Monday, January 11, 2016

Check ignition and may God's love be with you

Playing Pontius Pilate, Paul Ambrosius von Przygodski, Sir Roland Moorecock, and many other characters on the big screen, writing numerous hit songs and recording album after album, producing records, painting works of art - it seemed there was nothing that David Bowie couldn't do. Words from one of his huge hits echo in my mind this morning as I hear word of his death last night. "Nothing's gonna touch you in these golden years." But something did. Just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album, Blackstar, the liver cancer he had battled for a year and a half, claimed his live.

In the past hour I have seen countless messages, memories, and news accounts of David Bowie's life. Part of me is a little surprised that he was so beloved. Why not though? He touched many with his entertainment. Remember that duet with Bing Crosby? He also performed with Cher, with Freddie Mercury, with Lou Reed, with Mick Jagger, and so many others. Most people know he had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but did you know he was also a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame?

Do you recall a women's rock group from the early 70s called Fanny? David Bowie didn't like that the weren't remembered, and worked to correct that. He also called out MTV when they played very little music from African-American artists. He helped to bring about that change.  The images of a lifetime are coming to mind.  Reading tweets and facebook posts from friends, it seems just about everyone I know, has been to a David Bowie concert and just about everyone considers him a hero. His happy, upbeat, forward looking personality would probably be a bit uncomfortable with the level of praise that is coming in this morning, but you may recall in his song Heroes from back in the 70s, he sings "We can be heroes, just for one day."

It's another song of his that I am thinking of right now though. As David Bowie's earthly life comes to an end, I cannot help think of the words from Space Oddity:
"Commencing countdown,
Engines on
Check ignition
And may God's love be with you"

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