David Bowie, Legend, Has Passed Away

    yes, it is true.

    by leila brillson · January 11, 2016

    Courtesy of RCA Records

    The worst part of working in the entertainment industry is moments like this; the moments when your phone goes off at a quarter past two on Eastern Standard time, buzzing incessantly because, well, have you heard the news? We all want to get the story up, to be the first with a pithy memory or to remark on how iconic a creative is, how truly they shaped this world, how you can't imagine a future generation not knowing their discography. That's the dark side.

    However, the bright side about writing about music, art, and culture is that we get to think, professionally, about the effect a talent has on the entire world. We get to consider their legacy, see the younger stars they influenced, write about the way they will be remembered. These are the gifts David Bowie, who passed away tonight at age 69 of a quiet, private battle with cancer, has given the world. Bowie had just released new music on his birthday (justnot even four days ago, making his song "Lazarus" particularly poignant in its title and meaning) , which was probably made during his struggle. In so many ways, that is such a fitting end to the legacy of one of the greatest musical talents to have ever lived: To face death on his own terms, leaving behind yet another musical odyssey for us to explore.

    To end this, let's read a tweet from David's son Duncan Jones, and reflect on the lyrics to "Space Oddity." (New York Times)

     


    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Take your protein pills 
    and put your helmet on

    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Commencing countdown, 
    engines on
    Check ignition 
    and may God's love be with you

    [spoken]
    Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff

    This is Ground Control 
    to Major Tom
    You've really made the grade
    And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
    Now it's time to leave the capsule 
    if you dare

    This is Major Tom to Ground Control
    I'm stepping through the door
    And I'm floating 
    in a most peculiar way
    And the stars look very different today

    For here
    Am I sitting in a tin can
    Far above the world
    Planet Earth is blue
    And there's nothing I can do

    Though I'm past 
    one hundred thousand miles
    I'm feeling very still
    And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
    Tell my wife I love her very much 
    she knows

    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Your circuit's dead,
    there's something wrong
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you....

    Here am I floating 
    round my tin can
    Far above the Moon
    Planet Earth is blue
    And there's nothing I can do.

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