Tuesday, January 12, 2016
I was in my earliest days of music obsessing when I encountered David Bowie. My collection was mostly soundtracks, singles and a few Alice Cooper and KISS records. My cousin from Quebec City and her boyfriend (soon to be husband, later to be ex-husband) came for a visit one summer. The boyfriend was armed with a 1977 Corvette Stingray complete with one of the day's monster car stereos.
One afternoon he decided he wanted to impress someone with his toy, so he packed me into the car and we went off in search of a few long, straight, stretches of highway. As we pulled of RTE 132 onto a side road dubbed by locals "the flying mile" he popped in "It's No Game" from Bowie's Scary Monsters and got the car up to around 120-130 mph. Both the speed and the song made am impression on my especially impressionable teen mind.
That Xmas I put David Bowie on my wish list and one of my aunts complied, sending me Space Oddity. Now this didn't seem like the adrenaline soaked, nearly-pants-wetting experience from the previous summer, so I was a little disappointed. But I kept it and kept listening to it, and years later it became one of my favourites, both of Bowie's and overall.
In the period between 1969 and 1980 Bowie released eleven (twelve if you count the Station to Station mini album) of rock music's most undeniable classics. Through the 80s and 90s the albums seemed a little more caught up in their times, but even those records had moments that inspired awe and wonder.
More than just a turbo charged appreciation of his records, I feel like that early exposure to Bowie helped shape my listening overall, steering me around some of the classic rock sink holes that trap folks for their entire listening lives towards the weirder side of the road. And for that I will miss him... but more than that I'll continue to celebrate the awesome work he leaves behind.