Last night we sat at the end of a stage while Nobunny slung bodily fluids and incited a semi riot from behind a maniacal rabbit mask. It was rock n’ roll. It was what we love. It was the abandonment, the destruction rather, of social criterion to be replaced with a more honest reality of chaos. The thing the freaks and losers always recognized but could never seem to communicate properly to their given society. The kind of thing David Bowie taught us was ok to embrace.
So it was quite ironic that amidst leather jackets and green hair I watched Nobunny take his final skivvy clad yelps and looked down at my phone to find a flurry of text messages that didn’t quite read well the first time around.
“David Bowie died”
My first impression, probably the same as yours, was “nope” followed by a panicked internet search for a reliable source, followed by a sickening lurch of realization that nobody was writing this off as a hoax. As word dispersed, I watched as a crowded club that no more than 5 minutes earlier had been deafening relapse into silence.
I could continue this as a gush about the importance of Bowie and regurgitate everything you’ve already experienced on your own but that would simply be redundant. In all honesty I find little purpose in this essay other than to extinguish a bit of my own sadness. What I do know is that after last night’s show I saw strangers, friends, and band members come together over hugs and stiff drinks at a neighboring karaoke bar and close it down with the entire David Bowie catalogue.
Now I sit here on the following morning, an emotional clusterfuck in a coffee shop in a pretty part of town trying to swallow my heart and looking around realizing that no one here gives two shits about what happened last night. But that’s just it. Those of us who were influenced by Bowie took it personally. This wasn’t a casual “Hey this music’s cool I’m going to listen to more of it.” This was an influence that enabled change and liberation for the kids who never felt the same, who may have been too afraid to unfurl their freak flag, who were crippled by the pressures of expectation and needed to be ok with their contrast.
So, as you look down at us from whatever cosmic spaceship you’re riding in now, in light of your courage and your overwhelming impact on our lives, we sincerely thank you and are eternally grateful.
From this planet to the next.
January 11th, 2016