My Tribute to David Bowie: The True Starman 1947-2016

He took no title of Sir and declined a CBE but David Bowie was close to royalty with his contribution to the arts over the past 47 years of his career.

I’m not going to pretend I’m the number one David Bowie fan, because apart from a stint of watching the movie Labyrinth everyday for about 3 months solid when I was 8, I didn’t actually get into and appreciate his music until I was way late into my teens. I remember once, when I was 20 years old, I had to get the 2A bus from the centre of Lancaster to University campus and the bus took a particular route through the Hala estate, notoriously steep with hills and riddled with slow old people taking forever to flash their bus passes to the driver. I was irritated because I was already late for a seminar I was not allowed to be late for, and it had just started Lancaster raining (this is much fiercer than any other UK rain) and I didn’t have an umbrella. And then Starman came on my Spotify, and as I hummed the words, I felt much better. It wasn’t an epiphany, or a moment of transformation. I just listened to the lyrics and then replayed it over and over again until I got to campus.

With an ex of mine, we used to constantly listen to The Best of Bowie on his dad’s old record player and dance around the little wooden hut we lived in like the hipster 21 year olds we thought we’d be forever, and I remember loving every minute of it. Fast forward 4 years, I listen to Bowie in the mornings whilst I get ready; or as a ‘panic song’ for when my mind goes blank at house party’s and most of the time whilst I’m walking somewhere so I can strut and pretend that everyone around me are just extras in my ultra cool and alternative music video.

My point is, Bowie for me sits up there on my internal music shelf, sometimes not thought of for a while, sometimes overplayed in just one day. I place him up there with Coldplay, The Beatles, Elvis, The Beautiful South, NWA and that one song from Visage I like. Songs that I can just pluck down and remind me of a time in my life, or a feeling I had when listening to it before.

David Bowie represented all ages, all races, all genders and all sexuality. His songs filter through some of the best known films and productions of the past 20 years, Buddha of Suburbia, Moulin Rouge and Shrek among others. His Aladdin Sane imagery features on the t shirts of those who bought online from eBay without the foggiest of who he is, and his lyrics adorn posters in student flats from 1970 onward.

So as I stood last night with hundreds of others at the vigil held in his birthplace of Brixton, we raised a glass for the master of reinvention, projected his images onto walls and even witnessed the defacing (debatable) of a statue adorned with the Aladdin Sane eye emblem. There were big Bowie fans there, there were people there just for the crowds but either way, there was this buzz. This buzz of everyone wanting to just celebrate this great, great life.

We should be thankful to David Bowie, not just because he was incredibly talented, but because he taught everyone the most valuable life lesson of all; that you should be whoever you want to be, you can change, you can stay the same, or be a hero, forever and ever.

Katie! It’s me Gracey, I’ve caught on now, took so looong

Kate-Bush-background-wallpaper

 

Yeah, this Kate Bush malarky. All returning to do a big tour like 35 years after her last one? Sounds like some money making for Miss Bush doesn’t it? But seriously, I didn’t realise how devastated I was about not having a ticket to see Kate Bush until I didn’t have a ticket to see Kate Bush.

So, queue a slightly muggy and slightly damp mid May morning, and I’m sat in the office already, it’s only 8.30am and I’m already hitting F5 on my computer at least 20 times every minute or so. I am sat here in anticipation with another colleague, about purchasing 4 Kate Bush tickets for our boss. It doesn’t matter what seats, or what price, but we have to get these tickets.

We sit there, palms sweaty, waiting for the clock to strike 9am so we can beat everyone to the front of this virtual queue (no British standards of polite queueing here- if I could hack, I would hack so bad). The chimes of Wuthering Heights are in the background and my colleague turns the volume to the highest when the clock turned 8.58am.

And then, like fate intended to give me a migraine, at 8.59am, the office fire alarm is going off, it’s piercingly loud, and the picth of Kate Bush’s ‘HEATHCLIFFFFF’ is really starting to grind my gears. We are being screamed at from across the room to evacuate the building, but we ignore like we are deaf despite our eardrums threatening to burst. And then suddenly, as if I am Charlie and i have found the golden ticket…I am directed to a payment ticket where I have exactly 7 minutes to enter my details- it is here I realise I don’t have a ticketmaster account…

Anyway, cue of lot of panicking and screaming and keyboard bashing and we manage to get 4 tickets. It is my greatest acheivement to date. I take to Twitter and parade my luck around to all the other grumpy hashtags, I let them wallow in misery as I bask in my (fake) tickets but (very real) glory.

So, come September, I’d completely forgotten about her upcoming tour taking place until I stumbled across a Guardian article trying to guess what was in store for the 20 something date tour. I was on a Virgin train, slightly hungover, going up to Lancaster and it was around 7.45am. I plugged in my headphones and watched the Wuthering Heights video, followed by Noel Fielding’s Comic Relief version. I then thought about the NSPCC advert I used to cry at when I was younger and the song that came along with it, and then I found This Women’s Work. I then came across The Man With A Child in His Eyes and I think the guy opposite me must have thought I was autistic I played it so many times.

What I’m trying to say is that basically, this woman was and is a fantastic musician and I’m so annoyed that I always just thought of her as this crazy and wacky bushy haired woman who I’d never really taken an interest in when my parents played her.

Not only was she an incredibly talented singer (that vocal range) she was literally one of the most beautiful women when she was younger, and although she’d rounded out slightly now being in her mid fifties, she’s still got that charm and mischief about her face. She wrote Wuthering Heights when she was 16, she wrote TMWACIHE when she was just 13 and it’s quite clear from the many people that were around her when she was first starting out etc have all really been touched not just by her creativity but by her utter ability to just be completely normal whilst being a superstar. I love that she pretty much stepped away from music to bring up a child, who she now includes in her performances as it seems he has taken up some of her influence. I don’t know how to describe how cool she is. She’s so relatable whilst being incredibly super stardom capable.

I think I’ve watched every documentary and interview (though not many exist) of her that I can find, and I’ve combed through her Wikipedia page. I received a vinyl of hers for my birthday and although I didn’t get a ticket for her concert (I ENTERED SO MANY PRIZE DRAWS DAMMIT), through purchasing a ticket for someone else, I found another strand of music which I play constantly over and over again because I just can’t accept change. I loved reading Wuthering Heights when I was younger and the fact that it came on  the radio whilst I was writing this blog post really freaked me out and I love that. Ok, girl fandom freak out over now, I’ll go back to being my normal cynical self.