On the day I was born, T. Rex’s ‘Metal Guru’ was the number one single in Britain; and David Bowie’s fifth album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, would be released two days later. ‘Space Oddity’ was a radio constant during my childhood, but I wasn’t truly aware of Bowie until ‘Ashes to Ashes’ and Let’s Dance.
So I missed his Seventies heyday, but songs like ‘Blue Jean’ and ‘Absolute Beginners’ lit up my adolescence. I bought my first Bowie album, Ziggy Stardust, on vinyl from Beano’s in Croydon, and later Hunky Dory on tape. Then at last, a Best Of Bowie. Everyone reads his music differently, but for me it’s about remaining sensitive in an often brutal world.
A few years ago, I finally got to see The Man Who Fell to Earth, and it was all I hoped it would be. And in 2013, when it seemed he had gone for good, came ‘Where Are We Now?’ For all that glacial beauty, David Bowie was rich in love and wisdom; and for a brief moment, he made each of us feel less alone.