Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie Took Us On An Otherworldly Journey To Become Ourselves

The cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" album
Much has been made in the past couple of days of the late, great David Bowie's influence on all us "weirdos" out there.

Through all his personas over the decades, the vibe was that if you were an outsider, somebody that was unusual, seemingly from outer space, that was cool. Be yourself.

I guess that's why space and space travel often played such a role in Bowie's music.

Another maybe more important aspect I detected in Bowie's music was a sense of urgency,  along with that otherworldliness of the music.

Not only was Bowie telling us we didn't have to fit into neat little boxes set up by society, but it was urgent that we NOT fit into these boxes. We had to stop trying to fit into these artificial boxes. Now if not sooner.

That sense of urgency was mostly noticeable in the musical arrangements in Bowie's music.

A classic example is in my favorite David Bowie song, "Heroes," the title track to his 1977 album.

The video for that song is at the bottom of this post.

He's certainly checked off the otherworldliness part. In the video, he's in mist and shadows, an apparition from another world.

The music in the song to me inspires visions of being in some fast moving rocket ship, stars outside sweeping by as we go to God knows where in the universe.  He's taking us on a journey to another world. Maybe a trip that really takes us to ourselves.

Tbe music and lyrics in "Heroes'' pushes us on with an urgency and determination. Against all odds, we can be heroes, just for one day.

Wouldn't it be wonderful, no matter what the situation, if any of us could be heroes just for one day?

It's metaphorical heroism in this song. It invites us to come out of the shadows, from outer space, and present ourselves to the world as we are.

As the emphatic lyrics of "Heroes" says, "We can be us, just for one day."

The music in "Heroes" is also ethereal. It almost puts you into a trance, draws you in to the ability to be yourself. To embrace your oddball mind. Just for one day. And another. Until it's forever.

My gay, ADHD - addled brain is writing this blog post. So yes, I'm "weird" or an "outsider" or something like that.

Bowie helped create a world in which that is all OK. For me, and for more and more people around me.

If you come down to it, we are all weird outsiders from somebody's perspective.  Bowie helped give us the courage to recognize our outsider status. He turned our weirdness into something cool

As we remember Bowie, we should all make sure we are truly us, as we are,  just for one day.

Here's the "Heroes" video:

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