David Bowie left this Earth four years ago.
Earlier this month, January 10, 2020, marked the fourth anniversary of David Bowie death, his leaving this life behind; he passed away on January 10, 2016. Hard to believe it’s been that long already! Seems he’s always been with us, and always will be…
Bowie was making music before I was born. Like many of my generation, I grew up hearing the music of Bowie on the radio, a constant, dependable thing that would always be there for us, or so we thought. When music videos became popular, Bowie was there too, with his creative visions merging with his sounds. And there were his many memorable roles in films and TV shows, too (Labyrinth and Twin Peaks are two that stand out for me).
One of my earliest memories of encountering a Bowie recording was seeing the video of him singing “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” with Bing Crosby, done in 1977. It’s been described as a surreal happening, and indeed, I felt it was too; two icons from different eras, together. But despite the strangeness, and how out of place it seemed, the combination really did work well! The single was eventually one of Bowie’s biggest hits. Crosby passed away just weeks after they’d done the duet.
I saw Bowie perform, sadly only once, during his Sound+Vision Tour in 1990. I knew I had to make the effort to see and hear Bowie live! The concert had some startling moments that are still vivid in my mind thirty years later. The visuals were cutting edge at the time; images of Bowie on screens and projections on a huge, transparent scrim went swirling, growing/shrinking, backwards and forwards, and much more. It was mesmerizing! I’d never seen anything like it! The visual effects would go on to influence many concerts of others that I was to see in subsequent years. Also, the dancing of Louise Lecavalier/La La La Human Steps added a lot. The sound, being Bowie, was great, and very precise. However, there was a technical glitch in the show, and it had to be stopped for a few minutes to fix it. But that was fine, as it didn’t last long, and soon the show was back on again, plus we got the bonus of Bowie addressing the crowd because of it.
I read a science-fiction story in a graphic-novel type of magazine in the late 1980’s, it must have been (I believe it was by Ric Veitch in Epic Illustrated, but I’d have to dig out the issue to be sure), and there was a story set in the future. In the story someone was playing music that was stored on little cubes, which was a bit of a new idea back then. One of the cubes had a picture of Bowie on it, and a character in the story referred to it as he played it, saying how dead singers were still the best. That wasn’t true when I first read the story, but it’s true now – funny how things change and also how they stay the same.
But if you know about Bowie, then you’ll also know that he was a very spiritual person and didn’t think death was the end when we leave this world. I like to think that he’s still out there, somewhere. I wonder what he’s up to?
R.I.P. David Bowie (four years on now)