David Bowie: 1947 – 2016

Published on January 11th, 2016 in: Eulogy, Magick, Movies, Music |

By Jeffery X Martin


When I went to sleep, David Bowie was alive. When I awoke, he was not. Strange, the way things slip.

Knock on the walls. Flick your coffee cup with your fingernail. Stomp on the floor. Do you hear it? Something’s missing. There is a hollowness to the world now, with Bowie gone.

I’ve had the news now for about 20 minutes as I write this. I became the de facto Bowie Guy here at the International Popshifter Headquarters. That was a great position to have, too. I’d been listening to all weekend, forming cogent opinions and educated guesses as to where Bowie would go after that record. Doesn’t matter now, does it?

Where are we now?

It feels like we just got to know him again, an old friend just come back from somewhere. His stories were crazy, his ideas a little dangerous, but he was still someone you wanted to hang out with. He was a man who needed prodding, exploration. Bowie was a purposeful mystery, and he would not give up his secrets easily.

I didn’t even know he was sick. An 18-month-long battle with cancer? Still making albums? My gods, what would you do in that situation? What would I do? “More morphine, please, nurse.”

Certainly not, “Let’s do another take on this track.”

Two days after the release of ★ and two days after his birthday, the Thin White Duke has finally gone from station to station and you will allow me small jokes like that because they are the only thing keeping me from crying over yet another dead rock star, another fallen hero, another part of my waking life snipped away.

Where are we now?

We are lessened. Bits of color have been muted. There’s no reason to dye my hair red, or wear a caftan. We’ve lost that demon on our left shoulder, the one who says, “Who cares if no one has done it? You can.”

That imp may be gone from this physical arena, but his challenge remains. Besides his voluminous album catalog and his work in film, Bowie leaves us that. A dare to be what we are, to be the freakiest and best we can be, to be the image of ourselves we keep inside and never show anyone. Maybe, just maybe, on some level, we can be heroes to ourselves, if no one else, by following weird paths and taking colorful risks.

How odd, yet how fitting, that a man who based his career on becoming characters, should leave us with the conviction that the finest thing you can be is yourself.

3 Responses to “David Bowie: 1947 – 2016”

  1. Beverly:
    January 11th, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Beautifully said. Thank you.

  2. Paul:
    January 11th, 2016 at 11:08 am

    An eloquent, wonderful piece. This article could also have been entitled “Loving The Alien”.

  3. Kathy McGilvray:
    January 12th, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    A perfect eulogy! The world will never be the same!

Leave a Comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.