This week has been the absolute worst, what with the passing of David Bowie. And now Alan Rickman too?
If I was going to channel all this grief into something productive I figured I owe these two great stalwarts a blog post at least.
David Bowie- The sole reason behind my transition into adulthood. I still remember how accidental my discovery of Bowie was. I was listening to a mixed tape filled mostly with every version of vomit inducing 90’s pop you can think of, in the midst of which came this song you could instantly recognise as all the makings of something epic. It was my first listen of Heroes. Here was this man, who sounded so confident, so charming, so.. infinitely cool. Is this what real music sounds like? And thus began my love story with all things Bowie. I think I’d be stretching things if I said I was his biggest fan but Bowie has inadvertently found his way into pretty much all of the most pivotal moments in life- one of which includes the discovery of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower. (The movie of course. The song in the book, if in case you didn’t already know, is ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac who deserve a whole separate post by themselves.)
You know that horribly cringe inducing awkward adolescence stage when you desperately want to grow up and just fit in with all the cool older people? A large part of that phase was spent trying to decipher the meaning behind ‘Space Oddity’ and ‘Starman’ so I could be as much of a pretentious pseudo-intellectual as any 14 year old listening to Bowie possibly could. I think one of the reasons David Bowie really struck a chord with me was because he was really a mascot for all the misfits. Here was someone who was so radically different from everything anyone was ever used to. He transcended every possible stereotype. He dared to be different. (I know I know, most overused cliché. Irony just rolled in its grave.) Year after year, he produced music that stands as a testament to the artistry he strived so hard to create. So much so that he became a literal embodiment of that very art.
Bowie was the backdrop to my first serious crush and my first real heartbreak (read: when Zayn decided to leave One Direction. I’M STILL NOT OVER IT.) It only seemed fitting that his latest album came at a time when I was just starting to embrace all the responsibility and the baggage that comes with being a grown up. And to then wake up to the news that he died a mere two days after releasing his album? Thank you life, for showing me that growing up is just as horrid as they say it is.
Everyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am one of the biggest Potterheads there is. I started reading the books only after watching the first movie when I was 9. I’m 22 today and I’ve pretty much grown up with Harry Potter, what with my last reread of the series only a few weeks back. I cannot begin to put into words how much the character of Professor Snape means to me. And how much more because of Alan Rickman. He’s achieved the unthinkable- from becoming one of the greatest actors when he only started acting at the age of 41, to managing to make Jimmy Fallon enjoyable. I want to continue writing but I am now overcome with crippling sadness. Excuse me while I drown my grief in a shwarma. *wails*
I’m suddenly picturing Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, James, Lilly, Sirius, Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Freddie and Bowie drinking a few Butterbeers and drunkenly chortle out the lyrics to ‘Heroes’ and I can’t help but feel a little warm inside.
“To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.”