David Bowie

January 16, 2012

David Bowie has always been one of my favorite musicians. I’ve never been able to pinpoint why, though.

A love of certain kinds of music or the styles of certain performers has always been somewhat of an ethereal, abstract idea to me, as intangible as Love Itself. I can’t really explain why I love the music or movies or people that I love, I just know that I love them.

And one of those is the music of David Bowie.

Is it his visual style on stage? Is it the texture of his glam rock masterpieces?

Is it the dulcet tones of his manly voice?

I don’t really know, but I love it.

Now, if I said “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” wasn’t my favorite, I’d be lying.

Again, it’s another thing that I can’t explain. Maybe that makes me a bad writer. Maybe I should just give up.

No. Bowie wouldn’t want that.

Of course, I’m a fan of most all of his music, and my favorite of all of his songs has consistently been “Space Oddity.”

That one, I can explain.

I’ve always been interested in outer space. It’s a by-product of the whole Star Wars thing, I assume. And to hear the tale of one man’s trip to outer space gone horribly wrong has always been a heart wrenching event in my eyes.

Once I started playing guitar, I learned a somewhat watered down version of the tune and played it until my family and pretty much everyone else around was sick of hearing it.

I did the same thing with “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1.”

And one day, I was sitting in a church with some friends of mine.

Yes, there was a point in my life that I was pretty into the whole church scene. It was a crazy time. Don’t judge me.

Regardless, I was sitting in the church with some friends of mine and an older gentleman that I had looked up to quite a bit in those years. His name was Elbert, but we all knew him as Al.

He told me just a few days before about his idea of Heaven, a small cabin on the side of an endless golf course.

That day in the church, I had my guitar with me and was just strumming and talking to him. He asked me to play him a song since he hadn’t been feeling well recently.

I started to play “Space Oddity” for him. He hummed along.

Afterward, he told me that that had been one of his favorite songs since the first time he heard it. He thanked me and I told him I’d see him soon and left.

A few days later, I received a phone call. Al died of an aortic aneurysm.

In some weird way, I feel like I inadvertently fulfilled his last wish by playing that David Bowie song for him.

It’s still one of my favorites.





This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Sam Jones for a challenge that probably turned into something a bit more touching than anyone would have imagined.

But, that’s what happens when you roll the dice and enter a challenge.

You never can tell what will come out of these fingers.


Truly ghjr


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