David Bowie started changing the world with his Ziggy Stardust persona before my life was in the double digits. His impact was vast. His work and our embracing of it gave artists permission they had never had before.
His influence went beyond music. From my p.o.v., he ushered in the androgynous movement that made it fun and edgy–not a secret, not a crime–for anyone to dress up glam and be a little outrageous. He helped make a place for a lot of dear people who didn’t have a place before. I saw some of his influence in Austin Young’s TBD The Musical this past weekend at MOAH.
He was one of the artists I followed, buying his albums as they were released when I was in my teens and twenties. I listened to them over and over back when that meant being in my room with my record player. Young Americans. Station to Station.
He created with fierceness and exquisite vulnerability. He celebrated the paradox of personality…so much exists in us, un-mined. He dug for it all.
If you need proof, brace yourself for this video. Lazarus by David Bowie
The lyrics on their own seem almost hopeful. The images admit how damned hard it is to go, what a demon cancer is.