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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Man Who Fell To Earth

the Man Who Fell to Earth
Snippets from my scrapbook...!

I heard the news before even getting out of bed, shedding tears into my pillow.

David Bowie, dead at 69.

I am a fan, though definitely not the biggest. I confess I haven’t kept up with his recent albums, my favourite songs coming from the ‘70s and ‘80s. I did see him in concert twice however, a rarity for me. Two terrific, but very different shows as only he could do. He was also the only other person I’ve seen with eyes like mine (one pupil doesn’t contract).


He did feature largely in my formative years however. My favourite Bowie album – Hunky Dory, favourite song – Life on Mars?. Played over and over again, very loud. The only way to hear it!

Queen Bitch was the soundtrack of our common room at Yeovil Tech in 1979. Kev Lewis, air-guitaring and dancing on one of the worn out, old chairs. The volume cranked so loud the track could be heard in the other part of the campus – probably a quarter mile away! It’s a fact. College administrators told us so, as they shut the party down!

Life on Mars?, Changes and Quicksand guided me through the verge-of-adulthood angst of exams, heartbreaks and the search for what was to come in life after school, which in my case included an impending emigration that I was not looking forward to. Although the lyrics didn’t always apply to me, they touched a place in my heart. A balm indeed to my fractured teenage soul.

Yesterday, after my husband left for work, I found the album on You Tube. I had to think about how long it’s been since I listened to the whole thing. I got rid of all my vinyl 15 – 20 years ago, so at least that long. It’s been on my list to replace, but you know how it is …

It was still there for me! The notes and lyrics found the old, well-worn grooves carved into my brain all those years ago. They still touched a place in me that I had forgotten existed, as I sang my lungs out and cried again.

Thank you, Mr. Bowie!

All that's to be said on his legacy has been said already. Singer. No, Rock Star. Genius. Entertainer. Actor. Showman. King of Reinvention. Provocateur. Iconic. Oh, so Super Cool. 

He was The Man Who Fell to Earth. He was not of this place, his ingenuity too big to be bound by it. That is what he was trying to tell us all along. He made us think and challenged what we thought we knew. And as we grew and learned, he changed and taught us something else.

In his words:

“I’m not a prophet or a stone age man
Just a mortal with potential of a superman.”


But he was a prophet in his own way. Telling us that we all had the potential to be more, by being ourselves. He may not have the power anymore, but he is living on.


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