We lost a musical genius at the beginning of 2016.
Read related article: ‘The Best There Is’: World Mourns Artistic Maverick David Bowie (Plus Video Tribute)
Loving the Alien
My earliest memory of the legendary David Robert Jones was when my mother bought a record of his and I saw the cover (I think it was ‘Space Oddity’). I was 9 years old and fell madly in love with this androgynous, mysterious, beautiful, outrageous looking creature.
He was the poetic and rebellious inspiration I needed in my teens and I never outgrew his innovative and ground-breaking style of music. He inspired me to write, to be a musician and to be insanely weird…and proud of it.
I have been practicing madly this week for a David Bowie tribute concert that I have agreed to do (I play the bass guitar) next Saturday in Cape Town. Within a couple of weeks of the show being announced it was sold out — a real testament to the popularity of this British musical icon even in the Southern most tip of Africa!
I had the privilege of seeing him live in action at Wembley Stadium, London, when he was on his ‘Reality’ tour. He was well into his 60’s at the time but his performance was monumental — an evening I shall never forget.
Rehearsing for this gig has given me a new-found respect for Mr. Bowie as his songs are some of the most complicated and difficult I’ve ever attempted. But what speaks to the soul must be pursued.
So, having Bowie on my mind — I’d like to share some zany quotes from the Thin White Duke:
- “I’m in awe of the universe, but I don’t necessarily believe there’s an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic.”
- “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, ‘F*ck that. I want to be a superhuman.”
- “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
- “On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.”
- “Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.”
- “Speak in extremes, it’ll save you time. ”
- “I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.”
- “I’m a real self-educated kind of guy. I read voraciously. Every book I ever bought, I have. I can’t throw it away. It’s physically impossible to leave my hand! Some of them are in warehouses. I’ve got a library that I keep the ones I really really like. I look around my library some nights and I do these terrible things to myself–I count up the books and think, how long I might have to live and think, ‘F#ck, I can’t read two-thirds of these books.’ It overwhelms me with sadness.”
- When asked what the quality you most like in a man? “The ability to return books.”
- “You can neither win nor lose if you don’t run the race.”
Okay, no. 8 and 9 aren’t exactly THAT spiritual but I liked them anyway. Anyone with a fetish for reading and books would understand the hair-pulling anxiety of lending books.
I love no. 7 because we should all strive to please ourselves and stop trying to placate those around us forsaking our own needs and creativity. That should not be taken as a selfish thing but a self love thing. When you’re happy, you’re going to exude joy and that will affect all of those in your sphere.
Thank you, David Bowie, for all the inspiration and boundary pushing!
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