the troubled diary of a David Bowie fan, day 6

David Bowie - Ziggy3

Woke up this morning. David Bowie is dead.

Nothing has changed.

He has always been dead.

Last night someone accused me on Twitter of not seeming like a Bowie fan, because of the previous diary entry. I do not understand what they mean. Is this all a competition then, to see who can come first in the Grief Stakes, to prove that their own personal loss and sense of bereavement is so much more pronounced than someone else’s? To show up the rest of the world for the fakers and uncaring, unfeeling bastards they are? Is this what fandom amounts to? (Yes, quite possibly.) I do not deny this diary is troubled, nor do I deny that I do not accept unquestioningly everything David Bowie has produced. I have never done hero worship, it is not in me. I do not deny that others feel more than me. I am certain they do. Does this mean I should not call myself a fan, though? I still feel shivers coruscating down my spine when he trembles his way through Wild Is The Wind on Station to Station, when he stutters his way through Andy Warhol on Hunky Dory, when he calls us out to the stars on Starman (live), Space Oddity, Five Years, Lazarus, so many times. I still want to embrace non-conformity although perhaps not the way others do. I question revisionist accounts of the Bowie effect in the 1970s and 1980s, but I try to question everything. I view what he does – did – as theatre, but do not view that as an insult. I love theatrical production. Cabaret, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Hunky Dory, Soft Cell… these albums and shows meant, and continue to mean, far more to me than a hundred thousand ‘authentic’ rock bands and political screeds. I know I am not worthy to call myself a Bowie fan next to hundreds of thousands of other people and mourners but I did not realise grief was a competition.

There is frost on the window pane. I feel the cold in my marrow. David Bowie is dead but he is not.

This, surprisingly, is one of my favourite cover versions from the handful I found the other day. I do not question feelings like this, not too closely. At the age of 54, you think I care about seeming ‘cool’?

No wait. I hate that. I mean this version, of course.

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