Hard Ticket to Heaven: David Bowie (1947-2016)



“…you’ll lose me, though I’m always really free.” – David Bowie, “Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud”

The stars look very different today, as the universe has lost its greatest, most unique entertainer with the passing of David Bowie. I’m still just stunned that he’s no longer with us. Despite his reclusiveness the past few years, he was one of those living legends who seemed like they would go on forever. I’m not usually one to be too affected by the passing of a celebrity I didn’t even know, but I’m in a perpetual state of choked-upidness today. Bowie was, far and away, my favorite musical artist. I’m not even sure who would come in second on that list, but Bowie was so far ahead it didn’t really matter. He was a true genius and original, constantly pushing himself by reinvention, and it always worked. The sheer volume of great Bowie songs from every era of his career is incredible, and in my opinion something that can’t be equaled. He was simply the best, never to be surpassed, and the world is a much emptier place without him in it. But as heartbreaking as his passing is, his life was absolutely amazing, and we should be grateful that we were here to see it. I think Simon Pegg Dean Podesta said it best, “If you’re sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.” 

Mourning his passing is expected, but celebrating his life is essential. I won’t keep going on and on as this is probably the 7 millionth David Bowie tribute you’ve seen in the past hour, so let’s just look and listen. These are by no means a proper sampling of his magnitude of work (we could just post his entire discography for that) but they’re among the most meaningful for me. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with Bowie’s music, hopefully this can help inspire you to get into it. For a crash course in his greatness, check out the 1973 concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which was shot during Ziggy’s last show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. If I could go back in time and see any concert, that would be it.

Another “Life on Mars.” I’ve always loved this cover:

And another (because “Life on Mars” is the best song ever written):


A few things we’ve done featuring Bowie over the years (not nearly enough):
Shake The Scene: Labyrinth
Movie Music Mega Madness: Labyrinth
Cinemea Culpa: Zoolander
Movie Music Mega Madness: Into The Night
Movie Music Mega Madness: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Bowie’s New York Times Obituary

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