I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir.
It’s often difficult to find the correct opening sentence to start a story. A man of this magnitude makes it incredibly difficult and the Brixton-born Bowie has never been and will never be a straight forward story.
Like his final single, ‘Lazarus’, Bowie was a self-styled, ever-changing messiah whose incarnations and resurrections would dazzle, inspire and alter not only fashion and art, but British culture as we know it.
Born David Jones in 1947, Bowie’s various guises and ability to adapt removed all boundaries of sexuality, music and art. Other-worldly Ziggy Stardust, Labyrinth’s The Goblin King, schizophrenic Aladdin Sane and ailing cabaret singer The Thin White Duke, Bowie’s piercing gaze sucked in audiences and spat out the world in an entirely different direction.
The 1970’s heralded a spring clean of previous notions. Bowie’s radical style saw him become androgynous, complete with dress and flowing locks, changing the definition on what it was to be masculine. Bowie proved that being different was normal and personality was actually performance.
An instantly recognisable voice, Bowie spanned across so many genres from classical to rhythm and blues via funk, electro and glam. From the fun and trippy days with Spiders from Mars to his darker cocaine-fuelled Berlin days, Bowie’s tracks were instantly recognisable and made you dance, laugh, smile, cry, sing and accept change.
The anthemic ‘Heroes’ saw German’s cry as the Berlin wall fell. ‘Let’s Dance’ graced disco’s around the world as people grooved to its Nile Rogers produced funk. Youth rocked out and fought back with ‘Rebel Rebel.’ The list goes on and one and spans a 25 album career that cannot and should not be forgotten.
Poet, Chameleon, Comedian, Stranger, Hero, icon. Bowie’s later year’s saw him become more elusive and continue the legend and mystique of Bowie of old. His later albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, saw Bowie take a more melancholic tone but continued to set the world to rights, even if just inside the grand master of pops own soul.
He began as an outcast and became revered for everything he did and everything he ever was. Bowie may release Lazarus who rose again, but the 69-year-old will never truly die.
“I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring.”