I found out that David Bowie had passed away at around 6 am this morning. I don’t think a celebrities passing has hit me that hard since John Lennon was murdered outside the Dakota in New York in 1980. David Bowie came from the area I grew up in, namely Bromley in Kent. In fact he went to my younger brothers school Ravenswood around 20 years earlier than my brother. He was a big part of my early teenage years. I lost my virginity in the wee hours many years ago, at a party in Dulwich, South London with “Drive in Saturday” playing over and over on a record player in the background. Whenever I have heard that tune since it always makes me smile.
I saw Bowie live twice, first time at Hammersmith Odeon when he famously retired “Ziggy Stardust” in 1973. Footage of that show can be seen in his film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. My buddy Steve Colley (may he also rest in peace) attended that concert with me, he had the full on bright orange hair spiked at the front and long at the back, he was a Bowie fanatic. The second time was at the Vancouver Coliseum in the mid-nineties. Both concerts were brilliant Bowie was an excellent live performer and showman.
I was never a massive fan, but I respected him and his music. Space Oddity is probably one of my all time favorite tunes. As I write this I am listening to his catalog the first time I have done so in years.
Strange that his passing hit me so hard earlier. Maybe because it was so unexpected, he kept his illness (liver cancer) very quiet. Also I suppose it is another knock on the door of my own mortality.
RIP – David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016)