David Bowie : End of an Era : Rock’s Most Mutable Star

It is no exaggeration to say that modern music probably begins with David Bowie. Treating sound as style, and career development as a succession of artfully conceived paradigm shifts, Bowie had provided the blueprint for enduring megastar success ever since, from Michael Jackson to Madonna to U2 to Prince, Bowie’s mastery of the essential elements of rock were second to none. you can call him a Pasticheur and a Poser both. But he was what he was and there was no apology about it. He’s the star who made us all believe, that begin different was okay, in fact it was more than okay, it was the best thing to be.

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Social Media has its ups and downs and almost everyone today is a narcissist, as a direct result of the social media but yesterday, as the news of David Bowie’s death hit the internet, something different happened. Almost every single post I saw, for hours upon hours, was about David Bowie. Every one of my feeds was totally and completely consumed.

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Perhaps this speaks to the kind of people I follow, but this wasn’t just restricted to Twitter, where the young people talked about his influence. It wasn’t just restricted to Facebook, where my parents and their friends expressed sadness. It was everywhere. For the first time, pictures of one person – a person whose aesthetic and physicality was integral to their career – wholly enveloped my Instagram feed. I must have seen a thousand images of his cheekbones yesterday.

The initial responses were shocked reactions to the unexpected news. But this quickly evolved, as everyone began to share their favourite Bowie songs and performances.

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Musicians and artists and creative people discussed how his music and his art influenced them. People began to share their personal experiences with his music, and with him. But more than that, they began to explain how his queerness and weirdness and breaking down of gender stereotypes helped them realise who they were, and helped them feel OK about living in their own skin. I got to understand how his subversive ambiguity, his confidence, and his success had a real and direct impact on people’s actual lives.

Celebrity tributes and statements came up from each and every social media platform. It was unnerving to see the kind of grief erupting. It was not only me who was upset but for the day, I was a part of the cult, the culture the generation mourning our music icon, the person hero to some and rocker to all. Here are some heart wrecking reactions to the death of Ziggy Stardust,  David Bowie.

Thank you, David Bowie, for making music interesting, flamboyant, important, redefining, rocking, preening, freeing, soul searching, exploratory, and beautiful! You live on in your own “Space Odyssey” & forever in our hearts. You made the world a better place to live in and that is the highest honor!

RIP David Bowie.

– Mike McCready

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As the world reels from the startling news that Bowie died Sunday after a secret 18-month battle with cancer, fans are seeing his final songs and videos in a new light and poring over them for hints of his impending death.

For the last 18 months (we learn only today) David Bowie has known that he was dying. He kept that information private, while spending his final months doing what he’d done his whole life — making outrageously original, beautiful, complicated art. He made a gorgeous album. He created a show, playing right now in New York. And then he released this, his final video, just a few days before he died — on his 69th birthday.

“Look up here,” he sings, “I’m in heaven.”

“Look up here, I’m in heaven,” he sings over the forlorn wail of a saxophone. “I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.” The lyrics from “Lazarus,” released just before David Bowie’s death, can now be understood as the haunting final words from a man who knew he was dying.

On Thursday, when the video was released, it seemed like another dark artistic statement from an artist who has long explored themes of anguish and doom. Today, it feels positively haunting.

 

Can you imagine, to be making art like this (fearless art that both comforts and challenges) right up to the moment of your death? How do you do that? How do you BE that? To work with your death so imaginatively, in order to perfectly time out the last beats of your life? What a magnificent creature of creation, right to the end.

I am sad today, but mostly I am overwhelmed by awe. This is what it means to be a great artist.

From the beginning, this was a man who showed us how to do life differently than anyone had ever done it before, and now look how he has done death.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Inspiration, to me, is THIS.

Goodbye to the master, and onward for the rest of us.

-Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Lorde wrote a beautiful statement about losing her hero. She says,

When a hero dies, everyone wants a quote. I woke up this morning with a tender head from tears and that big red cup of Japanese whiskey, gulped last night just after the news came. People were already asking me what I thought. It feels kind of garish to talk about oneself at a time like this, when the thing that has happened is so distinctly world-sized. But everything I’ve read or seen since the news has been deeply intrinsic in tone, almost selfish, like therapy. That’s who he was to all of us. He was a piece of bright pleated silk we could stretch out or fold up small inside ourselves when we needed to.
Mr. Bowie, I guess right now we have to hang this thing up for a minute.
The night I met him I played at an expensive Vogue benefit with a lot of fresh flowers, honouring Tilda. I was not quite seventeen, America was very new to me, and I was distinctly uneasy and distrustful toward everything happening in my life that was putting me in these flat-voiced, narrow-eyed, champagneish rooms. I played my three songs, thrashing and twitching in platform boots. Afterward, Anna clasped my hand and said “David wants to meet you,” and led me through people and round tables with candles and glasses and louder and louder talk, and he was there.

I’ve never met a hero of mine and liked it. It just sucks, the pressure is too huge, you can’t enjoy it. David was different. I’ll never forget the caressing of our hands as we spoke, or the light in his eyes. That night something changed in me – i felt a calmness grow, a sureness. I think in those brief moments, he heralded me into my next new life, an old rock and roll alien angel in a perfect grey suit. I realized everything I’d ever done, or would do from then on, would be done like maybe he was watching. I realized I was proud of my spiky strangeness because he had been proud of his. And I know I’m never going to stop learning dances, brand new dances.

It’s not going to change, how we feel about him. For the rest of our lives, we’ll always be crashing in that same car.

Thankyou, David Bowie.

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In equally soul wrenching words, Madonna says,

I’m devastated.
David Bowie changed the course of my life forever. I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan. Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit. It was the first concert I’d ever been too. I snuck out of the house with my girlfriend wearing a cape.
We got caught after and I was grounded for the summer. I didn’t care.
I already had many of his records and was so inspired by the way he played with gender confusion  : Was both masculine and feminine.Funny and serious.Clever and wise.
His lyrics were witty ironic and mysterious.
At the time he was the thin white Duke and he had mime artists on stage with him and very specific choreography
And I saw how he created a persona and used different art forms within the arena of rock and Roll to create entertainment.
I found him so inspiring and innovative.
Unique and provocative. A real Genius.
his music was always inspiring but seeing him live set me off on a journey that for me I hope will never end.
His photographs are hanging all over my house today.
He was so chic and beautiful and elegant.
So ahead of his time.
Thank you David Bowie.
I owe you a lot. .
The world will miss you.
Love
M

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English producer Brian Eno worked closely with Bowie in the 1970s, producing a series of hit albums with the musician in Berlin. In a statement released to BBC News, Eno described the duo’s decades-long friendship.

“We knew each other for over 40 years,” Eno said. “I feel a huge gap now.”

According to Eno, the two had recently corresponded about working on an album together again. Bowie released his 25th and final album, “Blackstar,” three days before his death. Eno received an email from Bowie last week, which at the time seemed normal but takes on a different tone in light of his death.

“It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, brian [sic]. they will never rot,’” Eno said. “I realise now he was saying goodbye.”

Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell is among the countless artists who have paid tribute to David Bowie following the legendary rocker’s death Sunday at the age of 69. “I placed him on a godlike level. His grace on the stage was spellbinding, effortless,” Farrell said of Bowie. “Music co-written with angels. Along with John Lennon, the two most inspiring men of my lifetime.”

 

“He was so beautiful. You’ll not find another man with such beauty and calmness,” Farrell wrote. “I so enjoyed putting on his music and singing along, adding harmony to his sexy scary world. It was a privilege to witness such cool.”

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Farrell’s Bowie tribute in full below.

David Bowie is gone. You’ve heard by now; it’s true. We will never again hear him sing to us. A loved one has died. We were moved – changed by his ways. When we speak of musical talent, only the greatest musicians can effect [sic] us to where we can not help but cry when their music reaches the most tender, unguarded spot in our hearts. I am angry, for our man was snatched from us tonight.

Honesty has everything to do with great music. When you listen to a singer, the vulnerability, the bravery it took to reveal their very special soul. It’s like being able to communicate with an alien, or a tiger. Tickle his chin. Pet him.

We were aloud [sic] to dance with him. He was so beautiful. You’ll not find another man with such beauty and calmness. I so enjoyed putting on his music and singing along, adding harmony to his sexy scary world. It was a privilege to witness such cool. I placed him on a godlike level. His grace on the stage was spellbinding, effortless. Music cowritten with angels. Along with John Lennon, the two most inspiring men of my lifetime. When I first started singing, I would rent out a small room with a PA, and a mic. I would put on Bowie recordings; the early ones- like Ziggy and try to sing along. It was so hard. I would try and reach his high notes- glad at that moment that no one could hear me screeching along to the music.

Can someone bring him back to life? Where is that prize winning scientist when you need him most? What could be more important? I’ll bet someone out there would pay a billion dollars to have him sing again. One more time. If I had the money – I would pay it gladly. We so painfully miss you David Bowie.
And Triple J music director Richard Kingsmill says Bowie’s effect on the music scene cannot be understated.

Everything he did through the ’70s kept changing and every one of those records is remarkable in its own right. You cannot hold up another artist like you can to David Bowie in those 10 years and go “this is everything that this person achieved just like Bowie did”.

Bowie was surpassing everyone. He wasn’t achieving mainstream success with every release that he put out, but the influence that every one of those phases in his career in the ’70s have influenced all of these different people throughout time.

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It was almost unreal for me. For an instant I saw my entire childhood and my favourite genre of music coming to an end because this is where it all began. I believe that can be said for a lot of us,  and as i always say, we lack the conviction to unite. But yesterday, I could see the power of Rock and Roll coming into action again. I could see it all happen again. The entire world mourning the fallen icon. For about a day, almost all of the people in my circles used social media as a way to process bad news as a community, to share the hurt, to share stories and love. They used it as a way to remember the beauty of a person who brought them all so much. And it proved to me that sometimes the worst moments can bring out the best of the internet and the best in us all.

#RIPDAVIDBOWIE : Music shall never be the same again.

References:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-11/the-world-reacts-to-david-bowie-death/7081978

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/11/entertainment/david-bowie-blackstar-lazarus-death-meaning-feat/index.html?sr=fbCNN011116david-bowie-blackstar-lazarus-death-meaning-feat1041PMVODtopLink&linkId=20277313

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jan/11/david-bowie-death-worldwide-tributes-death-work-of-art?CMP=fb_gu

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/perry-farrell-david-bowie-was-on-a-godlike-level-20160111#ixzz3x27HXZ4k
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