What Would Bowie Do?

David Bowie

I know I’m not alone in being absolutely stunned at the news of David Bowie’s passing this week. He had just marked his 69th birthday with the release of a new album Blackstar, his first since 2013’s The Next Day which in itself marked a return from a decade away from recording. I had just written an earlier post to celebrate this new music, and to pay tribute to the fact that, at 69, he never let himself just become a “greatest hits” machine. Sadly, this is the revised piece. During his 18-month battle with the cancer that finally claimed him, Bowie (understandably) kept a low profile. But for years before that, he had flown low on the pop culture radar. This didn’t mean he wasn’t still pursuing “the next new thing:” he was acting, publishing, painting, even delving into the tech space. The Thin White Duke never ever let himself calcify. The impulse that brought us Ziggy Stardust or “the Goblin King” from the movie Labyrinth continued to flow through Bowie – even if we weren’t seeing it on a stage, screen or YouTube. He was just being….David Bowie.

To give you an idea of just how colorful, unpredictable and crazy his 69 years were (and to make you feel completely boring and lazy by comparison), the website lets you see what he was doing compared to any year of your own life. For example, type in the age “30.” What comes up? “When David Bowie was 30…” he sang in a completely self-invented language on a track for the album, Low. This is what we’re dealing with, folks.

The Bowie site is a bit of fun; but in light of his passing, it’s also a poignant reminder of his fearless, relentless creativity — that lasted right up to the end, and became his final gift to us.

When you are at a creative crossroads, asking yourself “What Would Bowie Do?” is a pretty good way to push yourself beyond your own boundaries.  That alone is a fitting tribute to this endlessly inventive artist.

Cindy Grogan

Photo Credit: Public domain image of David Bowie circa 1975.

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Cindy Grogan is a longtime freelance writer, having worked in a ton of different industries, writing a ton of different things. Her background in radio is a natural fit for her love of music – anything from the Beatles to Hank Williams, Sr. to Prokofiev. A rabid consumer of pop culture and politics, Cindy finds the smartass tendencies that once got her grounded now serve her well in Facebook arguments. Oh, and she also loves cats.

5 comments on “What Would Bowie Do?

  1. […] of talented people lately, including music legends David Bowie and Glenn Frey. Read our tributes What Would Bowie Do?, David Bowie: Sometimes Three Years Are Better Than Five, and “Perfection is Not an […]

  2. […] For more remembrances of this musical and creative genius, check out our posts What Would Bowie Do?, David Bowie, Adman, and David Bowie: Sometimes Three Years Are Better Than Five. Plus, when […]

  3. […] While we’re on the subject of new albums, you might be interested in What Would Bowie Do? and David Bowie: Sometimes Three Years Are Better Than Five which look at David Bowie’s final […]

  4. […] Wrote with Elvis. And for our reflections on the late, greats David Bowie and Glenn Frey, read What Would Bowie Do? and “Perfection is Not an […]

  5. […] For more on the late artist and his legacy, check out our posts What Would Bowie Do?, David Bowie: Sometimes Three Years Are Better Than Five, and Bowie: The Karaoke […]

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