My David Bowie was not the Ziggy Stardust or Thin White Duke Bowie. Mine was the Serious Moonlight, Glass Spiders Bowie. I was completely fascinated with his Changes album. Fashion, Fame, Modern Love, and China Girl were all in the top 10 when my musical tastes began to blossom. MTV played his video constantly. I was obsessed with anything British for most of my high school years. Bowie influenced many of the groups I liked: Boomtown Rats, Ultravox, and many others. Like most teenagers in angst, Bowie was a role model because like me, he was different. And he made being different a wonderful thing.
The Bowie I adored played at Live Aid with my then obsession Bob Geldof. I spent a rainy night waiting for tickets for the Glass Spider tour and then endured a hellish trip via Concert Coach in Boston to get to the concert. We missed the opening, Bowie descending from the spider's mouth to the stage but delighted in the rest of the concert. He was magical. I spent hours listening to his music and watching his movies. Labyrinth, The Hunger, The Last Temptation of Christ and my favorite, Absolute Beginners.
As I was driving home to today, the local radio station was playing Golden Years. I was thinking about the irony that he got to those Golden Years and left us with more music just before he left this stage. For me and for most of us he will live on because whenever I want or need to listen to his haunting, lovely voice, I only have to hit my playlist. Thank you David Bowie for making it OK to be different and for giving us all some inspiration to turn and face the strange.