Right now, I am listening to one of my happy songs. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” always makes me smile and feel a little jig in my bones when I hear it.
Since, the news broke of David Bowie’s exiting quietly into his next world (because I fully believe he was half stardust and half other worldly alien visiting our planet for a short while), there have been many posts about his influence on the lives of his fans. I have read them all over Twitter, Facebook, WordPress…just everywhere.
And it has been amazing.
Yesterday was a day full of mourning for me. The same kind of mourning I felt when Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson passed. Also the same feelings I had when Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Aaliyah left us too soon.
I spent the day listening to Bowie tracks, both original and covers of his songs by other artists I admire.
I wasn’t ready, not yet, to post what influence David Bowie had on my life.
But I am now.
I am not going to pretend that every single Bowie song is my favorite. Many times, his vocal style was so different that you could not help but pause to see what he was going to say next. Or listen to how the music is going to change mid-song. I loved that about him. In one song, he could show the many pieces of him. Not just with words, but with his music, his style, his voice.
I have mentioned more than once how much I love music. It is my muse, my words that I don’t know I need to say, the promise that it will be alright when the world seems to have gone to hell. The permission to feel every bit of that hell, the freedom to cry.
It has been the reason for my reckless driving and reckless loving. Nothing like the right song to get you lost in a moment that should have ended when the music did.
But my love and awe of David Bowie did not come from his music.
It came from the Goblin King.
“You remind me of the babe.
What babe? Babe with the power.
What power? Power of voodoo.
Who do? You do.
Do what? Remind me of the babe.”
I was 7 years old when Labyrinth came out. Time stamp there, people. Spoiler alert: I’m kinda old.
There are two movies that I can remember being my first favorites from growing up: Labyrinth and Legend.
Legend, I wasn’t allowed to watch until a few years after it came out because of the whole bad-ass Tim Curry as the Prince of Darkness thing, but once I did see it, I was obsessed.
Especially the dancing scene between Lily and the dress (Tangerine Dream scored, original US version not Director’s Cut, thank you).
Labyrinth was the reason I started dreaming.
My daydreams more vivid than my night dreams.
My backyard became the Labyrinth. I talked and protected caterpillars on the trees (because you never know)
I pretended the rocks came up in my very own bog of stench because my Pound Puppy, Brownie, called them. I was terrified of the pink bird things that tossed their heads around. I anticipated going to my very first dance because I just KNEW it would be like the ball in Labyrinth. I think I have mentioned in an earlier post that I am no stranger to disappointment. My fantasy of my first dance being like that was most likely the ball that got kicked into rolling down that hill.
It was when I started to love fantasy and started to write stories with words and pictures (on the wall beside my bed, like a caveman. I’m historic.).
But my favorite part about Labyrinth was probably everyone-who-loved-that-movie’s favorite part: The Goblin King, Jareth. David fucking Bowie.
My God, he was hot. I knew it even then. I wouldn’t call it my sexual awakening, because dude, I was 7. But I did know that I thought Sarah was stupid as fuck for choosing her brother over staying with Jareth.
I mean, it wasn’t like she would never see him again. She would have…just as a troll, and she didn’t even like him, so that should not have mattered at all. Besides, her parents seemed young enough they could have had another kid.
Jareth had the swagger, the voice, those tight pants. Plus he ruled in a kingdom with talking dogs and big, furry, friendly monsters. Who wants to leave that? Who?
I didn’t, and I am still taken back to those feelings every time I watch.
After I found out who played Jareth, I did my research. And because this was the time before the internet (calm down, internet is here now), my research was digging up old vinyls and tapes to listen to. And that is when I fell in love with David Bowie.
For many people, he was the first person for people to see that it was okay to be who you are. Be that dreamer. Be that weirdo. Be who you are, and don’t make any apologies for it.
Yesterday, stories from all over came out from celebrities, everyday non-famous people, and some that knew David Bowie the best. One story about how he knew exactly what this last album, BlackStar, was going to be: A goodbye to his fans and those that respected his body of work. That makes me a little sad to know that, but also grateful that he cared enough to do it.
I grieved yesterday for a man I never met. Tonight, I remember him and what he meant to me: a man I may have never met, but that had such a huge impact on me.
So, this is my thank you to him. Thank you and I hope you are enjoying the stars as much as they will enjoy you, my Goblin King.