With the loss of this visionary of music, fashion, film, and even social networking, the internet has of course been flooded with everything from dramatic posts to top ten lists to you-name-it. As writer Luke O’Neil tweeted, “David Bowie has died, and now we begin the mourning process of churning his life into Content.” Still, as easy as it is to be a sort of “grinch” when it comes to our collective, public mourning, one can’t help but notice the deep sincerity behind so many of the words posted yesterday. This was a special artist known not only for his creativity. He’s also been praised for his kindness, his encouragement to other artists, and the power his music had in providing a safe space for all varieties of misfits and outcasts. So as a tribute to him and the lives he touched, here are a few Facebook posts from some fans and some other items with which we fondly remember him.
“When I was still getting shoved around and bullied in school everyday, I made a David Bowie t-shirt with some sharpies. He made me feel ok about being weird and queer, detached and floating a hundred thousand miles away. That shirt was armor. RIP to a man who wasn’t just a hero for one day, but for me, always. The stars look very different today.”- Benjamin Davey in Grand Rapids, MI
“The beauty of the recorded note, and rock and roll in general, is we never really lose anyone. We can slide into their consciousness and visit them at any time by simply dropping a needle and turning a nob. That being said, Bowie’s a big loss. Huge. We should be thankful for the butterfly who flapped his wings and the star that exploded to set the universe on track to bring him to us. Rest well, Starman, thanks for coming to meet us and blowing our minds.” – Jon Pataky in Grand Rapids, MI
“I can barely say it…that you’re gone. This one hurts. You were so many things to me; queer muse, school-boy crush, genius. Iconoclastic outsider, rebel, punk-glam-diva, a faithful friend. For those who loved you and your artistry you never disappointed. I have been in love with you for better than half of my life. Your music made me dance and weep and think and SING SING SING. You thrilled me! You truly were the Man Who Fell to Earth, some fragile and misunderstood creature from another world. You were ethereal, like a wisp of smoke that danced and willowed in the air…and you mesmerized me. I feel so lucky to have inhabited the world while you were in it. And I feel so terribly sad that…that you’re gone. My Ziggy Stardust, my Aladdin Sane. Farewell. ” – Brother Karekin Yarian in San Francisco, CA
“My first experience with David Bowie was Jareth the Goblin King in the movie Labyrinth. I watched it over and over when I was a kid. Crotch shots notwithstanding, there was something disquieting and otherworldly about him. Flash forward a few years and I’m 14 and listening to Black Country Rock on vinyl thanks to my parents excellent collection and Nirvana playing his tunes. Then I heard this tune and everything changed. Thank you, Mr. Bowie.” – Joshua Davis in Berkeley, MI