I learned that he died from @element75's list. Here's what I've got.
- •As a very old man who grew up in the 1970s, I saw his early, groundbreaking music videos when they were used as filler on Showtime. I was eight years old, getting exposed to "Fashion," "Boys Keep Swinging" and (especially) "Ashes to Ashes." It was fascinating, terrifying and exciting.Smearing that lipstick in "Swinging!" And I still think "Ashes to Ashes" is the truest, most powerful song ever written about addiction.
- •I got a Greatest Hits compilation when I was maybe 12 years old. It was so baffling. I remember listening to "Starman" and "TVC 15" over and over, trying to figure out what the fuck he was talking about.The lyrics were so non-linear/ enigmatic compared to everything else I was exposed to.
- •I recorded the entirety of the "Let's Dance" LP off a Lexington, Kentucky FM radio station. I had to stay up until midnight on a school night to do so. It was so fuckin' worth it.What an album! Put it on at any moment and it's impossible to turn off.
- •Through all the phases of life I went through, Bowie was always there. I'd find yet another one of his albums that resonated in a special way - "Station to Station," when I first moved to LA; "Young Americans," when I'd been here a while.This elastic nature of connection to his music made him seem supernatural to me, and in retrospect - immortal.
- •When I was at one of the darker points in my life - like, working in a semi-criminal enterprise, which I've written about before - I saw an advance screening of the David Lynch movie, "Lost Highway." It had a profound effect on me. And the Bowie theme song, "I'm Deranged," perfectly captured my mental state at the time.
- •I worked on a TV show one time where he made an appearance. As he read the lame copy I and my fellow writers had prepared for him, I stood backstage and watched as he fully committed to it, his body bobbing and weaving like a dance routine as he read off a teleprompter.I could not believe his good humor and positivity!
- •I only attended one of his live concerts - about 12 years ago, in Los Angeles, with my wife. I LOVED how he spent at least 50% of the concert just talking between songs; screwing around; sharing humorous show business anecdotes and memories. He reminded me of Ricky Gervais!He seemed to want to keep this up all night, and almost preferred the jokes to the music. You rarely see a performer so thoroughly enjoy the presence of the audience.
- •Just two days ago, I contributed to @bjnovak's list of Favorite Bowie Lyrics (Favorite David Bowie Lyrics). The song I quoted, "Bring Me the Disco King," is all about David facing his mortality with clear eyes. The refrain - "Don't let me know we're invisible" - suggests to me that he wants his memory to live on.That's why, in the healthiest way possible, I will choose to "deny" his death... to say that he's still here, through his burning, unstoppable life energy. He refused to be categorized by ridiculous, small-minded, arbitrary paradigms in life. Why would he do so in death? Rest in peace, David Bowie!
- •EDITED TO ADD: Just learned that Bowie and Gervais were close friends for many years. No wonder Gervais came to mind during that concert! It's so cool how Bowie - with his massive influence - was so joyfully influenced by other artists, right up to the end.