Of course I was shocked by the news that David Bowie was dead. But I was surprised at how hard I took it. I found out almost immediately after waking, and I walked to the kitchen in a daze. Not usually one for sentimental reactions to celebrities, I couldn't understand why this was so different. As I got ready for the day, I listened to the three Bowie songs that I needed to hear just then:
Ashes to Ashes
I got into my car, and thought I'd let whatever Bowie songs that were on my phone play my way into work. The first few chords of Young Americans began to play, and quickly I knew what I was feeling.
Danielle was the first of my friends to get her license and a car. It was a big old granny car, filled with quilts and toys and the biggest CD wallet you could buy. I would guess weeks of my life were spent in that car, driving to and from play practice or our jobs at Hollywood Video, or the Saturday afternoons that we would spend driving into the city to collect Original Broadway Cast recordings from Cheapo or flipping through pages of old books at Magers and Quinn. In the car, we sang and danced and talked about boys. Inside that car, we weren't too fat or too gay or too sad or arty. We were just living.
There's that scene in The Perks of Being a Wallflower where the kids stand in the bed of the truck as they drive into New York City, listening to Heroes. Of course these memories make me think of this scene. And I feel like even a year or two ago, I might have been laughed at our former selves, how free and independent we thought we were being when the same feelings and actions were taking place by countless other boys and girls to the same songs on the same highways. So expected that the acts made their way into young adult novels and movies.
But today I feel different.
Because there was an oddity that was big enough that everyone noticed. And he wrote songs that hit the air waves and those songs had soaring melodies that captured the hearts and souls of misfits and losers all over the world. And the songs peeled them away from the wall, and let them feel free to dance.
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day
Love and Stardust,