Ground Control to Major Tom

glam, glam, glam!!

GLAM!  GLAM!!  GLAM!!!

This morning, at precisely 8 a.m. while putting make-up on and listening to the radio, this is what I heard – David Bowie est mort.

QUOI ???  WHAT???

David Bowie est mort.  Dead.

Mais, ce n’est pas possible!!  He just released a new album!  He wasn’t old!  He was alive and well and living in New York with his beautiful wife, Iman, and their daughter! 

Dropping my mascara wand on the floor, I ran to the radio to turn up the volume.  I grabbed the TV remote and turned to the non-stop news channel.

And I learned that it is possible.  David Bowie is dead and I’m stricken with chagrin.

you're lovely, darlin!

you’re lovely, darlin!

When someone you admired and grew up with dies, a little bit of yourself dies too.  I loved Bowie because he was a true, undiluted rebel.  A trailblazer, an iconoclast, a genius oddball.  A supreme innovator.  A radical who refused to conform to society’s norms.  He threw away the blueprint then created and re-created, over and over, his own renditions.  He was the merchant prince of experimental.  You might not have liked his stuff, his multiple incarnations, but you had to admire his audacity…and his originality.  He once said “I think you have to be dysfunctional to be an artist.”  His messages were ‘Be yourself’, ‘Don’t follow the herd’, ‘Try something different’, ‘WHY ARE WE HERE?.’  Never static, he was constantly evolving.  Right up to the end, he was working his artistry.

In 2003 Bowie turned down an offer from the Queen to be knighted. “I seriously don’t know what it’s for,” he said.  “It’s not what I spent my life working for.”

The comments below, copied from The Guardian newspaper, are so touching and full of love that I wanted to share them with you –

We will never see the likes of David again.

Bowie was an aristocrat of rock, first and foremost an artist, with himself as his greatest project.  It is not the job of art to reflect life but rather to create it. The human project is to make ourselves up as a novelist writes a novel or an artist creates a painting. Only thus are we free, liberated from the dead weight of convention and destiny.

A celebrity artist and aspiring astronaut, Bowie wanted to rise weightless above the human herd. “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human.  I thought, ‘Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.’”

I remember watching Bowie as Ziggy Stardust. Bowie blew my mind. Seeing him on his knees in front of Mick Ronson. He was outrageous, bold and beautiful. I’d never seen a man dare to bend gender like Bowie. Many nights I would get my feather boa out and pretend to be Bowie. I loved that combination of brains, talent, beauty and a great sense of humour. More recently when Bowie published his 100 favourite book list, I had to look up every one of them and read many – and good taste he had in literature too. I’m too shocked to say anymore.

I can’t believe it. He was my generation, my youth, my inspiration. Somehow he embodies all that was great about being young, vibrant and creative. I was there at his Goodbye Ziggy concert in Hammersmith in July 1973. He was utterly sublime, totally beautiful and mesmerising. I often saw him in his other incarnations throughout the years, but that night he was incandescent and that’s how I’ll remember him.

I thought he was immortal.

I’ll miss you Dave. And thanks for some of the best music I ever heard.

11-david-bowie-nyc_nocrop_w529_h835

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom (Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (Five, Four, Three)
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (Two, One, Liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare
“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in the most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in my tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear And I’m floating around my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.

So long, David Bowie.  You’re in your spaceship now.  Floating among the beautiful stars.  You’ll always be our shining star.  Thanks for all that you gave us.  Thanks for being you.

 Juliet

11 thoughts on “Ground Control to Major Tom

  1. I too was devastated to hear the news. It’s like a part of me Inside has died, a precious part of my past. He was a misfit, an iconoclast, a rebel. And I drank it all up. Who do we have today? No-one. Bowie’s passing has left an emptiness behind. In me, in all of his fans, and in our world.

  2. Like him or not, Bowie was a rule-breaker. He was sexy and a rebel and totally in control of his destiny, right till the end. As they’re saying in the press, even his death was a work of art.

  3. Just read this. Feel the same way. A huge loss. Thanks for your touching tribute.

    ….Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do….

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