Tribute from a stranger – By @DrewDavies94
By Drew Davies
Tribute from a stranger
Yesterday, 11th January 2016, a legend died. David Bowie – and to be honest I didn’t really know him before.
That’s not something I’m proud to admit because he has been one of the most important musical figures in history, and I would consider myself a fan of music.
I started the day oblivious. I ended it crying in my dressing gown.
Sure, I’ve heard a couple of his songs before; Life on Mars, Heroes, Starman and the likes, but I never really appreciated them – except for Let’s Dance, that’s a certified banger.
That’s the thing about new music though, sometimes you’ve got to listen a bit harder. Sometimes you need time to understand it. Comprehend it.
New things are scary to us.
But not to David Bowie.
Here’s a man who reveled in the new.
Listening to some of his music is a bit strange and I’m listening to it years after it’s been made. He’s already broken the mould. Today’s artists have all been influenced by him and I’ve heard their music. Though that term would be an overstatement for a lot of the garbage out there these days.
It blows me away to think about how much more strange, fresh and revolutionary his music must have been when released.
This isn’t just one album, one sound or even one person.
He changed personas – each with different characteristics, musical styles and fashion – another area he had huge influence.
A lot of artists make single or an album. A lot of creatives will have a few good campaigns.
They’ve got creative talent – but to be great takes so much more.
David Bowie may have been a bisexual, transgender alien at one point but the man has fucking balls.
That’s what reinventing yourself takes. To take a successful formula and throw it in the bin. To stop doing the methods you’ve been doing to seek new direction and opportunities.
Louis CK says that’s the advice he took from George Carlin that completely changed his career. George said he took all his material every year and threw it in the bin. Started afresh. This forced him to evolve. George Carlin is the greatest comedian of all time, Louis CK is the best at present.
Throw your success away and start again.
That’s bloody brave.
How did Bowie continually produce?
Much like John Webster he was an infamous collector. Anything that caught his interest he would make note of, and his wide variety of interests meant he had a very large pool of creative ammunition.
Taking these bits and rearranging them in new ways or adding a Bowie twist created original sounds, often bizarre in their composition, that always kept people on their toes.
Yesterday evening people gathered outside the Ritzy in Brixton, Bowie’s birthplace. A speaker was hauled onto a platform, followed by us. Someone projected a huge image of his face on a wall. Everyone was singing, dancing and enjoying his music in memory of him.
The atmosphere was incredible. A celebration of a great life rather than mourning a great loss.
In his last song he says he will be looking down from the heavens.
What better sight could there be than that?