January 11, 2016

I'm Stepping Through The Door - My Tribute to David Bowie

That he said this said so much. It’s there, in all of his songs, sewn into the musical fabric like a dark thread in his brilliant quilt of hits, ballads and esoteric masterpieces.

"My entire career, I've only really worked with the same subject matter," Bowie told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview. "The trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I've always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety — all of the high points of one's life."

The first time I heard David Bowie was in third grade. My friend Brett J, three years my elder, went to a Bowie concert and came back obsessed. I didn’t see the magic –at the time.

But slowly, over the years, I found myself going back to him. Listening to the lonely sounds of songs like Major Tom. These days I ask myself if Tom was abandoned. Or just on a mission, like all of us, trying to “make the grade” while hoping our “spaceship knows which way to go.” If you put aside the mental handcuffs for a minute and really think about it, Tom is really you and me, stepping through the door so we can, hopefully, float in a most peculiar way.

Because, we all know, if we don’t step through the door, nothing about life is peculiar, a concept which lurks inside the lyrics from Ashes to Ashes...

I never done good things
I never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue,
Want an axe to break the ice
Wanna come down right now

To say what he actually said, well that says it all. That isolation, fear, abandonment and anxiety are really the highpoints in life. Is this because it is only then that we are really living? To anyone who has run 100 miles, there is a connection here. For those who have not, well, you might need an axe to break the ice.   

R.I.P. David Bowie. You will never get old.


Unknown said...

Brilliantly stated. Read several times to try and grasp. Thanks Will!

Will Cooper said...

thanks Greg...I appreciate your words. Usually I grapple with my writing, but this one flowed like water from a glass vase. It's hard to grasp his passing. I don't think his music will ever pass.

Henry said...

Oh that was a mesmerizing story.. i really stopped blinking my eye while reading it. made me think about several things in my own life. thanks for the post Will.