Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Death of An Artist

Author of The Esau Continuum
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By J.C. Lynne


Authors Note: I'm preempting my previously scheduled blog to acknowledge the wondrous and dynamic David Bowie.

Everyone has Snoped it. Double checked. Triple checked. Yes, indeed David Bowie has

I'm not one to feel sorrow at the passing of anyone, let alone a celebrity no matter how admirable. Oh, I recognize the loss of good people, but despite the sadness I usually tip into the 'think how grand their life was' jug. 

Nemoy, Lee, O'hara, Lemmy. Frey. Haggerty. The last year has been a slow dwindling of my childhood icons. It's sad, but inevitable as we grow older.

Bowie's death hit me in a deep place. I don't think it's a unique place. Millions of people grew up with David Bowie as a permanent addition to the soundtrack of their lives. I'm not alone. 

The moment I was old enough to be aware of music, I remember Bowie being there. There hasn't been a decade of my life when his unique and sometimes haunting voice wasn't present. I would say his resurgence in the Eighties wove him even tighter into the fabric of my musical experience. 

In ninth grade, my friend Dani was the only kid to have cable and thus Mtv. We would race to her house after school and crowd around the glowing screen to devour music videos. And who can argue David Bowie was a fixture of the new video age?

I stumbled upon the news early on Monday morning. I frantically searched for the one source who would claim this another death hoax. It wasn't. 

My dotter texted me. Son 2 was stunned. I felt a little nauseous. Trailing through family memories reminded me how I'd seeded Bowie into their musical consciousness as well. Labyrinth. Live by Request. The Snowman. Not to mention his stunning library of music that is ever present on the airwaves.

Bowie has said his personas over the decades helped him perform. It was easier to write music for his characters rather than write for himself. I think that's something all writers can relate to on some level.

I'm reminded of his willingness to take risks at a time when my own usual boldness is on the wane. He dared to change, to evolve, and always to be true to himself as an artist. He took us all along with him.

And who can doubt he evolved with amazing panache. David Bowie has never been obsolete. It's a measure of his talent that his music seems ageless.

Because I thought he'd live forever (perhaps a little less than Keith Richards) I'm gobsmacked by his passing. I'll admit to being a bit down in the dumps anyway. The news of his absence only amplified my black mood.

In the style of his eminence, I'll pick myself up, dust myself off and begin my siege on the literary world. Hopefully with a sprinkling of his wit, charm, humor, and most definitely style. 

Post Script: I could say many of the same things about Alan Rickman. His wit, sly wickedness, and intelligence brightened every role he tackled.


RichardK said...

Bowie and Glenn Frey hit me hard. They were part of my life in the 80s thanks to Contemporary Hit Radio and MTV. I don't know how much I would have heard about Bowie, except through Classic Rock radio, if he didn't hit the pop charts then. It's different with Frey as the Eagles were staples of Top 40 radio in the 70s. In fact, I'm pretty sure I fell asleep to their songs numerous times on my little portable.

JC Lynne said...

A family friend gave me Eagles Live bootlegged on cassette tape in 1980-81. I played it thousands of times. Seven Bridges Road is still one of my all time favorites.

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