True legends are few and far between. Now there is one fewer and the space between them has grown further apart.
Growing up, I had heard of something called "Bowie". Some sort of big deal, girly guy singer. (I'm from Texas.)
I grew older and learned of glam rock, aliases and androgeny. And cool. Class.
But I still didn't really know Bowie's work. I thought I had been alone in that. I was wrong.
I ran across this article in the Guardian just now:
David Bowie as the goblin king with a 15-year-old Jennifer Connelly in the 1986 film Labyrinth.
I never knew. What a relief.
Until I started reading, that is. Some of it applied to me but by no means all of it.
I'm not, nor have I ever been a hard core saber-rattling feminist. I vehemently believe in equality but by existence and insinuation not anger and aggression.
Neither am I a sex-it-up kind of woman, not even as a teenager. Apparently quite asexual. Not by choice, believe me. By ...circumstance.
I'm not even within the normal range of fan-girl (woman, broad, gal, whatever). I don't want my idols, I want to be my idols. Live their lives, know their passions. (Art passions not carnal passions, pervs.)
But instead of boiling bunnies, I've settled into being content on obsessing over their performances. With maybe the occasional, pathetic attempt to exist at the outermost periphery of their lives.
Not so with Bowie. My experience of his work was as an actor. In Labyrinth. Ha! See?This all ties together.
He was captivating.
He was legendary.
I finally saw why. This one performance is how I always knew him and now it is how I will always remember him.
I never needed anything else. Never sought out his life. Never coveted his passions. Too big, too much, too otherworldly for me to have the effrontery to deign sully his aura with my existence.
So why, of all the man's gifts, did I choose his acting? In a funny little fantasy meets cosplayer meets wishful reality film no less. One largely populated by creations fresh from the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Muppets with mood, style and atmosphere.
I respect and adore acting that flows off an actor. That exists in their eyes. As Jareth, Bowie was so comfortable, relaxed and, well ...genuine. A fictionalized mystical character that could exist.
And his singing in the role wasn't bad either. The music and the lyrics just seemed to mean something to him. He could feel what he was singing. He was what he was singing.
He was even good with babies. Genuine smile, attention and voice just for the tyke. Okay, so that might have been an ovary thing.
Anyway, every last one of those things I so love came solely from the subtleties of facial expression and body language. I don't find that magic in a lot of actor/singers. I'm never letting that go.
Even now, when memory becomes memorial. I'm holding fast.
So, may David Bowie rest in peace knowing he touched all kinds of lives in such myriad ways.