farewell mister bowie.
by victoria comment

1/13/16

david bowie painting by Elizabeth Peyton / sfgirlbybay

David Bowie (2012) by artist Elizabeth Peyton.

so much will be said about the life and death of david bowie in the next few days, even years, decades to come. i haven’t been able to stop thinking of him since i heard the sadly unexpected news on the car radio monday morning. i was so shocked i drove directly to my local coffee shop because i felt the need to be around people all of a sudden. and as i walked in the door, his music played on the cafe speakers and i felt instantly solaced. he was an icon to so many of us — those of us who felt like outsiders or at all awkward growing up — when unique or eccentric wasn’t exactly cool; and to the countless musicians, he most definitely inspired. he meant a lot of different things to many different people. heck, he was a lot of different people, all rolled into one very gentlemanly genius of a man. for me, he was a hero i expected to be around forever. in fact, just last friday on his 69th birthday when a song of his came on my playlist, i actually thought to myself, “i wonder what the world will be like when people like him, that i grew up with, are no longer here?”. i’m not entirely sure — we’ll move on, of course, but i think we’ll miss his grace, his comforting and inspiring omnipresence. one of the very first albums i purchased by myself was david bowie’s 1975 release of Young Americans. i remember clearly i worked at h.salt fish ‘n chips and i saved up for it. i went to licorice pizza records on topanga canyon and bought it one day after school. and then i listened to it nonstop.

final photograph of david bowie by jimmy king / sfgirlbybay

the last photographs taken of david bowie by jim king on his 69th birthday last week, looking so handsome and vibrant (above + below).

later on in the eighties, his let’s dance album was played nonstop as well (probably on 8track!). i saw him play his serious moonlight tour live at angel stadium with the gogo’s and it was pure magic. i can remember my ridiculous outfit down to a T, and the cropped suit jacket and fedora i wore in his honor. anyway, it’s funny how these memories stay with you and what you think about when you lose an artist you admired so much. he inspired me in so many ways — from fashion to music, to simply taking the path less expected, less traveled, and i just wanted to share my memories of him, and invite you to share a few of your own if you like. we’ll miss you mister bowie. you left us too soon, but in a manner full of grace and style, and i wouldn’t have expected anything less from you.

photo of david bowie on his 69th birthday taken by jimmy king / sfgirlbybay

8 responses to “farewell mister bowie.”

  1. Such a shock to hear of his death and battle with cancer. I’m currently listening to I Can’t Give Everything Away from his new album Blackstar. I appreciate that we can still enjoy artists talents even after they’ve past. It’s a real gift.

  2. Thanks for the lovely tribute to a lovely man. At sixty-eight, I’ve had too many of these moments already. Yes, we do go on, but in a somewhat diminished world. David Bowie always said he was primarily a writer who used music as a medium of expression. To the rest of us he was a hero,an inspiration, an icon, a role model…… you get the idea. RIP.

  3. hi victoria:
    i just knew you had to be a fan and was looking forward to your thoughts on his passing. so much of his music is the soundtrack of our lives. it has been bittersweet to listen to so many of his songs again and knowing he is gone. what a master and, more importantly, a good friend to many and a loved, so loved, family man. may his memory be a blessing…

  4. Hi Victoria, such beautiful words.
    I bought my first Bowie record when I was 20. It was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I was completely blown away. It was so different to everything else, and every song was so different to the others even in the same record. I was haunted. It still remains my second favourite album of all time. On Monday I woke up, checked whatsapp and here it was. Some message saying ‘David Bowie has died’. At first I couldn´t believe it and then I couldn´t stop crying. I didn’t even know I was going to react like that but… he was such a great character, such an incredible artist, so unique. Truly inspiring. I don’t know how his family and friends are going to cope with it.

  5. Lovely post, thank you – one of my first memories is of my dad insisting that us little kids (me and my brothers) dance like crazy to Bowie on a Saturday morning while mum was out getting the weekly food shop. Loved Bowie ever since… what a great guy. x

  6. OMG, Victoria, now Alan Rickman has died…of cancer……at 69! Back in the late 70s-early 80s the BBC filmed all the Shakespeare plays with the aid of the Royal Shakespeare Theater. In Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt was played by the most sinisterly, sexily, delicious young actor named Alan Rickman. I fell in love and stayed there. Everything he’s been in since only confirmed my devotion. Truly, Madly, Deeply is my favorite chick-flick ever because of his manic, heart-breaking performance as a ghost. This is a wretched week!

  7. About 15 / 20 years ago, I couldn’t find a needle for my turntable so I ended up giving most of my vinyl away.*

    I only keep a few (10 maybe) of my favorite records because I couldn’t bear to part with them even if I couldn’t actually listen to them.

    One was “Heros” in German. Not his most famous song, but the one that always resonated the most with me.

    Dann sind wir Helden
    Nur diesen tag.

    His courage made him a hero to me, and not for just one day.

    RIP

    (Then, just a few years later vinyl came back in vogue. I’m so behind the times…)

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