‘If I’ll never see the English evergreens I’m running to’ – Line from “Dollar Days” on his new album “Blackstar.”
David Bowie left behind so many amazing quotes but the above line will probably go down as one of his most poignant following his death today from cancer aged 69.
Music fans all over the world are reacting in shock at the passing of one of the most innovative, creative and gifted artists that ever lived.
It is even more shocking coming as it does just a few days after the launch of his final album “Blackstar.”
Since his folkie beginnings in 1967 his desire, he said, was always to do something new because of his ‘attention deficit disorder’ and it drove him to become of the most commercially successful artists of the last 50 years.
In 1969 he had his first chart success with Space Oddity before going on to create new work at least once every three years.
It was speculated that he had retired at some stage over the last decade until he returned without any fan fare or announcement with The Next Day in 2013. In total he produced 25 studio albums and throughout his career he seamlessly took different genres from science fiction to German minimalism, avant-garde to soul, blues and punk.
But he was so much more than a rock star. His businessman acumen was amazing and he was one of the first musicians of his generation to embrace the internet. In a BBC interview in 2000, at a time when no one understood what effect this new communication medium would have on popular music he said:
“Rock and roll is now a career opportunity, and the internet carries the flag for the subversive and rebellious, chaotic and nihilistic…the monopolies do not have a monopoly. I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we’re on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying. The context and the state of content is going to be so different to anything we can envisage at the moment, where the interplay between the user and provider will be so in simpatico it’s going to crush ideas of what mediums are all about.”
He had only made sporadic public appearances in recent years and there had been rumours of ill health. He hadn’t performed live since a charity concert in 2006.
“I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring.’ David Bowie 1998.