The news about the passing of the great David Bowie was still stinging my musical mind pretty hard after first hearing about it this past Monday and while I had already reflected on this sad news in THIS POST, I felt compelled to pass by his NYC residence to pay respects and to photograph some of the visuals that had been left by other fans. David and Iman lived downtown not far from China Town in this building you see here.
It was relatively early in the day and not yet lunch hour so the crowd while gathering was not impossible to navigate with. The way it was set up in front of Bowie’s apartment was protected by a police gate and fans were allowed to walk through to look at things and leave mementos to honor the memory of this iconic musical force. The photos below are what I saw laid out in honor for David by his ardent fans and as you can see there are incredible photos, albums and compact discs along with beautiful notes and quotes. I’ve also added in some thoughts from music people that I know from my own journalistic adventuring to make this nod of respect more special.
Mike LePond (Symphony X): “You would probably think David Bowie would not have mattered to a metalhead like me, but you would be wrong. He was one of a select few artists that break through the barriers of any genre of music. His songs could take you on journey though countless emotions and his inspiration will always be with me. Rest in peace and thank you Mr. Bowie.”
Margarita Monet (Edge Of Paradise): “I’ve always greatly admired David Bowie, his music, his persona, there is this beautiful meaning to him. He is from the era of rock stars and icons, where emotion and attitude defined the music!! He was larger than life, everything about him, his style, his music, he had a mystery to him, his theatricality, the way he spoke, he was a truly interesting, complex and incredibly creative man! And he has left something behind that will live on for ages and ages to come, no one is immortal, but you can create something that will live on! And David Bowie definitely did, he left his beautiful mark!
Rob Balducci (Independent Musician): “David Bowie’s passing is upsetting to all musicians because we all want to be him !!! What a career ! One of the only artist ever without FEAR to evolve and try exciting new things. Each record was a new adventure and broke new ground. In my own way I try and do what I can to make each one of my records as different as I can. The other great thing is he always surrounded himself with great musicians and the best of the best guitar players. There is no one left to fill the void.
Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy): “I remember listening to David Bowie growing up as his music also evolved and changed with the passing years, constantly reinventing and redefining boundaries, but not in a cliche pop way – in a rebellious, incredibly original way – throughout his musical career. By challenging social definitions he has influenced entire decades not only in music, but in style and ideas. What an impact he and his talent has had on modern culture! He will be missed!”
Morgan Lander (Kittie): If I am being honest growing up, I was never a huge Bowie fan. His music wasn’t really the soundtrack to my childhood, which is something I often equate with musical inspiration and a creative compass, but I have always respected his unique ability to reinvent himself over and over again, which allowed him to stay relevant throughout decades of musical change. Many artists have tried to do this and failed. His pale, thin frame was sort of like a blank canvas, on which he could and did paint anything he dreamed. I think his final album is sad and wonderful and perfect. What better way to face your mortality than through your art? It lives on forever.
Madame Mayhem: Can’t believe we lost another icon… I am saddened by the loss of such an inspirational legend. David Bowie was a true performer and re-inventor. Thank you for all of the music and influences you gave us. RIP.
As I made my way back to the subway, I crossed the street for a brief moment of silence kind of thought and noticed as I had looked down that someone had decided to leave something not on top of the rest of the offerings. It was an LP of Bowie’s 1973 “Aladdin Sane” album with some personal notes scribbled on it in Sharpie. Just in case you cannot make them out the album reads “Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Stardust”, “Thank You; The Best Years Of My Life, Just, Just The Best”. It moved me too much to not have it be a part of what I saw today.
The shop right next to Bowie’s building had modified its facade just a bit to pay its own respect while someone else added “Let’s Dance” to the bottom region. Bowie’s reach was impacting and very far from over despite his passing.
Thanks to those friends who offered up some words for this photo presentation. Knowing what I know of Bowie’s creative genius finds me imagining that he is somewhere in the beyond looking down on all of this and saying “carry on now, I’ve left you with enough to build your own magic” and perhaps its time that we all get to doing that sort of thing. Thanks again David Bowie for being the amazing icon that you were because your sound will never be forgotten nor shall its influence. Now my friends, “Let’s Dance”……
Official Website: http://www.davidbowie.com