(Advanced apologies for all the spelling errors my phone is suddenly not catching.)
Like the rest of the world, on Tuesday I found out that there’s going to be a new David Bowie record in March. I can not begin to express how excited I am about that! I love Bowie so hard it’s almost upsetting to think about. My brother texted me around 9:30 with the news, and it took all my power not to get up and run around the building with excitement, just yelling gibberish.
Don’t judge me.
I think the first Bowie song I remember liking is “Space Oddity,” but as a kid I didn’t have a lot of use for him. I remember him playing at the Concert for Life in the 90s and I basically enjoyed it–first time I’d ever heard “Heroes” in full, as far as I recall. And I remember that at that same event, he took a second between songs to pray the Lord’s Prayer. And to this day, I only know the Lord’s Prayer because of that.
But I didn’t REALLY get into Bowie until my 20s–after he’d stopped playing his hits. Sure I found “Outside” interesting and every now and again I’d hear a Bowie song I basically liked…but I don’t think you’re meant to really love and “get” Bowie before you’re 20 or so. At least not NOW. In the 70s, sure…the world was Bowie’s and the world was weirder than hell. But if you were born post-1980, I think you have to go through a couple of things and be at least on your way to being a grownup before you realize, “Oh… ‘Life on Mars?’ actually has something to say.”
I recall seeing the Pay Per View concert (I think circa the “Earthling” record) of Bowie retiring his hits, and him ending with a solo acoustic performance of “Space Oddity” and feeling like I’d missed out on something special–even though I’d seen it. Then there was a BBC special airing of the “BBC Sessions” live performance. Bowie doing songs you wouldn’t necessarily have picked if you were the one drawing the list… A man at the point in his career where he could choose to do WHATEVER he damn well PLEASED…
And I was on board. I was hooked. And I immediately ran out and bought “Hours” and “At the BBC.” And then started devouring all the Bowie I could get my hands on. Saw him back on the “Reality” tour, just before his 10 year semi-retirement. Tickets were too expensive…but worth it in the long run. Great show. I went out and bought grey Chuck Taylors, because he wore some at that gig.
Then ten years of silence…and reports that he was now introducing himself to others as, “Hello, I’m David and I’m a father of two…” We all assumed the Thin White Duke had hung up his crown. Or robe. Or whatever Dukes wear.
I went on a bit of a Bowie kick a couple months ago, sparked by being in Vintage Vinyl and them playing some of the “Reality” record. Had the thought of, “It’s such a shame that he’s done…” Then–like lightning from a clear blue sky–NEW RECORD IN MARCH! And of course the critics immediately pan it because they haven’t listened to anything he’s written since “Diamond Dogs” and don’t realize that he’s grown, matured, and does whatever he damn well pleases…while the new single (“Where Are We Now?”) almost immediately climbs to being the #1 download pretty much worldwide. (Suck it, X-Factor…) The song is breathtaking and the critics are fools, just venting their frustrations at being fooled. So, so Bowie–and if his long-time producer who was in the room for the sessions can be believed, I can hardly wait to hear the rest–which he called “great ROCK songs.”
The way I see it. 2013 is shaping up pretty great already.