The last week everyone’s time lines on Facebook have been full of grief and shock at the passing of the icon David Bowie, mine included, I thought about posting yesterday but decided I wanted to reflect a little more about what I was going to write, I am putting this up today and will post the vlog over the weekend as I have a lot on my mind at the minute.
You see I realised that when someone like Bowie passes away and proves they are as mortal as the rest of us they take a little bit of us with them. When a star dies young, in an accident or from a drugs overdose, we sagely nod our heads and mourn a young life lost, but the loss of someone of Bowie’s stature is different. For most of us it is true we did not know him personally, in fact he was an intensely private person, he shared his music and creative persona’s but very little of the behind closed doors life so many share so openly these days. The fact is that when an idol dies that it was not a person who died for many of us it was part of ourselves, part of someone who made us what we are. I heard Bowie’s music long before I have a visual image of him, there was no MTV back then and you listened to music on the radio and maybe bought Smash Hits magazine, but lets face it if I bought the magazine I was far too busy drooling over JT to look at Bowie that was until he stepped out onto my screen in those trousers and I fell in love with the Goblin King! I thought Sarah was an idiot for demanding her little brothers return and not surrendering her heart to the all singing all dancing deity, even now as an adult I still feel the same way even though I know I should question falling for a kidnapper who wants to seduce young girls, there was one scene in particular that has always stayed with me and one day I want to live this, and though I am going to a masquerade ball in a few weeks I know it will not be as magical as this one.
Even if my heart is forever trapped with an image of Bowie from the 80’s he continued to push boundaries and his final album could be argued pushes the boundaries of life and death itself. Imagine filming a video about being on your death bed as you battle a disease that is killing you? When someone you think of as immortal has the audacity to prove to be only a mere mortal and die on you it makes you question everything in ways that losing even your own family members fails to, we expect our grandparents and parents to go before us but those we adore we expect to live forever, and in one way they do because they leave a legacy and continue every time we introduce a new generation to their work, think of generations who will only ever know Judy Garland as Dorothy because that is the image we share with them, Marilyn Monroe with her dress forever blowing up over that grate despite being dead before many of us were born.
Just before I finish I need to address the other celebrity death that happened a couple of days later and was just as upsetting, that of Alan Rickman. Both these celebs were taken by the evil that is cancer and the fact their illnesses seemed to have been kept under wraps made the deaths all the more shocking, in some ways both created characters that will live on long beyond the few years they spent on the planet so I just wanted to share a couple that come to my mind at the mention of Alan, the first less obvious than the second will be.