Bowie remembered

Three years ago today we heard the news: Ziggy Stardust had left the planet

Ashes_to_Ashes pic
Ashes to Ashes: who other than  Bowie could have looked so cool dressed as a harlequin?

A crowded  Dublin beach … it was Dollymount … I am 14 years old … lying down breathless for a moment after an hour of frenetic football, gangly legs still stinging from the hard plastic Mayco football.

The sun is  reddening my belly and my hand-me-down royal blue nylon swimming togs are almost too hot to touch. A transistor radio nearby and a song comes on, something about a star man waiting in the sky. Tinny and light above the summer noise but it still sounds just great. Who is that?

Top of the Pops days later …  what is this? This unbelievably skinny man/woman but with a strong, man’s voice and movements in some kind of blue, gold and red spangly spacesuit thing, playing a big blue acoustic guitar … God, his band are all so skinny too, but it’s him you have to look at  …  or he’s the one looking at me, smirking right through adolescent, untried me with those bold, challenging eyes … so confident and far out.  Timeless, unlike the long-dated Top of the Pops kids dancing desultorily.

I simply can’t look away. Something strange about those eyes, one darker than the other, or something, thick dyed hair all spiky and standing up… oh, my God, is that lipstick, and make-up!!!  Thin face framing subversive grin through sinister tombstone teeth. Leading this spangly guitar-driven wah wah, wah wah wonderful song. A star man.

Over 40 years ago. And now this star man who fell to earth has been reclaimed by the cosmos. Ashes to ashes .…

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4 comments on “Bowie remembered

  1. Anne casey

    Lovely piece Enda. I remember you being impressed I was a Bowie fan (who isnt) but disappointed that I mix ed up albums. The word iconic in proper use here.


  2. Tracey Abrahams

    I think Bowie was always something more than a mere mortal. It was so much more than just the music (although the music is quality) he was an icon for people who didn’t fit the mold. As someone who as always felt like an outsider I havd always been drawn to those people who embrace their uniqueness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah Tracey, his magic was about so much more than the music and costume changes … it’s like he was the patron saint of those who dared to be different.


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