No one really wants to think about death too much. For some reason our western attitudes have taught us to collectively push into the realms of taboo. Yet it remains an absolute certainty; with life comes death, and in that life we shine as best we can.
Someone who shone more than most was musician and showman David Bowie. Trying to detail all of his life here between South London and New York City requires a weighty biographical tome, but due to his long creative and innovative life, with his first album released in 1967, it means that every generation has their own Bowie.
Those at the start had the glam pomp of Ziggy Stardust; later came ‘soul’ Bowie with Young Americans, the triumvirate of Krautrock like Berlin albums; next, the pop Bowie that saw his commercial star shine brightest (but was, by his own admission, the lowest creatively for him). Later came Tin Machine (am I the only person who likes that first album?) followed by a number of albums that touched on a number of genres illustrating a restless ambition to always experiment.
We are, of course, in the business of showmanship, and David Bowie is the undisputed king of it; tiring of personas - the way we might with an item of clothing - and forever pushing the boundaries in sartorial taste to warrant sweet disdain from generations of parents from around the world.
A lot has been said about the mystery of the man and his ability to be front and centre of culture while also existing at its edges. A magician of sorts, other worldly of course, who has the ability to continually surprise – with a new album on Friday – and his final exit elsewhere today.
If you walk onto a stage – whether you're a musician or motivational speaker – there are a number of people you are indebted to who’ve gone before and showed us how it’s done; David Bowie is one of those people, and for that, and his music, he will be sorely missed.
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016