Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Monday 11 January 2016

Lots of rain 14 degrees

Breaking news this morning - almost unbelievably, David Bowie has gone.

There is a period in life, in the passage from child to young adult, where feelings and sensations are ultra sensitive; where they weigh you down in the way that work and debt and responsibility will within a decade.  You are emerging from the primeval slime and finding your form and style yet you are shy and uncertain.

David Bowie appeared to be born certain that he would be the creator of style. He would create characters - Ziggy Stardust, Alladin Sane, The Thin White Duke - and then sing about their lives.  He would change his look, make fashion, act and direct.  He was chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature.

In 1972 I was 14 and still mostly in the slime.  I had bad teeth and greasy hair and spotty skin and I was plump.  I also had the misfortune of having hit puberty three years earlier.  Dieting had got rid of the multiple chins which had shown on my previous school photos.  I had acquired a friend who was not a social outcast.  I was on the edges of being accepted.

Alison invited me to her house to listen to records.  Her parents were out and her room was dark with just one bedside light, a blood red bulb, giving a Ripper like ambiance to the room.  The air was thick with Patchouli and incense.  She gave me a try of a no 6 cigarette, acrid and choking, and we drank cider, nicked from her brother's bedroom.

And she played the Ziggy Stardust album.  We lay on the rug and watched the flickering lights on the ceiling and the thin, high voice of David Bowie on that night is still with me, 44 years later; part of my DNA.

I got home late, the voice in my head saying 'dont act drunk' and fell over the doormat onto the feet of my mother and she decided Alison was a bad influence (she was mostly friends to copy my homework) and we were 'separated' and I slipped back into the slime where I wallowed around with the other outcasts until 16 and my liberation from the state education system.  Goodbye to all that.

And Lazarus, David in his final words, 

Look up here, I'm in Heaven!
I've got scars that can't be seen
I've got drama, can't be stolen,
Everybody knows me now
Look up here, man, I'm in danger!
I've got nothing left to lose
I'm so high, it makes my brain whirl
Dropped my cellphone down below
Ain't that just like me?!
By the time I got to New York
I was living like a king
Then I used up all my money
I was looking for your ass
This way or no way
You know I'll be free
Just like that bluebird
Now, ain't that just like me?
Oh, I'll be free
Just like that bluebird
Oh, I'll be free
Ain't that just like me?

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