By Bill Storie
To start with I was never a big David Bowie fan. However, in fairness though I never really listened to his music. So when he passed last week I watched the outpouring of grief around the world and decided to take a closer look at the man.
One of the things that immediately struck me was that he was a regular person who grew up in a normal family in Brixton, South London, England. He was just a normal kid who did normal kid’s stuff. I think sometimes we see the “later” person and imagine him to have been in the limelight all his life, but the truth is that the vast majority of movie stars, or music folks came from very humble beginnings and families.
Clearly at an early age Bowie was inspired by something and someone. I’m not sure that a person can naturally create music, or poetry without some stimulant. Something triggers the creativity.
In Bowie’s case it was when he watched a cousin dance to “Hound Dog” by Elvis. “It really impressed me, the power of the music,” he said. That started him off on the path to all of his musical, and other talents.
The thing that always amazes me about people like Bowie, Elton John, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and many more is how they develop into brilliantly creative people. In their case music. But in many other disciplines the same principle applies.
Especially when they become song-writers as well.
I think that is, by far, the most accomplished and surprising thing about these folks. I don’t demean anyone who can stand up in front of an audience and sing, because that takes a special caliber of person, but the song-writer clearly has a talent that sits atop anything in the music business.
Some of the lyrics from Lennon/McCartney or Jackson and many others, are simply diamonds in the literary world. The feelings and emotions that they can put into words is the work of genius. I have often wondered what changed them from being normal kids into masters of the language on a par with Dickens, Wilde and Byron. What inspired them?
Can you recall looking at that small, frail kid in your class at school when you were six or seven and then, many years later, finding out that he/she now writes some of the most poetic love songs in the world?
I admire people who can use the full extent of the language. Words come easy to them, not just any old word, that most of us would come up with, but they deliver the most appropriate word for the situation. They nail it in one.
I love this from Oscar Wilde who’s creative genius and attention to detail is at the top of the profession :
I spent all morning putting in a comma and all afternoon taking it out.
So rest in peace Mr. Bowie. The world is poorer for your loss.
A bit melancholy this week I agree, but there we are. Everyone else has been talking about it so I thought I would too.
Maybe next week I’ll start to be funny again, then again maybe not. I’ve spent all morning today putting funny stuff together for you and all afternoon taking it out. Wilde ideas, I know.
By Bill Storie