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Remembering David Bowie: The man who sold the world; the finest and most beautiful freak show

This post first appeared on First Post.

The process of discovering a musician is often as intriguing as the artist and the music itself. And my discovery of David Bowie’s works, has made him among the greatest oddities in my personal inventory of impactful artists. I discovered that Bowie had passed when I was driving, while listening to Queen’s Greatest Hits 2.

Obviously, it gave me the chills since I had just heard the starman’s collaboration with Queen in Under Pressure, which is deservedly overplayed. That song had incidentally been my serious introduction to Bowie many moons ago and it set the tone of the many re-introductions to Bowie I’ve had over the years.

His last and 25th album Blackstar was released just two days ago and I had been curious about how Bowie would reinvent himself this time. If the title track was anything to go by, it was an embodiment of Bowie’s eccentricity and penchant for pushing the intergalactic limits of convention; a trait that I most relate to with the iconoclastic performer.

The roots of that quintessential Bowie-ness can be traced all the way to his childhood. Born in Brixton, London, as David Robert Jones, the English artist was recognised in school as much for his “vividly artistic” dance as he was for his vocals and flair for instruments. When he wasn’t learning the ukulele, tea chest bass or the piano, Bowie was on stage replicating with astonishing perfection, the gyrations of Elvis Presley. Despite a childhood steeped in the arts, he went to the then Bromley Technical High School, an institute that encouraged students to look beyond technical education.

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