Like millions of others, I was beyond shocked when I woke up Monday morning to the news of David Bowie’s death. I learned of it at about 1:30 – not a time when I’m usually awake, but my cat had decided that my body underneath the blankets looked like a fun mountain to climb, so I woke up. Out of habit I glanced at my iPhone to see what time it was, and if it was worth going back to sleep. What greeted me instead was an alert from my BBC News app. “Musician David Bowie has died, his son Duncan Jones says.”
I was dreaming. I had to be. No way was David Bowie dead. He just had a birthday, put out an album! My still-half asleep brain refused to recognize that it was anything other than a nightmare or maybe even a publicity stunt meant to raise interest in Blackstar, à la the character of Brian Slade (a character based on Bowie) from the film Velvet Goldmine. Blackstar‘s lead-off single is called “Lazarus”, after all. Not that I actually think he’d have done that, but it was the middle of the night and I was in denial.
I fell back to sleep.
But when I woke up to my alarm clock three hours later, I was slightly more coherent and being bombarded by all sides by the news. I cried all through my shower that morning. Teared up on my drive to work as my favorite radio station declared it “David Bowie Day”. Got to work, logged into Facebook and scrolled through post after post from friends about the man whose face had papered my bedroom walls when my sister’s room next door was covered with the Backstreet Boys. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about the genius he was, and what a huge loss the world has suffered with his passing.
But I can make a list of a few of my favorite Bowie songs. Some of them are well-known; others maybe not so much. If there’s a track with which you’re not familiar, I recommend you check it out. The man’s genius knew no bounds, and he’ll be sorely missed.