This morning, DJ John Richards stated on Seattle’s KEXP radio that even though he was a celebrity, it’s okay to take the loss of David Bowie personally. Though most of us didn’t know him personally, he was just as much a friendly fixture in our lives as a friend or family member, and for many, his passing leaves a true absence in our hearts. We’re “floating in a most peculiar way.”
Having quietly suffered for over a year and a half from cancer, he left us just a couple of days after his 69th birthday, which was last Friday, January 8th, the day his final album, “Black Star” dropped in characteristic elegance. We weren’t to know it was his musical “parting gift to the world,” according to producer Tony Visconti, his “final work of art,” until it became so. Classic Bowie. Don’t talk about doing something, just do it and let the world react how it will.
If you’ve ever set foot in a decent bar, you will understand why an online publication devoted to alcoholic beverages must pay tribute to this man. How do you not smile when a classic Bowie song plays on the jukebox or surfaces on a bartender’s playlist while you’re enjoying a drink? Has one ever played in a bar when no one sings along? How many cocktails have been named for him or one of his songs? Then there are the people who served him drinks over the years, so many of whom later commented about how polite and generous he was to have as a customer.
He was a true artist in every sense. He examined the world and continuously sought ways to make it weirder, giving millions of adolescent weirdos around the world the courage to be weird too. “Let all the children boogie.” If he got too comfortable in one persona – Man Who Sold the World, Ziggy Stardust, Thin White Duke, Man Who Fell to Earth, Let’s Dance, Blue Jean, Jareth the Goblin King, Tin Machine, Loveable Heathen, the list goes on – he exited gracefully and soon returned as something else, all with a wink and sense of self-deprecating humor. We got used to it. It’s hard to imagine this time he isn’t coming back.
Wherever you are today, raise a toast to the Starman and play a few songs. Tell your favorite David Bowie story. We’re lucky he fell to earth and we got to share it with him while we could. Cheers, David! I like to think he’s not resting in peace, but asking for the latest party, wherever he is.
Editor in Chief
P.S. If anyone has any memories or Bowie-inspired cocktail recipes you’d like to share, please do so in the comments!