Last week I was listening to Danielle LaPorte co-interview Steven Pressfield. Toward the end she said, “I will tell you, this is a trick question; Beatles or The Rolling Stones?” When he answered that it was The Stones she laughingly said, “aw…the real answer is Led Zeppelin!”
I laughed along, and thought, no – the real answer is Bowie. On Monday morning I found out that David Bowie had died. We all have our favorites, and while I loved it all, I loved Ziggy Stardust most of all. His music was the soundtrack of my life.
I bought my first album, The Man Who Sold the World, in 1970. Having never had a dog as a child, as soon as I had my own place I bought a Black Lab and named him Bowie.
A couple of years later, I was in beauty school and listening to Aladdin Sane. I cut off my lovely brown curls and dyed my new haircut a vivid Clairol Flame Red, a la Bowie.
I must have listened to that album a lot, because my son (who was three or four at the time) was in the car one day as my cousin and I drove my aunt on an errand. When the car started, the cassette played the song Cracked Actor, and my son started singing along in his small voice: “suck baby suck, gimme some head, before you start saying that you’re knockin ’em dead!”
My aunt became apoplectic, my cousin couldn’t eject the tape fast enough, and I sat there dumbfounded. Secretly, I was impressed – I had no idea he was paying attention and knew all of the words. Like any dirty word that children pick up when they’re little, if you don’t make a fuss, they move on. Or, as my aunt did, you can totally freak out. Poor Jason burst into tears! We still laugh over that story to this day.
David Bowie was always on the leading edge, never resting, continually growing and evolving. His movie credentials are as impressive as his music. About creativity he said, “Always go a little further into the water. . . a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are touching bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
He was always exciting. And I’m blue, blue, electric blue – but I have movies to rewatch, albums to linger over, and his final album was released on his birthday, just two days before he transitioned back to whatever brilliant star he came from.