The New Moon is a time of change, often painful. It’s a threshold whereby things will never be the same once crossed over. I’ve described it in the past on this blog as being akin to like a snake shedding its skin.
The New Moon that met the newly born year of 2016 ended up being just such a one, for David Bowie passed from this world just as the New Moon ended. I’m at a loss to see how this change is like my usual analogy of a shedding snake. Yes, this is painful, but not more beautiful. If anything, the world feels like it’s an uglier place without David.
Passed away at 69, Bowie is a man who left his mark on music, leaving behind “27 studio albums, 9 live albums, 46 compilation albums, 5 extended plays (EPs), 111 singles, including 5 UK number one singles, and 3 soundtracks. Bowie also released 13 video albums and 51 music videos”, according to Wikipedia, which goes on to point out that “Bowie released his final album, Blackstar on 8 January 2016, his 69th birthday and two days before his death on 10 January”. This was a man who suffered through cancer and beat it.
“But he lost!” you might say, “It killed him!”
No, he beat it. Death will eventually take us all. Even the gods are not immune to it, so to think that we can try to escape it is laughable, a joke with not much humor behind it. David Bowie however was a man who gleefully drowned himself in the creative waters of the Human Race over and over again, stalwartly refusing to die young, as if to say “I can’t die yet. Not now, not here. I still have more ideas, and more music, and I won’t leave until it’s all out there.”
Artists dying young is the norm, bringing to mind Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, and all the other members of the so-called “27 Club”: a collection of tragic losses of talent before the age of 30.
Bowie beat the odds. He beat the odds, after pushing boundaries and living fast and rough through the 60’s and 70’s – a time where pushing boundaries and living fast and rough was even faster and rougher than we think of today – eventually kicking the drugs, and hitting the straight and narrow again while never losing that “weird” edge that is so iconic to his legacy and so inspirational to so many of us today. He beat the odds, and he beat them while battling cancer.
That’s no loss. If anything, it’s one of the greatest victories any man can strive for. He died doing what he lived for: getting one last album, one last song, out for the world to enjoy.
I know people who aren’t fond of Bowie’s music; none of his 52 years of music will do for them. But to call him any less than a music legend is a disservice to the art he has produced, the people he has inspired, and the lives he has changed.
And all the art, all the music, films, voiceovers, tv shows, and collaborations he has produced will stay with us, continuing to inspire and change forever.
David Bowie will be a hero to many, including myself, forever and ever.
And that is the beauty beyond the pain of his passing.
Between Bowie and Freddie Mercury, the halls of the gods are filled with music. May such legends NEVER stop or falter.