Like a gazillion other people, I feel stunned by the news that David Bowie has departed this earth.
At the loss of someone who has impacted and influenced your life, you can hardly begin to measure the shape of what’s left behind.
Our personal and collective inner landscape has shifted and we’re trying to come to terms with it.
No one exists forever and it seems our elegant gentleman was well aware that his last mortal chapter was about to reach it’s conclusion.
“Blackstar” was his parting gift.
Provocative and nightmarishly “otherworldly”… we are jolted towards the twilight realms of epileptic seizures and voodoo scarecrows.
The bejewelled remains of Major Tom lie dormant in a dust coated space suit…
It leaves me breathless.
You must see it to believe it…
He could see through it all.
GARY OLDMAN (at Brits 2016)
“We are coming to terms with the magnitude of David’s passing. The Jones family lost a husband and a father. Those closest to David lost a dear friend and the world lost a man, an artist of transcendent talent. As Annie so gracefully said, David’s contribution, his influence on popular music, on culture itself has no equal, he was the very definition, he was the living embodiment of that singular word icon. I am so deeply touched and honoured to be hear tonight to accept this award for David and his family. “In recent years David sparingly spoke about music and his process; but in one of these rare instances, he graciously and elegantly expounded. “‘Music has given me over 40 years of extraordinary experiences. I can’t say that life’s pains or more tragic episodes have been diminished because of it, but it has allowed me so many moments of companionship when I have been lonely and a sublime means of communications when I have wanted to touch people. It has been both my doorway of perception and the house that I live in.’ “Over his career, David challenged and changed our understanding of the medium, whether in music or in life, he emphasised originality, experimentation, exploration, and in his very unique way, he also reminded us to never take ourselves too seriously. “David was funny. He was funny, hilariously so, and the laughs were many and massive, and I shall miss them. A related story, a few years ago we were standing on a street corner and he was approached by this big fella, rocker type, long hair, leather clad, and he offered up this piece of paper for David’s autograph. “David signed the piece of paper, and as the fella walked away he turned to me and said ‘Well, he’s going to be disappointed.’ I said ‘Why?’ and he said ‘Because I signed it Gary Oldman’. His outlook was always positive, and I never once heard him complain. “David faced his illness with enormous courage, dignity, grace and customary humour. Even in dire circumstances. When he wrote to tell me the bad new that he had cancer, he added, ‘the good news is I have my cheekbones back.’”
“He was the sweetest soul ever, with the best cheekbones, until it was done. David, you were mortal, but your potential was superhuman, and your remarkable music is living on. We love you, and we thank you.”
Immortal unbelievable. A gentleman and a hero.
Im Devastated! This great Artist changed my life! First concert i ever saw in Detroit! Talented . Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever!
He inspired us to go beyond the norm & reach out & dispel the void of life in 70’s England with own art forms….
Wherever you are now, I miss you. Not only do I miss you but my heart is broken. You were my idol, then you became my mentor and my friend. I learnt so much from you, just by being in your presence, the conversations we had and, of course, watching you perform. You always had time for me. My band and I were tiny when we first met. Nonetheless , you took us under your wing. You believed in us and gifted us with so many fantastic opportunities. Without you, your tutelage and your wisdom, I don’t think I would be where I am today, as an artist but also as a person. For that I will be eternally grateful. Float around the ether, David. Bounce gracefully off planets light-years away as you become one with the Universe, as you dive into the Great Unknown. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Iman, Lexi and Duncan, whose hearts I know are far more broken than mine. As for me, I will treasure every memory of every moment we spent together. Dear David, beautiful man and force of nature, you are immortal. You live beyond the veil of the big sleep. Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. Namaste”
David Bowie was a true innovator, a true creative. May he rest in peace.
David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.
I love how Bowie challenged people’s perception of gender stereotypes and what an Outsider truly was. He was SO ahead of his time.
I just lost a hero.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO
Bowie existed so all of us misfits learned that an oddity was a precious thing. he changed the world forever.
Devasted…A LEGEND IS GONE
John and David respected each other. They were well matched in intellect and talent. As John and I had very few friends we felt David was as close as family. After John died, David was always there for Sean and me. When Sean was at boarding school in Switzerland, David would pick him up and take him on trips to museums and let Sean hang out at his recording studio in Geneva. For Sean this is losing another father figure. It will be hard for him, I know. But we have some sweet memories which will stay with us forever.
Over here on E Street, we’re feeling the great loss of David Bowie. David was a visionary artist and an early supporter of our music.
Su twitter: “Planet Earth is blue” .
I’ve played at being a rock & roll star, but I’m really not one. David Bowie is my idea of a rock star. Right now, I’m in Myanmar, a little cut off from the reaction to David’s passing, but I can assure you the sky is a lot darker here without the Starman. The first time I saw him perform was on Top of the Pops in 1972, singing “Starman.” He was so vivid. So luminous. So fluorescent. We had one of the first color TVs on our street, and David Bowie was the reason to have a color TV. I’ve said he was our Elvis Presley. There are so many similarities: the masculine-feminine duality, the physical mastery of being on a stage. They created original silhouettes, shapes now seen as obvious, that did not exist before. They both had that otherworldliness. With Bowie, you had this sneaking suspicion that if you hung around him, you might find some doors into those other worlds. In my teenage mind, “Life on Mars?” was much more about, is there life on earth? Are we really alive? Is this really all there is? And some of the doors Bowie opened led to other artists. He opened doors for me into Bertolt Brecht, and William Burroughs — and, by the way, Bruce Springsteen, who he was on very early. And for me, the most important door he opened was the one with Brian Eno behind it. I’d like to consider myself David’s friend, but I’m more of a fan. He came and visited us when we were mixing Achtung Baby — and, of course, he had introduced us to Berlin and to Hansa Studios. We had a playful sort of banter — he would really go there in conversations, and we would even occasionally hurt each other’s feelings. He took his daughter to a matinee to see Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and he sent me the reasons he didn’t like it. And everything he said was really helpful, because it was in the early days of the show. I’ve been talking with Brian Eno about this, because David sent Brian a goodbye note, and he shared the contents with me. It was so amazing, and it’s so funny. It’s a really surreal, defiant type of goodbye letter, a kiss-off. And I was saying to Brian that David had been on our minds. Over Christmas, my oldest daughter Jordan and I were listening to Blackstar a lot. David met her when she was two. He called her “Pixie,” and she’s been a lifelong Bowie fan. I like Bowie when he’s evenly pulled in the direction of being a pop star and Picasso, where he’s right down the middle. That’s usually my favorite, when the songwriting is disciplined but the recording is not. I love when he’s pulled equally in the directions of art and populism. Blackstar is much more art, so I shouldn’t like it as much as I do. But I really loved it. And so did my daughter Jordan. I sent him a picture of myself and Jordan toasting him on his birthday this year. I sent him a long email, and I sent him a beautiful poem by Michael Leunig called “Love and Fear” — one line goes, “there are only two feelings/love and fear.” I didn’t hear back, but I was told he got it. Ultimately, as a songwriter and as a performer, your currencies are thoughts and feelings. Some people may have original thoughts, but the musical landscape is not that unique. Bowie’s musical landscape affected you in a way that is completely different from all the other music around it. You have to close your eyes, imagine you don’t speak English and just feel the songs and say, “What part of me is being played by those notes?” Or “Who else plays them?”.And in his case, the answer is nobody. That part of me is only played by David Bowie. So that part of me is now a void — I have to find other ways to wake it up. But it woke me up when I was 14.
David’s death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now. I received an email from him 7 days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, Brian. They will never rot,’ and it was signed, ‘Dawn”. I realize now he was saying goodbye.
PAUL MC CARTNEY
“Very sad news to wake up to on this raining morning. David was a great star and I treasure the moments we had together. His music played a very strong part in British musical history and I’m proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world. I send my deepest sympathies to his family and will always remember the great laughs we had through the years. His star will shine in the sky forever.”
I am still in shock. Never saw it coming. My deepest condolences to Iman and the family. An amazing life. An amazing career.
I can never express into words how you will continue to inspire me… Thank you for showing a pimple-faced, curly-mopped kid that DIFFERENT was THE THING TO BE. A GENIUS for the ages and the ages to come.
David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.
Shocked 2 hear about David. A dear friend & mentor to me. Gave me help when I most needed it. My thoughts r w/his family this very sad day.
David Bowie is my favorite rock musician of all time.
One of THE GREAT moments in my life. I regret being a bit too young to fully appreciate it though
Bowie WAS The Man Who Fell to Earth.Curious, brilliant, enigmatic and sweet.We needed him and he appeared, changing our perceptions forever.
When a true star blinks out, the sky looks different, and never feels the same
Thank you David Bowie. You’re a Universe of inspiration
THE ROLLING STONES
The Rolling Stones are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie. As well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original.
Bowie was an innovator, a unique artist with a vision that changed the face of popular music. He is greatly missed.
I was shocked to learn of David Bowie’s death this morning. He meant so much to me and to so many. He was a one-off, a brilliant outlier, always exploring, challenging and inspiring anyone who wanted to push the boundaries of music, art, fashion and society. There are so few artists who can touch a generation as he did, we will miss him badly. Long Live Lazarus.”
As I’m sure you can imagine I’m gutted hearing of David’s passing. He was the biggest influence & encouragement I could ever have wished for.
First and foremost, to Iman, Duncan and Lexi my heart goes out to you. To the man that had given me so much over the last 40 years i am beyond words at the moment. good bye David. Sleep tight my friend.
GENE SIMMONS (KISS)
David Bowie, you will be sorely missed. Bowie’s ‘Changes’ and the Ziggy story songs were a major influence for me.
David was always an inspiration to me and a true original. He was wonderfully shameless in his work. We had so many good times together… He was my friend. I will never forget him.
I just can’t believe it. I am in total shock about David Bowie’s passing. It’s crazy. Never in a million years did I think that we would lose such an amazing guy so young. I guess I thought he would live forever. I’m at a loss for words right now. Wow
SLASH (GUNS N’ ROSES)
There aren’t words enough to express the feeling of loss in this moment. RIP David. You will be missed beyond measure.
Undeniably the fearless leader of the pack. David was the groundbreaking chameleon who impacted us all. Such a colossal loss.
Sweet dreams, old sock.
I woke up late, after a long night, to shocking news. David Bowie gone. I don’t know if I can react immediately. He was a fearsome talent, and the loss to music and culture from his passing is inestimable. In and out of our lives, always challenging and innovative, and…shocking. But this news is hard to take in. I had no idea he was close to death. Would like to have said something… Very sad. Sincere condolences to his family. But what a life. All hail, David Bowie, Star Man, Hero.
David Bowie was a huge influence on me throughout my life. The original star-man returned to the stars… Thank you for everything you brought us.
He has left us for another world, beyond the darkness of this present one vividly so depicted in the shadows of his last video. I truly pray he’s welcomed to the light by his Maker in that great today, which has no tomorrow.
JOHN OATES (Hall and Oates)
With the passing of David Bowie, the world has lost a true artist in every respect: uniquely original, ever expanding and exploring… Daryl and I played with him in 1973 on his first U.S. tour. Off stage he always struck me as warm and engaging. His creativity and musical legacy will live forever.
His death was no different from his life — a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us.
DAVID CAMERON, primo ministro UK
Genius is an over-used word, but I think musically, creatively, artistically, David Bowie was a genius. For someone of my age, he provided a lot of the soundtrack of our lives. I grew up listening to and watching the pop genius David Bowie. He was a master of re-invention, who kept getting it right. A huge loss.
TONY BLAIR, ex primo ministro UK
From the time I saw his Ziggy Stardust concert as a student, I thought he was a brilliant artist and an exciting and interesting human being.
Rip Father of all us freaks. Sad sad day. Love always.
Never imagined a world without him. He has ascended into the cosmos from whence he came. Farewell, David Bowie.
The last time I saw David Bowie was in Brooklyn, with some very very lucky people who got to hear Lou Reed play his dark glory, BERLIN, live. He was sitting directly in front of me with Lou’s wife, Laurie Anderson…When we said hello he turned and I recognized him instantly. Instead of saying hello, I just started petting his shoulders. I can’t describe it any more accurately. He was just so special it was the only way I seemed to be able to express my joy. I haven’t petted that many men in my life. I’m so glad I got to do that. And more importantly, that he let me. He just smiled as I apologized for petting him. He seemed to not only understand, but accept the strange offering of gratitude and recognition….we all wanted to be as cool as David. Even Lou. He was always, always the coolest guy in the room. And he was a master singer – song writer. God bless David Bowie.
NICK RHODES (DURAN DURAN)
Like everybody else, I was profoundly sad, and still am. There was no question that as a musician, David Bowie was the singular person who inspired me more than anyone else to become a musician. The first record I ever bought was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust when I was 10 years old. I saw David Bowie perform many times and was lucky enough to become his friend over the years.