Monday, January 11, 2016


I was another kid obsessed with David Bowie in high school. Modern Love was popular but my little group of friends, we listened to Ziggy and Aladdin Sane and Hunky Dory. Tricia and Mark used to pretend they were from another planet called X-Squared where you had purple hair and blue skin or was it blue hair and purple skin, and somehow the portal to this world had something to do with listening to Heroes. I found the planet game annoying, but I loved to lie on the floor in my room with Mark and listen to the songs and discuss them, and as a perpetually shy and nerdy kid, I felt proud of being a fan of someone so... I don't know, so great.

We saw him live at Angels Stadium. They covered the playing field with a vast false floor and filled the place. Every one of us down on the floor stood on our chairs through the entire show.

I think I saw him live once a year for most of my adult life, or at least every tour he did, up through Tin Machine when I left the circus and stopped seeing live shows much. Like Mark, who was my friend and then my best friend and then my boyfriend, my ex-husband had a huge thing for Bowie. I'm trying to remember how far we drove one time to see one of those concerts. Something like three hundred miles one way, and we drove it there and back to the circus in one day. My ex had a blue satin jacket that said MTV on it and, as always, he tried to get the back stage manager to let us back stage by claiming that he was a show promoter. Sometimes it worked, but with Bowie, who he wanted to meet most of all, it never did.

It's a weird world where it's possible for David Bowie not to be in it. Oddly, he's mentioned in two of the stories I edited for City of Weird, and is one of the only celebrities mentioned in the book. I could keep jabbering on, but I don't need to talk about all his amazing musical innovations, his way of reinventing himself, the many ways he affected our culture. Everyone else out there is doing a great job at that. I just want to think of lying on my bedroom floor listening to music that opened up that big high school wonder in me like almost nothing else did.