A Fan of the Man

Bowie, David Bowie. Who else?

Because of the era I lived through as an adolescent, a much younger soul will sometimes ask if I went to Woodstock. I wore the clothes, listened to some of the music, memorized favorites songs and yearned to own a VW bug or van when the time came. But no, Woodstock and that whole scene is in my memory bank only because it made the nightly news.

Multi- media wizards were grooming me to become a consumer, and the Columbia Records music supplement in the weekend paper comes to mind. Remember that? It ushered me into the marketplace.

David Bowie’s musical career overlapped with that marketing tool, I guess, but I never searched row after row of genres and titles looking for his music. I didn’t get him. I didn’t get his music. Neil Diamond appealed to me more. There, I am pegged.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spider Monkeys? I don’t recall even hearing about them. So I am a traitor to my fellow baby boomers who are music aficionados. But I DID know “Ground Control to Major Tom.” I couldn’t help it. It was on the radio all…the…time. The guitar at the beginning, loved it. The harmony I could hear during parts of the song, loved it. The message of the lyrics, the melody in spots, did not love it. I thought it eerie, and it sent my mind on a what-if journey it didn’t want to go on, every single time I heard it.

Monday, however, I had in my hands the only two Blackstar cd’s available in that store. Bowie’s latest and last release appeared January 8, just two days before his death. I hosted a mental debate. Is this really any good? Would my aficionados appreciate having one? Or is it too far out for them now? Have they outgrown Bowie? So I put them back on the shelf, only to return first thing next day to see if they were still there. No.

In one short day I became a fan, of the man and his music, his artistry, his insights, his brilliance, his compassion. Reading about him and listening to former interviews changed my perspective completely. I get it now. Three cd’s are on order – two for the music geeks and one for me.

This was written for my Close to Home column in The Prospect-News, the local weekly in Doniphan, MO.  It appeared shortly following David Bowie’s death on  January 10, 2016.

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About gleefulee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making passionate, lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. Now totally retired and looking for my summers to be full of fun as well! Born and raised in St. Louis, MO
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