Musicians, like all the rest of us, come and go. They leave the world a better or, at least, a different place through their work, the way they made us feel, lessons they taught us, or moments they were a part of. The difference with musicians, particularly the great ones, is that they often represent all of the above.
Yes, they wrote some great music that we will remember for their beat, the tune that sticks in our mind forever, or the cadence or rhythm of their voice. For those once in a lifetime people like David Bowie, how their words spoke to us at some point in our lives is what impacts us more than just the pep in our step while listening to their tune on Spotify.
Think back to how many phrases, lyrics, or quotes that come to mind when you think of David Bowie and the list soon builds longer than even hardcore fans would think.
Who has not cranked up Under Pressure or Rebel Rebel to an unhealthy level when driving, immediately started moving when they hear Let's Dance, screamed out the lyrics of We Could Be Heroes even just for one day with friends at a party, or paused for some internal reflection on life when listening to his advice to turn and face the strange with Changes?
Who has not looked up at the stars in the sky at night and sometimes thought of this is ground control to Major Tom from Space Oddity. He challenged stereotypes in music whether it be visual, thematically, or lyrically, and forever challenged whatever he had already created by trying something new, literally to his dying day, writing about it in his latest album.
There are many artists that become stars overnight, though flame out quickly because they could only harness that creativity for a short burst. This guy spent his golden years still working, passed his 69th birthday battling cancer, and just released a brand new album. He leaves a star that burned bright across generations of listeners, he weathered countless ups and downs and his talent, his work ethic, his lifelong creativity of reinventing himself and his music, and ultimately, the memories and messages he leaves the world with made an impact.
The stars look very different today. What did his words mean to you?