First, there was the inadvertent trend-setting Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.
Then, Motorhead metal icon Lemmy Kilmister.
Soul queen Natalie Cole was the next shock passing.
This is all too much already. But now, there’s been yet another crushing blow to the world of music. Such a gaping hole in our hearts and eardrums now that David Bowie has left this earth.
That unmistakable face, and unmistakable sound. This man was true class, and was in a class all his own.
Hell, he was the freaking headmaster.
Sorry for the ramble; I’m still very much in shock. He is really gone, and right now it still doesn’t feel real.
I’ll backtrack to the start. Scott Weiland was the frontman for the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, as well as some other projects. His charged, gravelly voice and passionate stage presence always made for one heck of a show.
“Plush” and “Fall to Pieces” respectively are my own personal standouts, but his impressive catalogue is one incredible legacy.
Right. Lemmy. Motorhead. Hard and fast. Head-bashing, insane moshing beats and a steady stream of drawling lyrics were the signature style for this stalwart.
I’m not ashamed to admit: the first time I heard Motorhead was while playing Tony Hawk Underground when “Ace Of Spades” started up. That opening riff, though. You can practically DRINK it!
Ah, the “Unforgettable” — yep, that was deliberate. Nope, I make no apologies — Natalie Cole. The iconic moment when she performed that duet with her departed father Nat King Cole was a sheer four minutes of joy. Despite your musical leanings, I think it’s almost physically impossible to not smile on the inside when you hear it.
Come to think of it, my earliest Natalie Cole memory was in 1990, one year prior to the timeless duet release, when she performed the jaunty uplifting “Wild Women Do.” Her smile is so warm, so familiar and welcoming.
What a lady she was. Such an awesome, beautiful in a dozen different ways, lady.
Geez, what a rollercoaster! Listening to these classics is bringing a lump to my throat, I don’t mind admitting.
I’ll do my best to maintain composure, but no promises 😉
Where do I even begin with David Bowie?
Labyrinth. Perfect place to start. Want some goosebumps? You’re welcome. Hey, look! It’s mid-80s Jennifer Connelly! Wow, those masks used to scare the shit out of me when I watched the movie as a kid.
I tried, really I tried, but still, I just cried. There isn’t enough space in this blogosphere to describe how incredible this gentleman was.
An activist, a humanitarian, a huge inspiration to so many people afraid to be themselves, and really just a whole lot of heart as well as boundless class all the way.
He was heavily involved in causes such as Save The Children and Every Mother Counts. (source) He didn’t fake it, either.
You know how some people pretend to give a crap about something to increase their publicity, and nothing more?
Not sir Bowie. You could tell he was passionate and strong in his beliefs and convictions.
And no, I never met the man but I’ve had plenty of experience dealing with phonies. He never gave off that vibe, in my humble opinion.
Needless to say, he also spearheaded the 70s glam rock movement with his Ziggy Stardust alter ego.
Glitter, eyeliner and bright colours were no longer taboo in the world of rock, thanks to this man, along with acts like T-Rex and Roxy Music.
Here’s a bit of “Rebel Rebel” for you, at the height of his glam rock phase.
Not only that; he was so full of energy! He had a break from album releases from 2003 to 2013, but apart from this, he did. not. stop. making music! In fact, Black Star was released on his birthday, a mere two days before his death.
His first album was the self-titled David Bowie and came out in 1967.
That’s nearly 50 years of churning out the tunes. Think about that for a minute…
There is no end to what I could tell you about this stellar human being, but right now I’m a bit of an emotional wreck thinking about how many artists we have lost in the past five weeks.
Right now, I’m going to enjoy cranking the Bowie and drowning in his voice. (one more here, “Ashes To Ashes,” yet another personal favourite)
Here are my final thoughts:
1) Disclaimer: we may not all share the same opinion of the artists I’ve discussed, but let’s keep it respectable.
2) While the musicians have passed, their legacy lives on in the hearts of those who loved them. Play their music, reminisce on the good times and moments in history when you first heard them, and rejoice in the fact they were generous enough to leave such an awesome gift behind.
3) These are some mighty big musical shoes to fill, so it’s time for the industry to lift their game and continue to fill our lives with heart and soul, just like those before them.
4) Don’t be afraid to grieve. Music is a constant, it pumps blood through our veins and puts a spring in our step. Any loss of those feelings is surely going to take a while to process. Keep loving what you love, and keep being touched by the #rhythmofword !!!