FAME recording studios | muscle shoals, al | 2015 | kodak max 400 w/rollei 35mm


it is instantaneous for me, that when the word above is spoken

in any context

in any way

David Bowie starts singing in my head.

every time.  it’s been that way for quite a while.

last sunday night, around 12:30AM I received the news of Bowie’s passing the most insensitive way possible.

a text from someone read ” bowie down!”

I of course, did not read this for what it was. I thought there is no way this person is referring to him dying, who the fuck puts an exclamation point in any regards to someone’s passing.  it’s actually my pet peeve online when people give condolences like this!!!!  i set my phone face down.


so, i continued watching my program, but felt like they must have been serious.

picked the phone back up, and sure enough, it was it real. but not really, more like surreal. when people you love die it really is so, and all i can ever say is “oh man, oh man, oh fuck…” while sobbing.

I deleted the thread of messages, I don’t think I can be friends with this person anymore.

I felt so guilty for not having appreciated him more. not listening to more of his music, for I don’t even know what really. I think guilt and death are just inherently friends, no matter the terms.

I remembered the only Bowie song I can “play”,  Space Oddity.  it was one of the first songs I just happened upon while trying to write my own.  it was a very cool feeling.

 So,  I went back and fourth from C to Em while sobbing on my Martin.  It seemed appropriate enough.

Monday was depressing.

It really did feel like something was missing, and it was a universal feeling. I scrolled through Facebook, and saw the genuine outpour of heartfelt words and experiences from everyone, every age, all different walks of life.  What an impact.

My friend Maureen said it right, ‘it just feels so, personal.”

And it did.  to everyone who appreciated him, everyone who didn’t even know him but had a personal connection to him through his art.

He was responsible for so many of us letting go of normal, of reality, he showed us how stellar and out of this world this world really is, how we are all just a product of our own reality and you can make it whatever you wish.  As weird as you wish.

Cold grey and rainy, the clouds hung low.  After scrolling through enough, I watched the dance magic dance clip on repeat.  That movie does something to your soul when your a child.  I feel it truly creatively affected the minds of a whole generation, and then some. It really was my favorite. It was so magical and scary at the same time.  A realm of pure unknowing.

Something about the Labyrinth and David Bowie in that magnificent one piece sparked a possibility, a need to be outside yourself in this reality and to go create your own.  You have this path, but you also have these decisions you have to make to get there.

And where and what that place is, well, is up to your imagination if you believe it enough.

Also, be careful what you wish for.

When I was 10 and in the hospital diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, they had a VHS cart that came around every night.  To my surprise, Labrynth was on that cart.  I didn’t think anyone else knew what that movie was it was so weird!  It got me through that awful smell of peas I refused to eat and pain of needles I knew I would now have to stick myself with.

And this all seems so selfish for me to write this,  I didn’t know him.

 A friend of mine lost a sibling last week, and I can’t even imagine.  How she must feel when everyone around her is mourning someone they don’t know online through words and posts, and part of her own physical heart, soul and world are gone. All I can hope is that it helped and comforted her to be surrounded by a world of loss and confusion so she didn’t feel so alone.

This is the point I ultimately felt I needed to make.

Being an artist, in any sense, is something I have always felt so guilty for being.  To be creative, to make your own world, it seems like such a selfish, self absorbed, disconnected way of living.

It keeps me from showing my work, it keeps me from making work, it keeps me from believing in myself cause I think people will be jealous, think its no good, or people will think I’m just all about me, or people will hate it.

But I realize now that its just a connection with humanity I’m trying to make.

And if that’s what defines an incredible artist, then David Bowie was at the top of class.

He transcended genres, gender, generations: and now space and time.

In the midst of all the writings and posts, I saw an interview with Bowie where he stated that the only thing he ever wanted to own was art, because it could make him feel different in the morning.  On different days, the same piece could elevate or intensify his mood or depression.   And so, I had to write this.

Art, music, writing.

It all helps other people.

I mean, how many times has a quote, a beautiful image, or a song saved your life?

or at least made you feel alive and its worth it, sparking happiness?

what if that artist had never recorded that album because of something holding them back?

I see now how that is actually more selfish

to not share this amazing thing you could do out of fear…

fear of FAME

or of rejection

fame is not what I want, but seems like it goes hand in hand with pursuing a creative career

I just want to share my work without this guilt of selfishness.

And I am guessing many artists/musicians/writers feel this same way.

wanting nothing out of it other than a reciprocation from the viewer of understanding in this beautiful and terrifying world we live in.

because ultimately, I don’t want to be an artist so people will know who I am

I want to be an artist so I can make people happy, aware, show them another reality while sparking in their minds another connection to their own creative world

maybe even change someones life.

even just on a small scale, make them happy for just a few minutes.

it took me a whole week to sit down and write this, even though the spark happened right after he died.

last monday,

all day I sat in the headspace of a memory from a most influencial jazziest in New Orleans.

A friend I had just made that weekend, we’ll call her C.A., and I were upstairs on the patio at the Red Dragon.

The sun was coming up, finding its way in the world through all the clouds and party debris, it was still kinda cool, people still hanging around and the music was still going.

We had been chatting for quite sometime, when all the sudden we both just kinda stopped, looked and listened.

She was looking me in the eyes like “whoa, wait, is this, is this, YEA?!?!?!”

dude, the signal path was playing Dance, Magic Dance sans vocals, and it was one of the most magical things i have ever experienced.  I could go so far as to say it probably was for her as well taking from the excitement on her face.   we then proceeded { if I remember correctly } to sing along, and of course dance while the night came to an end.

The past, present and future became seamless through this memory for me all day on monday.

I have a personal obsession with how memory, stimuli and sensory experience

connect, intertwine, resurrect and change previous experiences.

And so now, I have this sadness of the present tied to this magic of the past memory.  And now they are just one. And always will be.  But remembering that day and how happy we were about that super silly song, really eased my mind.  And that incredible night now means even more to me.

Thank you for all the incredible things you ever did Mr. Bowie. You changed all of our lives for the better, made us dance in ways we didn’t know were possible.  And kept right on doing what you do up until the very, very end.

Truly Amazing.

Thanks for the life long inspiration


If you wish, please post your own thoughts and David Bowie experiences below. I would love to read them. 

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