David Bowie, iconic rock star and legendary musician, died on Sunday at the age of 69, after an 18-month long battle with cancer, surrounded by family and friends.
Through the singer’s official Facebook page, a statement was released confirming Bowie’s death, stating the facts simply.
“January 10 2016 – David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
And indeed, the world is grieving — from those who cannot think of their childhoods without remembering the movie Labyrinth, with, of course, David Bowie starring as Jareth, the Goblin King, to those who were dancing in the street with Bowie and Mick Jagger. In fact, everyone has a certain David Bowie they remember best, but he may be best remembered as simply a poet, a man who had a true way with words.
In fact, while the lyrics of David Bowie have always been memorable, he truly had an equally impressive way with words in real life interactions, unscripted and spontaneous. And, as the Daily Telegraph noted, “Despite a reputation for being elusive, Bowie has been candid in interviews.”
And Bowie was very candid in interviews — with everything from what it was like to be a pop star married to a super-model (apparently it’s as great as you would imagine it to be), to his dislike of dancing to the rather good-natured feud that occurred between Bowie and another legendary musical icon — Mick Jagger.
In recognition of David Bowie’s way with words, here is a collection of some of his most memorable quotes.
“Fame itself…doesn’t really afford you anything more than a good seat in a restaurant.”
“I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.”
“As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three: how long and what do I do with the time I’ve got left?”
“You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.” (Touche, David Bowie!)
“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, ‘F*** that. I want to be a superhuman.’ “
“What I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.”
“I’m an instant star — just add water and stir.”
“I think [Mick] Jagger would be astounded and amazed if he realized that to many people, he is not a sex symbol but a mother image.”
“Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.”
“I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring.”
Let’s hope the last one is certainly the truth for David Bowie.
There are many facets to David Bowie — and many different ways to remember the star. New York Times writer Jon Pareles summed Bowie up succinctly, reminding us that Bowie transcended music, art, and fashion.
“Mr. Bowie was a person of relentless reinvention. He emerged in the late 1960s with the voice of a rock belter but with the sensibility of a cabaret singer, steeped in the dynamics of stage musicals. He was Major Tom, the lost astronaut in his career-making 1969 hit ‘Space Oddity.’
“He was Ziggy Stardust, the otherworldly pop star at the center of his 1972 album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.’
“He was the self-destructive Thin White Duke and the minimalist but heartfelt voice of the three albums he recorded in Berlin in the ’70s.”
David Bowie was all of those, and more.
[Image via “David Bowie 1976” by Jean-Luc — originally posted to Flickr as David Bowie. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons]