and being myself. I continued designing characters with their own complete personalities and environments. I put them into interviews with me! Rather than be me – which must be incredibly boring to anyone – I’d take Ziggy on, or Aladdin Sane or The Thin White Duke. It was a very strange thing to do.”
“There’s a terror in knowing what the world is about.”
“As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?”
“Make the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere.”
“For years and years I roamed, I gazed a gazeless stare.” – The Man Who Sold the World: I particularly love Nirvana’s cover of this song.
“We can beat them forever and ever, we can be heroes just for one day.” – Heroes.
“She had a horror of rooms, she was tired, you can’t hide beat. When I looked in her eyes, they were blue but nobody home.” – Scary Monsters.
“Let’s dance – put on your red shoes and dance the blues.” – Let’s Dance.
“I’m stepping through the door and I’m floating in a most peculiar way, and the stars looks very different today. For here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world, planet earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.” – Space Oddity.
“Look up here, I’m in heaven. I’ve got scars that can’t be seen, I’ve got drama that can’t be stolen. Everybody knows me now.” – Lazarus.
Want to spread the David Bowie love? Here are the best Australian David Bowie tribute events you need to know about.