Remembering The Man Who Played Guitar Left Hand With The Spiders From Mars
Some words on a man on who I hold dear, like so many others.
I had just turned 19 and not wanting to remember the night I decided to get drunk. But one memory stuck; stumbling into Oxford Art Factory, hearing David Bowie’s Young Americans with my only other friend who was as pissed as I was and us both losing our minds. I don’t think I’ve ever danced with so much energy and so little coordination in my life. It’s one of the best songs I’ve ever heard busted out at a club.
Amidst the massive outpouring of grief from David Bowie’s death, my story, my experience of a man I never met but who touched my life is one of many. And as I type this I guess I’m trying to make sense of the death of such a colossal figure. I’m trying to understand how a man who didn’t so much as change who he was with each album but changed the world around him with each release existed. I’m trying to understand how a man who wasn’t just a musician but an artist, an actor and so much more could walk the earth. I’m trying to understand how he could die.
At this point I could try and divulge all the fantastic stories there are about David Bowie but I don’t really feel comfortable talking about the life of a man I’ve never met, only adored from afar. What I do feel capable of doing is talking about how he touched so many despite never meeting most of us.
I remember when I was little, so little I couldn’t even tell you how young I was, I stole a CD from my Dad. It was the first album that I ever had, even if I did steal it from my Dad, I owned one and I felt so proud. And you know it was a David Bowie album. I never told anyone that. I even hid it in the garden so they wouldn’t find it but you know what? I ended up losing the goddamn thing and now we don’t even live there anymore...maybe in years to come someone else will go digging in the garden and find it.
As I was thinking about this article I came across one of the few negative comments about David Bowie and it asked, “Why are we all mourning someone who was just an entertainer? Thousands of people die everyday.” Obviously an argument for the sake of an argument (see also: the rest of the internet), but it's worth nothing Bowie was an entertainer who touched millions. His ideas, his music and his ability to be who he wanted to be reached out to so many people. So when a man like Bowie dies it makes sense for the world to take notice.
There are many songs by Bowie that will stay with me for a long time but Young Americans will always have a special place in my heart. And as I type this crying, I’m not just sobbing because I’m sad but because I’m happy that someone out there could affect me in such a way.