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Dave's Tribute to David Bowie


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Dave's Tribute to David Bowie

David R. Smith

I'm gonna get cussy for a second.

Fuck you cancer. Fuck you so much.

  • Levon Helm
  • MCA
  • Bob Marley
  • Lemmy
  • Tommy Ramone

There are so many others. These are just a few notables from the past few years.

And now David Bowie? Fuck. You.

This year is off to a roaring start, with us having just suffered the loss of Lemmy at the end of last year and then the rock and roll gods decided to add one more badass into their already historic lineup of artists by taking Ziggy.

I've never met a person who had anything bad to say about David Bowie. I've never heard anybody say "I don't care for him. I don't think he's anything special."

David Bowie was the sort of man who could inspire anybody with his lyrics, his fashion, his don't give a shit attitude and his ever changing personas. He was weird but that was good because he made it acceptable to be weird. 

And his music rocks. So hard. 

It took me a long time to get into his stuff. I didn't become a real big Bowie fan until my university days. I had heard his stuff but had never really paid attention to who it was singing. One day, on a whim, I purchased the Best of Bowie on CD. My world was changed. 20 tracks, no one better than the next or the previous. Just 20 songs that were nothing but pure, unabashed awesomeness.

It has been roughly 10 years since I first picked up that CD and it's been 10 years of me going "how did I not get into this earlier?" But I'm just glad to have found a way in at all. 

So today, in the wake of his untimely demise, I would like to present to you my top-5 David Bowie songs, in no particular order.

I'm not going to go into much detail about each song. I mostly want them to be here for you to listen to. Because they're magical.

1) Ziggy Stardust

Ugh. That opening guitar lick. It gets me every time. I know it's going to be a good day when you hear this song come up. 

2) Ashes To Ashes

"I'm happy, hope you're happy too. I've loved, all I've needed: love. Sordid details following." Guh. Perfect lyrics.

3) Modern Love

There's something about this song that just gets me. Lyrically it's not his best, musically it's not his best. But this is just a terrific song and one I can't ever skip and, in fact, have to run it up when the song comes on.

4) Changes

This is the song that gave the world license to be weird. Turn and face the strange. Do it. Accept that things are strange, face them and enjoy it. I love that line. So much. 

5) Under Pressure

Ugh. I can't listen to this song without choking up. Ever. It's so damned powerful. And now, two of my all-time vocalists and lyricists are reunited, playing this song for the rest of heaven, or whatever it is you believe in. 

Oddly enough, in an almost prophetic email, my cousin Ben sent me this link to the song with isolated vocals 3 days ago. The email was about this upcoming weekend and this was just an afterthought, but he linked it. 2 days later, we were a world without Bowie.

And that sucks.

It's a weird world out there, my friends. And it's weird because Mr. David Bowie told us it was okay to be weird. He got out there and did his thing, to hell with whatever anybody else thought. 

He was a pioneer, a rock god, a musical genius, from all accounts; just a rad dude, and a kook. I will miss him always. And I will regret having never seen him in person.

Rest well, Mr. Bowie. You will be missed.