RIP David Bowie

Ken AshfordIn PassingLeave a Comment

84892073Stunning news this morning.  The world is reacting to the news which came out only a few hours ago: David Bowie died yesterday at the age of 69 after an 18 month bout with cancer.  They’ll be a lot of talk and ink spilled about his flamboyant and “chameleon” looks, and how he was a pioneer of “glam rock”, but I prefer to think of him as the musician and singer over the past four decades.

His last album, “Lazarus”, which is also the name of his off-Broadway (and possibly Broadway bound) musical, was release just two days before his death and was an intentional goodbye to his fans, according to Bowie’s producer.  It opens with the lyrics: “Look up here, I’m in Heaven!”  The video (below) has him in a hospital bed and retreating into a dark closet.

His earlier albums, especially after his 1972 breakthrough “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” were treated as events. His songs, including “Changes,” “Fame,” “Heroes” “Modern Love,” “Golden Years,” “Under Pressure” (with Queen), “Let’s Dance”, “Blue Jean” and “Never Let Me Down.”were anthemic hits, played constantly on the radio and inspiring generations of musicians.

Then there was this:

… which, although strange, is somehow fitting within the Bowie canon.

Here’s his latest video, release a few days ago:

Even though the 80s were probably the best to Bowie, I remember him from the late 70s:

So long, Major Tom.

UPDATE:  His response to his first fan letter from America:


More Bowie:


This is today’s New York Times page C3, which obviously went to press before the news happened: “It’s a good time to be David Bowie.”