One of the most innovative, true creators ever to walk this planet, or fly through space, David Bowie was the definition of an artist. Constantly self-inventing himself, he encompassed feminine flair with masculinity, subtlety with an edge, the weird but beautiful, and with all that stage presence, an air of complete mystery and enigma.
I’ll never forget several occasions involving the Space Oddity. Besides my brothers and I playing his songs in our basement on Friday nights while watching Indiana Jones and eating Twizzlers, his persona reached out and grabbed me when I first watched Labyrinth. You couldn’t take your eyes off of the Goblin King, couldn’t understand where he came from. He equally scared the shit out of me and entranced me, just as the Goblin King would have done in real life. Bowie’s characters came through the screen, the headphones, the magazines.
The big moment for me though was directly after September 11. I remember my dad taping The Concert for New York at MSG and I didn’t watch it until a few days later. But it wasn’t Elton John, Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney that did it for me. The opening song was Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” performed by David Bowie. In that situation and during that time, with all the firefighters and policemen in the stadium, David delivers an awe aspiring and body tingling performance.
You know, it’s not until you lose a legend and look back, do you realize what a profound impact they had. I mean, when was the last time any of us were discussing David Bowie’s brilliance? But the funny thing is, I think anyone and everyone who has ever come across Bowie’s work – be it in music, fashion, film, art – has been touched and influenced by him. Touched and influenced in a way we don’t even understand. On a subconscious level…where we know that it’s ok to be ourselves, whatever definition of self you have. True artist.
Here is David Bowie performing “America”.