I wrote all of the lyrics to ‘Ziggy Stardust’ on my school planner when I was 14. I thought lyrics like…
Making love with his ego
Ziggy sucked up into his mind, ah
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man
I had to break up the band
… were really beautiful and profound and all the things you feel when you’re beginning to discover good music. Of course, they genuinely are—I still think they are—but they’re also dramatic and a little funny in a romantic sort of way.
I’m not the first woman in my family to take the time to write out every line of a Bowie song so as to really absorb it. My mom did the exact same thing, listening to her vinyl and laying on her stomach in her bedroom when she was in high school writing in cursive…
the church of man—love—is such a holy place to be
… I imagine her wearing all shades of orange and brown and yellow, hair stick straight and bell bottoms wide. I love that we both did this, and probably for the same reasons. We discovered music we loved and we wanted to soak in every turn of phrase and sub meaning. And also to declare our allegiance to this self-aware, artistic performer.
When I learned that David Bowie died tonight I laid on my bed and listened to ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ while staring up at my ceiling. Nothing makes you feel like a teenager again like just listening to music, not doing anything else.
The shared experience that my mom and I have is just one example of how incredible David Bowie was. His music reached across generations, connecting with the young and hungry of every era. Thanks for everything David Bowie. Thanks for helping me discover my rebel, my love of words, my friends. Thanks for whatever you did for all of us. ❤️