LOOK UP HERE, I’M IN HEAVEN
I cried so much today, I thought I would never stop crying.
It would be inappropriate for me to start a blog about David Bowie without mentioning what he meant not only to me but everyone I can think of. Everyone loved David Bowie. Everyone. Those who did not love him were just unaware of him.
Here he is singing Everyone Says Hi – a song that saved my life. Really!
It’s odd. I was going to write a long blog about Bowie anyway. I stopped writing blogs because I thought that the world was so horrible that I didn’t wish to add to the commentary of it being awful but then thought the other day that I could write about things I like rather than writing about things I dislike and then all of a sudden Bowie dies. What the freak am I supposed to do with this information? Bowie was not me, you are anybody. He was all of us.
I first met David Bowie in 1974, he was cuddling a statue of St John in Brixton, London. He had a look in his eye that made me think that he was a proper jerk but then I got talking to him and he seemed OK. He asked me to play a few songs live with him at the Hammersmith that evening. We went on the stage and I kept fucking up the guitar parts in every song. I told him I knew the songs you see, to impress him, but I didn’t really. Then I woke up.
Tomorrow Was Nothing
In the noughties I had a complete breakdown. I suffer from manic depression and Heathen was out at roughly the same time. Heathen is my favourite Bowie album because it speaks to me. I kept trying to jump off bridges, take pills or drink myself to death. Thankfully I did not succeed but Everyone Says Hi was one of the things that helped me through that, and after every suicide attempt I’d wake up feeling embarrassed and it would be my ‘go to’ song to cope with the grief and lost love that I was feeling at the time. Thanks to some Bowie, meds and a fantastic doctor, I am now OK! Don’t worry about me.
I’m not even a REAL David Bowie fan
In 1999 I released two Meiosis albums onto the internet, namely Meiosis and The Melon Shark Legacy which, now, I find embarrassing. But I have left them available for peeps to listen to on Bandcamp because I feel it’s important that people can see where you are coming from with your music. Anyway, I released those two albums and it was the first time that my music had been heard outside of my own home, which consisted of my Mam, Dad & my big brother. Everyone who had heard it said that it sounded like Bowie. I originally passed it off as being influenced by Pulp and knew that they would be influenced by him. Until… it got silly that so many people said that I sounded like him that I went and bought some Bowie records (you had to go out and buy music in those days). To my internal horror... they were correct! What do I do now? I tried really hard not to sound too much like Bowie with every song I wrote, knowing that if it didn’t sound a bit like Bowie then peeps wouldn’t be interested in my music at all. I was only 17.
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
When I was at college, I was asked to BE David Bowie for a 70s concert. I wasn’t sure about it and my Mam and Dad were a bit pissed off at the time about me having to dye my hair. It turned out to be the highlight of my musical career. I know that two poor quality videos exist of the show but when I tried to get hold of them when I reformed myself back into Meiosis in 2010 – the peeps who have them don’t know what the freak I am talking about.
"You’ll have to dye your hair." "OK." "You’ll have to shave your legs." "OK" – I realised I’d only have to have ONE of my legs shaved and guess what?! … I shaved the wrong one! – I was carried onstage by 6 drama student girls. … And then I had to ‘come to life’ as ‘Ziggy’. I had 3 hours in makeup and hair before every show.. The lasses in makeup said "I love doing you up like this." – I said "I don’t mind but I couldn’t do it every night." We did 4 nights and I took proper choreography lessons in order to inhibit Ziggy for 4 nights. On the second night, for a laugh, we were backstage and they had me putting my arm around Graham the guitarist’s shoulders. Not liking the closeness, I joked that I should lick his face at that point. He enthusiastically said that I should DEFINITELY do that! So, in front of my Dad, I licked a man’s face. It was manly and salty and awful all at the same time. But it proved a point. All the ladies wanted to have a piece of me. All the gay drama students nearly did have a piece of me. I was the star of the show. Radio Newcastle came to interview me but I just promoted Meiosis. I think they broadcast me. I remember being in costume and my maths’ teacher seeing me whilst I was having a cig outside, and saying "why weren’t you at maths yesterday?" And Aric, our keyboard player, who also had to go to GCSE maths with me because we failed, kidz, stuck up for me and said "look at him! He’s obviously doing something else today!" I was too embarrassed to say out loud what we were doing. Thanks, Aric! My favourite thing that happened in this time was after a show, I took all of my makeup off and a guy who was at the college the year above us came up to me in the bar afterward and said:
YOU WERE GOOD, BUT WHO WAS ‘DAVID BOWIE’?!
We did ‘Ziggy’ a couple of times after that but, as far as I was concerned, it wasn’t true to form if I wasn’t licking Graham’s face. My hair was ‘Bowie Orange’ for a period of about 6 weeks until my Mam, much to my own advice, phoned up to say that my hair was awful and made them turn it back to what it was. They did – then on instructions from my mother dyed my hair back to a kind of chestnut colour. Which was the most embarrassing thing of it all! The band at the time were the same musicians that made up Meiosis. Just by coincidence.
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen…
Bowie songs have saved my love life, my family life, made me new friends and have got me back on track with my own music…
Obviously, people are aware that I love David Bowie and that I feel a great sense of loss today. I have had loads of messages today saying that they thought of how sad I’d be today. You are all correct. I do feel like there is an empty void in me that is now lost forever. I feel very very very sad. Very very very sad. All I ever really wanted was to see David Bowie live and well and over the last, past 10 years I have resigned myself into a state that I think this will never happen. I came to Bowie too late to be so young to be able to see him live in Newcastle and a bit too young to be able to travel to see him live elsewhere when he did do it. So thank you very much for sending me messages today. It’s got fuck all to do with me but I like that you think that it has. I’m fucking sad. That’s all I am – we are all sad.
I could write about David Bowie forever. I was going to write about his new album anyway….
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen.
I can’t express in words how much I owe to David Bowie.
I could write about my love for Bowie forever. And tomorrow and the next day and another day. We CAN be Heroes. I looked for him in Berlin, New York and Newcastle and we never found him. I searched for hours and then there he was on stage at The Tyne Theatre. He was waving me to come onto the stage and we ended up playing a song together. I fucked up the guitar. Then I woke up.
I hope I never wake up.
I have never known in my life someone who is so prolific. I have never known any other musician that absolutely everyone loved between every single generation and genre that spreads through one person. David Bowie is an inspiration to me and always will be. I love him, like he’s my best mate. I always knew he’d die before me but I also assumed that he was immortal. I didn’t plan for the fact that the songs that have helped me through life would have to also help me through this.
I have had many dreams about Bowie. We have all had the same dreams. He was the best thing that had ever happened to music. Between Pop and Rock, to Indie to rap to hip hop, snoop Doggy Bang, Nag, Bunf, Tribute, Flanck Nancy, Britpop, 80s, 1970s, 1990s, 1960s, Snatch, Garage, Fluff, Quack Quack and Terry the Guys playing at the Chicken and Basket Inn.
Everybody Knows Me Now
Writing the ending to this blog is hard for me. I am absolutely crying. I am bawling my eyes out like a child. I don’t cry like this anymore. But the pain is like I have lost a loved one. I am crying so hard that my salty tears mix with my salty snot. If you wanted to know how I feel … I feel sad…. that’s… all I can feel?! Snot, snot, cry, cry cry, snot, snot, cry cry. I don’t have words. Just crying. We all really need to cry like that.
In on Saturday… all of those genres….we all love him in our own way. I love you David
Bowie… I love you Dave Jones. I really, really do love you and thank you so much for giving me so much when I wasn’t able to give you anything back. I just love you… we’ll get over it… I think.
I have cried many times today. That’s Ok though. It’s appropriate.
For instruction of how I should live the rest of my life. "Stop crying?"
It now seems so obvious that David Bowie’s new album is about his own death. For somebody like me, who ponders their own mortality on a daily basis… it makes me want to like – it’s a new star… it makes me want to carry on. Thank you.
I actually want to grow up now. I do want to stop smoking and I want to have children. I don’t want to be ‘me’ forever. I just want you all here. Right here… right now. And now… and… now and again … and again… and now… and now and again… and now and…
Shakespeare? No. The Bible? No. David Bowie Yes.
Thanks for the gift, they do know. ...now
‘Lazarus’ by David Bowie: