David Bowie is gone. I never thought of myself as a David Bowie fan so much as just that his music and his presence has been an integral part of my life. I have songs of his on my mobile player. I got the of David Bowie references in Venture Bros. Then he showed up. When overhearing Ice Ice Baby and wishing it was Under Pressure, I’d think of it as a Queen song. It only was the up-hundredth time I listened to it that my brain would realize that’s Mr. Bowie singing the bridge there.
I remember him in The Hunger (1983). I joked about Bowie instead suffering an eternity of waking misery in Catherine Deneuve’s attic of coffins while she pulls the moves on Susan Sarandon to the tune of Léo Delibes’ Flower Duet. Meanwhile all of poor David’s coffin-mates are thinking uh oh. Cathy’s playing the Flower Duet again. Didn’t she just coffin her last guy an hour ago? The effrontery, right?
I didn’t think of Mr. Bowie as Jereth the Goblin King, rather David Bowie the Goblin King maybe because he rocked like David Bowie and not like a goblin, but I don’t know how goblins rock. It’s possible that rocking the new-wave scene is just part of goblin culture, and Bowie was just the first goblin to bring it here, where it was a fabulous hit and made Bowie gazillions, at which point he ascended to the goblin throne by buying it out (or hiring an army to usurp the crown).
I suppose that I can imagine that Bowie is The Sovereign, a shapeshifting vampire thing that is the one true leader of the Guild of Calamitous Intent and has chosen to adopt a different shape. Spoilers tell me that he may have been not David Bowie before he chose the form of David Bowie.
A Simon Pegg who’s not that Simon Pegg tweeted If you’re sad today, Just remember the world is 4 billion years old and somehow you managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie. Web-sniffers found the sentiment was originally told to Justin Beiber. I don’t want to ponder the issues of plagiarism involved. I steal shamelessly, myself and we’re in an age where intellectual property rights excite the sharks like blood in the water. I’ll defer to the stand-up comedy rule: steal occasionally, but don’t make too much of a habit of it. Better still, put your own slant on the content.
Speaking of which, I only just learned that Bowie was an early adopter of internet distribution and promotion of his music (much to the chagrin of Columbia Records). When astronaut Chris Hadfield covered Space Oddity on the ISS, they had only licensed play rights for a year and it vanished off YouTube in March of 2014…And then it came back in November 2014 for two more years. We’ll have to see what happens this November-.
For now, my eyes tear up and my brain is going Can you hear me, Major Tom?…Can you hear me, Major Tom?…Can you hear me, Major Tom?