During the life of this blog I think I’ve only written about two celebrity deaths: MCA from the Beastie Boys and Stuart Scott from ESPN. Obviously more than those two celebrities have died in the past five years, but not all of them impacted my life as much. The Beastie Boys were a huge part of my high school life and I invited Stuart Scott into my home on a regular basis.
David Bowie had an even larger impact on my life, which began very early on.
Literally one of my earliest memories is watching Labyrinth at home when I was five or six years old. I was definitely torn while watching the movie: I wanted to look away because I was scared of all the monsters, but I also couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen because I was captivated. Such was the pull and magnetism of David Bowie. Had I been a little older a young Jennifer Connelly might have captivated me, but it was the Goblin King who garnered my attention.
Bowie as the Goblin King was larger than life. His hair was enough to intrigue me as a six-year-old, but then he also danced, sang and got to hang out with a bunch of puppets. Bowie as the Goblin King taught me that it was OK as a guy to think, “Man, that’s a good looking dude.”
As I got older I realized that David Bowie was much more than a pretty face and an awesome Goblin King. I heard songs like “Space Oddity,” “China Girl” and “Golden Years.” “Under Pressure” is one of the greatest songs of all time; Bowie and Queen joining forces pushed me into a musical world that went beyond what my mom listened to in the car.
In 2002 David Bowie released Heathen, his 22nd studio album. Heathen didn’t make as many waves as The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, but it’s the Bowie album to which I listened the most. I was 20 years old and trying to figure out who I was and my old friend the Goblin King showed up to help me navigate adulthood.
So David Bowie has been part of my life for almost 30 years and now he’s gone. Even though he’s gone, he’ll continue to be a part of my life. His music has left a legacy that will outlive its maker. I’ll still regularly listen to “Moonage Daydream” and at some point I am going to watch Labyrinth with my children.
I’m not nearly as talented or attractive as David Bowie, but I still want my life to leave an impact like his has and will. Bowie used his musical gifts to make a mark on this world. I want to use my spiritual gifts to make a mark on this world. I may never be as awesome as the Goblin King, but maybe I can do something worthwhile for the King of Kings.
Thanks for everything, David Bowie.