DAVID BOWIE – Siren, Poet, Pop/Rock Pioneer
David Bowie was my first love, at a time when I was an angst filled teenager of fourteen who had taken to living in her bedroom.
His music stimulated my synapses. Sent me on a journey of self- discovery by transporting me to regions I had never before encountered. It was as if my over active imagination had suddenly found a kindred spirit to play with.
His catchy radio tunes turned me onto his ever growing anthology of eccentric and masterful songs. Like a siren calling out to me through a fog, I heard his haunting cry and became obsessed. He loosened all shackles of conformity by inviting me into an irresistible realm where anything was possible. Even when gripped by alienation, he encouraged me, for this was the preserve for individuality. When I was derided and ostracised, I would return to my temple where fearless Bowie would always assure me that I was not alone.
My first foray into Bowieland happened with the purchase of Space Oddity. I recall listening to it, waiting eagerly for the eponymous song that had brought me there in the first place. And by the third listening, l had fallen into the grip of his genius. His words beguiled. Like Alice in Wonderland, I fell through a burrow of consciousness and was met by a curious cast of characters.
His sculptural hair emboldened me, trancelike, to cut my hair daily. It was to become a work in progress, until miraculously my coiffure emulated his, red dye and all. By Diamond dogs, I had become a child of the apocalypse. My bedroom had become a shrine to Bowie.
I recall memorising the narration on Diamond Dogs. It spoke to my soul and brought to light the dystopian reality of suburbia. This melted away whenever I entered my sanctuary, the scene of my education. Tutored by the refined and sophisticated Bowie, who taught me to see myself not as a freak, but as a rose of invention; a wild rebellious flower amongst a field of monotony.
It was Bowie that impelled and inspired me to dedicate myself unwaveringly to the arts.
He told me to embrace my singularity with ardour, and to question, at times scorn, those who made the rules. It was a form of intellectual pornography for lost souls.
Bowie introduced me to Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground and a multitude of other weird and beautiful creatures of invention. And now as I reflect on those wild formative years, I have to admit it was David Bowie, not Jesus Christ nor Aristotle who guided me.
When viewed from the comfortable distance of time, rebels are exciting. Their indifference to danger excites. Great art has always been like this. Even with death standing close, art always wins, it is immortal after all.
There will never be another David Bowie. His unique and brave approach to art and culture is something truly to be marvelled at. And like all great artists, he is timeless.