David Bowie’s death was not just any death. It’s been said before, and it will be said again, that he’d always seemed somehow above mundane things like dying. It didn’t seem worth his time. And some people realized it then for this first time: if it could happen to David Bowie, it will really happen to me. But worse than that, worse than the realization of one’s own death, was this: no more Bowie music, ever.
It was three years ago, the week of his death, and the anniversary of his birth. He stuck around to celebrate his birthday, release his last album, and then he departed the planet Earth the next day. The planet seemed to come unmoored from its orbit during the next twelve months without Bowie to anchor it. You know what I mean.
Bowie fan art always seemed better than most fan art. I remember a writing class that I took back in 1980 or 1979 or something, at Glen Echo Park, in Maryland. The class was taught by the lead singer of the band Pop Maru, which you’ve never heard of (but you should). One of the students spent a lot of time drawing pictures of David Bowie, pictures that just flowed out of him, and they were good, more impressive than any of the writing that any of us did. The Bowie exhibit that landed at the Brooklyn Museum last year had a room filled with fan art, and it was also good. Maybe talented artists want to draw him. Maybe he just brings out the best in us.
It’s been three years, and somehow we’ve muddled along.
Art by Jackie Nett; Words by Steven S. Drachman. Steven S. Drachman is the author of The Strange and Astounding Memoirs of Watt O’Hugh the Third, which is published by Chickadee Prince Books.