As I heard the newsreader announce the death of David Bowie I was surprised at the depth of my heartfelt feeling of sorrow at the news.
I couldn’t call myself a “real ” Bowie fan, unlike my son-in-law and my brother, two men from different decades and eras who were and still are ardent fans and truly deserve the title – and yet I was feeling a deep sense of loss and moved to tears at the news of his passing.
His music signposted my life from the 70s until his death. Different songs certainly have different anchors for me ..from the heady punk rock days moving through the decades of Ziggy Stardust ,Fame, Sound and Vision , Under Pressure and so many more iconic songs.
It seems the different incarnations and phases of Bowie represent the different phases of my life too from carefree teenager to wife and mother, career woman, business owner – and each song has its own personal anchor for me. Maybe that is why I subconsciously felt such sadness at his passing.
Strangely compelled, I watched the documentaries of his life – and as I learned more about this fascinating man it became very clear to me that not only was Bowie an artistic genius, he also possessed many of the unique qualities of the exemplars of excellence we model in NLP and mBraining.
Right from the start when he was unknown, he “Acted as If” he was a successful rock star. He would at all times dress as a star, eat like a celebrity and at gigs where he was playing and there was a tiny audience , he would get his then wife Angie , and his friends,to act as his fans, acting as if he were a famous celebrity – cheering and screaming with great gusto through his performance.
He created the mindset of already being successful – both for himself and those around him – and he instinctively knew this was key to achieving his goals.
When being interviewed by Russell Harty in the late 70s a quizzical look came on his face when Harty subtly suggested his success may have been as a result of luck or being in the right place at the right time .
Bowie facial expression looked as though he was genuinely struggling with this concept. He told Harty that he paid vast attention to detail in his song writing, both in the subject, the words, the message .
Bowie said too that he knew what the important aspects were to pay this detailed attention to and what to discard. Being totally focused and working continually to a successful and emerging outcome
He gained inspiration in the moment from everything around him . His unique specific way of writing lines on paper then cutting them into smaller lines and/or words and mixing them up to see what results would be achieved from this creativity .produced some of the most inspirational and groundbreaking music of our times.
Fellow musicians too talked about his perseverance to take risks in putting together stretching musical chords and melody – not stopping until they got it right – groundbreaking composing.
His creativity is there for all to see in his music, his different incarnations of himself, his fashion and also in his art . They were also expressions of what he too was going through in his own often troubled life.
He has been a model for so many musicians of all kinds through the decades from Punk, New Romantics, Glam rock right up to Madonna , Lady Gaga and countless others . He will be remembered in centuries to come for the way he influenced and changed the direction of music … By his creativity and courage and determination to succeed he allowed and inspired so many others around him to be creative and therefore add their talent to the world .
He also had the courage and belief it took to consistently stand out from the crowd…to put gutsy action in to achieving his dreams and driving forward this ideas. A trailblazer throughout his life.
He also worked from a place of compassion. At the Live Aid concert in 1985 he gave up his allocated slot to what became the iconic image for Live Aid of the mother and baby played to the background of “Who’s gonna Drive You Home” by the Cars .His truly unselfishly felt that the slot being used highlighting the plight of the appeal for was far more important than his own personal promotion .
For me Bowie’s legacy is far more than his music. The Sound that was a product of the Vision. It is how he created vision and inspired others around him,
He personifies to me how continually working at being creative and innovative can change the world and the people in it . Having the courage to put your greatness out into the world, no matter what response you may initially get from others, and doing this with compassion for both self and others allows and inspires others to do the same , and as our learnings emerge we can change the direction of whatever path we choose to work in
R.I.P David Bowie