The passing of David Bowie last Sunday saddens me. It is as if a light that illuminated the universe has dimmed. I can't say I am a mega fan who owns every Bowie album or that I even got to see him live and in concert. Despite that his music was part of the soundtrack of my youth. His passing like Michael Jackson's makes me nostalgic for the way things were. I am after all an eighties kid who grew up watching Bowie on MTV; the station that originally wouldn't play black artists but was fine playing the rock artists that were influenced by black music.
The Blues gave birth to a child and it was called Rock "n" Roll. Bowie knew that and he respected those artists that paved the way for him. One of my favorite songs of his is the rhythmic masterpiece, "Let's Dance". I remember hearing it on R&B friendly radio stations WBLS and WKTU in New York city right along with a play list that included Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. It was quite fitting, soul fans would have been familiar with his sound; earlier he was not afraid to make an appearance on Soul Train to share his soulful sounds of "Fame" with an audience he knew would appreciate it.
Some musicians make good music and it plays on the radio for a little awhile and then they disappear. Then there are others who become icons that influence generations through art and their very existence. Bowie was a chameleon who lived his life on his own terms. He famously stated, "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.” I am pretty sure Heaven just got a bit more exciting.