David Bowie, at 69, two days after his birthday and the release of Blackstar, he passed away from his secretive 18-month battle with cancer.
Last night, before the news broke out internationally, I was on one of my favorite David Bowie fan pages and it was shared on there about a tribute concert for him at Carnegie Hall (just a fund raising event, total coincidence that they'd announce it on the same day of his passing), and we were joking about how they're making it sound like he died. Then, I checked David Bowie's official page, just to see if there's anything new. And that was when the news broke:
My heart skipped and raced at the same time when I was doubtful of this. I wasn't alone. We all truly thought it was a hoax, that his page was hacked. We believed that, and that there was no way that this could be true because after all, he just celebrated his birthday and a new album. Then, it all started crashing down. It hit me that this was real when his son announced it on Twitter.
I'm still just...shocked. None of us knew what he went through, about this cancer battle. This is the closest kept celebrity secret we've ever seen which makes this blow the most crushing and the hardest. It would still hurt even if we did know, but damn. This stings. Now that Carnegie Hall tribute concert/fund raiser will be a memorial event in honor of him. Just...wow on all levels of wow.
As I was sitting there all numb about this, I was back at Lazarus again.
And now, the whole musical really makes sense now.
Of all the scenes, I'm remembering most clearly the last scene (not the scenes posted above), where Thomas Newton with his angel of death after swimming in a pool of milk after that angel's death, they hold on tight inside a tape-outline of a spaceship and sing "Heroes" before that ship is taken to the sky. Fuck. David Bowie...you knew. Now we know.
I'm beside myself. I'm gutted. I'm floored. Shocked. Hurt. What a crushing blow...
NOBODY saw this coming, except him. Blackstar very clearly now was his way of saying goodbye.
"Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)."
"Something happened on the day he died..."
Planet Earth's blue, indeed, and the stars are very different today.
From "Lazarus" that's chillingly the words of a man who's dying, but wants to die his way:
"Look up here, I'm in heaven
I've got scars that can't be seen
I've got drama, can't be stolen
Everybody knows me now."
"Look up here, man, I'm in danger
I've got nothing left to lose."
"This way or no way
You know I'll be free
Just like that bluebird
Now, ain't that just like me?"
And that he did.
From "Dollar Days" where he tells us this point-blank:
"It’s all gone wrong but on and on
The bitter nerve ends never end
I’m falling down
Don’t believe for just one second I’m forgetting you
I’m trying to
I’m dying to"
We'll not for one second forget you either, David Bowie.
We're still on this Earth, but with you gone, we're dying too.
And lastly, to "I Can't Give Everything Away" where so poignantly, as he did with the other swansongs, he's admitting that he can't give everything away. That "everything" is his cancer battle.
"I know something is very wrong..."
"Seeing more and feeling less
Saying no but meaning yes
This is all I ever meant
That's the message that I sent
I can't give everything
I can't give everything
I can't give everything
I was also laughing and crying all at once over how on my way to the library day of his passing, I was driving through a storm listening to Blackstar, just really deep into it, and the weather made the album extra-emotional somehow. Then on the drive back home, the rain stopped. There was a giant rainbow that was almost blinding honestly. I was like "This is the most brightest colorful rainbow I've ever seen." Full bloom and everything, and I was on the last track: "I Can't Give Everything Away."
Stupid story that means nothing, but maybe it means something too.
It's coincidental yet eerie that David Bowie was born day before my birthday (Jan. 8th) and he left this Earth after my birthday (Jan. 10th). Means nothing and yet it means everything. "Planet Earth is blue" and "the stars are very different today," but "just like that bluebird," our spaceman is free.
Through all this pain that so many people all over the world are feeling, I have solace in knowing that this man left us in true Bowie fashion, doing it his way. Blackstar really was his way of letting us know that it's his time, and he'll be free. Now we know. He is free now, and it's hard to let him go.
"Where the fuck did Monday go?"
We lost an icon, but one woman lost a husband, a son and daughter lost their father.
My heart is crushed for them most of all, for Iman, Lexi, and Duncan.
This is not easy for me guys, as it isn't for anyone who loved him. As most of you know, I have many heroes, but #1 for me, equally, are David Bowie and Björk who taught me since the moment I first saw them, listened to their music, and gotten to know them, that just like them, I can just be myself too and be loved just the same. This is such a crushing blow.
I'll never forget him.
Of all people in this world, you'll be Resting In Power, David Bowie.
We love you, David Jones.