Bowie's passing is very relevant to the creative community, because he was an artist and an inspiration. To think of his accomplishments as just musical would be a disservice to his many contributions in performance, fashion, painting, dance, acting, writing and design.
He was an individual who reinvented himself to suit his mood and the mood of the world. Yet, through all his Ch-ch-changes he remained true to himself and his art. He created because he had to. It's a gift and a curse. Or, as Bukowski referred to it, "The Itch From Hell."
I wanted to be like him. Not because I wanted to be a singer or an actor, but because being like him would make me a true artist—I wanted to make things.
Art was in the way Bowie spoke, dressed, behaved. It was a part of his DNA. He was an alien who did his thing without thought of the masses. He was an iconoclast not to make a statement, but because that's who and what he was. Everything he touched was fresh with a unique point of view. He wasn't topical, he created topics. He never made the same thing twice. He didn't underestimated the intelligence of his audience. He redefined the role of sexuality as someone who has it. He didn't like labels. He wasn't straight or gay or bi or pop or punk or new wave. He was just BOWIE.
As his legacy, he gave us perfect albums: Ziggy, Changes, Hunky Dory, and anthems like Heroes (listen to it in German—the best recording). And even if he did have a few missteps—or creative dogs—it's that failure resulted in great works.
Bowie crafted his art. He sought inspiration not just in music but in all things cultural. He was strong without being overbearing or pompous. His raspy voice, and the things he creaeted are timeless. He also left a hopeful progeny in Duncan Jones and an epitaph album, Blackstar. If you haven't listened to it, do so. It's a gift.
It seems that all the great innovators are dying, yet there's no one to replace them. My friends and I have been sitting around today, trying to think of 5 young stars that could have a Bowie-type of impact or potential. We couldn't think of a single one.
This planet seems less creative today and blue.