David Bowie: singer, actor, writer, LGBT activist was lost this month to the tragic illness cancer. Just days after his 69th birthday and posing for his latest photo shoot. His latest album Black Star released Jan 8th 2016. Leaving the world in mourning, tributes from countless famous people. Full page spreads in every news paper. His record company donating all profits from sales of his albums for this whole month donated to cancer research. Odeon even rescreened Labyrinth at select cinemas with profits again to cancer research. Shops across the country playing his music. A street party in Brixton, along with tributes. A wonderful celebration of a great life.
The first two things anyone usually thinks of when you say Bowie, are normally Ziggy Stardust/his music and the film Labyrinth. However he had a long and varied acting career, as diverse as his music career. Starting in 1967 in a short film called The Image, right through to the modern tv series Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces. Starring in Spongebob Squarepants, Extras, Zoolander and the Last Temptation of Christ. Probably best known for his work in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
My first experience of David Bowie being an 80’s child, as many of us was as Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth. Already interested in rock music from my parents vinyl collection, and fantasy from a young age. I found myself fascinated with the idea of a Goblin King falling in love with a mortal girl. Taking her step brother away to give her a better life, yet offering her a chance to win him back if she really wanted. The costumes were stunning, my favourite being in Sarah’s parents bedroom when he turned from a barn owl into the king. The music was the real hook for me, I loved his voice. Insisting we watched the film every time it was on tv, and wearing out more copies of the vhs tape then I dare remember.
As I grew older, I realised that Jareth was also a singer and nagged my parents to sheer insanity to buy me cassettes of some of his albums. Yes, I know, I show my age saying cassette and VHS. They tried to explain he wasn’t like the Goblin King, but I kept nagging until a few months later I was gifted the singles collection. Which I played on repeat until they were forced to buy me more albums every year. Until I knew the words by heart.
Even in adulthood I never stopped listening to Bowie’s music, his and Queen being my favourites to this day. I am deeply saddened to have never been able to see him in concert or even have met him. As I am sure many others feel as well. His passing leaves a hole in the world that will never quite close, leaving us forever gladdened to have had him in our lives even for a short time. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time. I send them strength and blessings to carry them through.
Sarah Beth James