Well, what we thought would never happen finally did, the Thin-White Duke is Thin-White DEAD.
Ten minutes ago or so I woke up in a pool of my own drool and while I’m fumbling around for a napkin and trying to do some pillow PR, I hear the news on turned on the radio to Morning Edition to hear the news.
Of course our friends at The Inquisitr, like all media, is already on the biggest news story of the day.
I’ll refer you to another article that one of our writers here had actually published hours before David Bowie’s death, on the same source, about the status of cancer treatments from over the weekend. (Cancer Treatment)
When I checked my email I saw that I had received a DM around the time I was going to sleep.
Yes, for a long period of time, I was a big fan of David Bowie in the 90’s. It was a great time binging on all of the albums at once, becoming familiar with his work.
For me it started with his album Outside which got terrible reviews from longtime Bowie fans but, I learned rather quickly that they weren’t hearing what I was.
Buddha of Suburbia was great, Black Tie White Noise was amazing and then I got to go see him with Nine Inch Nails during the Outside tour, still have a bootleg recording of one of the shows which has the best sound I’ve heard in any bootleg copy I’ve ever owned.
It wasn’t until 1997 that I really got to experience, first hand, the feeling of having my feelings fucked with when Earthling came out, because I was expecting something like Outside again.
I’m a bit confused on the details where I had anticipated a broadcast of his Madison Square Garden 50th birthday show on pay per view, which I recorded and still have a copy of, because the music and the tone of this album are all over that show but I was in a completely different living situation then than I was when the album came out.
In any case, the shockingly vibrant colors on the album overloaded my senses and confused my expectations as to what this album was going to be and I completely fell in love with the album’s drum n’ bass feel. It’s fast, confident, high energy and dark. Also, a very quick album which even he said had been written rather quickly.
It was after this point that I really started diving into his older stuff. I moved into my own apartment and started from the beginning and really thoroughly absorbed each release, Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, The Man Who Sold The World, etc.
But then he did it again with the release of a game called Omikron: The Nomad Soul around the same time that his new album Hours was coming out, and I was at the mercy of the critics who this time had said that this was Bowie’s finest album since the early stuff, which is a pretty bold statement.
The great thing about this game was that it allowed me to experience b-sides in a completely different way. I’ve always been a fan of b-sides. I got into them with NIN, The Cure and now David Bowie, who had a lot of them for this album, which when you play the game you could go to a store in that virtual world and buy, then you take it home or what ever place has a console you could play it on and listen to the tracks in their entirety. Not to mention that those songs, as they’re unlocked along the way, are performed by a game version of Bowie and the rest of the band.
And then Heathen was another surprise but for whatever reason I had different priorities after that and didn’t absorb Reality, The Next Day or Black Star. Yet I know without a doubt I will love the shit out of those albums.
I will say that around the time that the video for Where Are We Now debuted, there was a interview on WTF with Dave Grohl who wondered if Bowie was sending a message through his new album that he was dying.
Of course with the news about David Bowie’s death, if the tweet is telling the truth then the message was either coincidental if that was even the message at all.
Which makes me recall my feelings when Blackstar was suddenly announced as I felt it was pretty surprising that he was back on schedule with his releases as it had been nearly a decade since he had released a studio album prior to The Next Day.
These feelings are confirmed with this article published hours ago by The Telegraph who say that Blackstar is his goodbye to fans.
So yes, this is sad news indeed. I can’t think that Bowie would want this album to only be about him dying, at least not in a way that’s depressing, although it was cancer that took him from us.
If you go back to the last video I posted above, listen to the music during the transition between verse and chorus which operates on two different levels. For me it weaves in and out of these moments of optimism that Blackstar undoubtedly has.
I want to also say that when I did go see Bowie in 1994, there was an older couple who were leaving about the time Bowie was going to take the stage because they heard he wasn’t going to be performing any of his older stuff. This is often the kind of stereotypical purist bullshit we’re all familiar with, which people should devalue immediately.
That was the last time Bowie’s been in Dallas and really, rarely on tour since, which makes me appreciate that moment even more. I’m pretty sure, that guy is probably beating himself up over this news as I doubt he made it to any of the rare shows Bowie’s done since, which I kind of take some joy in, but I also look forward to sitting down and absorbing the remaining albums. Of course, it will be quite different, now that he’s gone.
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