This is a very sad Smug Pug Games post. I realize that everyone who is a Bowie fan is sad right now, and to the rest of the world who did not care about him then this post will just seem like more noise in hum of social media, but I'm doing this post for those of us who are truly saddened by the passing of a legend.
I discovered Bowie early on in college. I remember watching a Venture Brothers episode over at Joe Fowler's apartment and Doc Hammer had written an entire episode around the song "Space Oddity." It was a funny episode, but I remember at the time wondering why the opening lines were so confusing and stilted. Why were we being shown a pilot crashing into those ocean? Why were the lines of dialogue so short?
It was only when I was in the Venture Brothers Livejournal community (that's right, good ol' LJ) and someone mentioned how it was taken from a Bowie song. I listened to the song and fell in love. I wouldn't have classified myself as anything more than a casual Bowie listener until they had their season finale, where Bowie was revealed to be the mythical Sovereign of the Guild of Calamitous Intent. After that amazing season finale, I had to listen more to him.
From there I discovered that some of my favorite songs that I had heard on the radio were by him. Under Pressure, Let's Dance, and Life On Mars were amazing, and I went on to John, I'm Only Dancing and Young Americans. I then began to read about him, and was touched by the strange ups and downs of his career. His role as Jareth in the Labyrinth, his bizarre flirtation with Nazi fashion in the 80s, and how his songs pushed the boundaries on song writing.
I think the biggest thing I took away from David Bowie's songs was that you songs were more than just catchy jingles, and that you could tell a short story in them that could be happy, sad, and linger in your brain as you heard the story over and over again. I can't listen to Space Oddity without imagining the poor astronaut resigned to his fate, and how before he died he got to see space as the beautiful nightmare it is.
I have not heard Lazarus yet, but I plan on listening to it tonight while enjoying some Jameson.
And for those who I have seen mocking people who did not listen to Bowie, you should do what Bowie would have done in that moment and shown them the brutally honest nature of his work. Then get very excited for them, because they might just start listening to Bowie, and then they get to go through that phase we all went through: they get to listen to Bowie for the first time, and that's just fucking amazing!
RIP Ziggy Stardust, Klaus, the Starman, the Thin White Duke, Tesla, the Sovereign, the Goblin King, and best of all, David Bowie. Thank you for all the memories.
Sent from my iPad