I’m listening to a stream from WXPN/Philly. They’re playing all-Bowie, all day, as a bunch of other stations probably are today. David Bowie (unlike Janis, Jimi, Jim or Amy who I somehow knew would crash and burn early) was one of those people in my musical universe that I just thought would go on forever. His death, after 18 months of battling liver cancer, came as a shock to all but those who knew him most intimately. The fact that one can keep such news private in this age of endless blood-hunts for celebrity news is news it itself. It also says a lot about the discerning nature of his friendships, the integrity of those he chose to be closest to him.
It was 1972 and I was a 15-year-old. freak. Not in the let-your-freak-flag-fly way, but in the eight-pointed-star-in-a-round-hole way. I’m not going to go into my fucked-up childhood or how the freakish feeling started from the time I had enough brain cells to carry memory around, but somehow I felt my way to a small group of people who stuck out in the same way, who wanted to crouch in corners but were called out before they could, who had basements pot and turntables and albums of music that was the only thing that made me feel –even if it was bad. Even today, certain lines, bridges, chord changes, will make me burst into tears. “Keep your ‘lectric eye on me babe” from Moonlight Daydream was one of those lines and David Bowie created some of that music. I’m so sad. Not for Bowie, because he’s moved on to wherever, but for myself, my teenage life, my friends, what would come after and what I was way closer to before.