19 Dec 2015

There's Just One Thing About David Bowie's Blackstar That Really Concerns Me


10 minutes of sprawling futuristic jazz crammed into a classic Bowie allegory, David Bowie's 10 minute comeback single knocked me for six, and I'm sure it wooed countless others. It's probably his most innovative 21st century work to date, and if you needed any proof that the man is still a godlike genius, transcending all humanity, then it chips in to that.

But there's just a few things concerning me that cluster up to one big anxiety - is David Bowie singing this as someone knowing he's going to die soon?

The Thin White Duke has said nay to any chance of a tour in the future, which maybe points to health concerns, which is why I added this point to this bit of the post. This is obviously bad news whatever happens, because it means none of us are ever going to see Bowie live, but added to the lyrical content of Blackstar, its video, and the fact that Bowie has probably taken more drugs, had more sex and done more rock 'n' roll than any of us could ever imagine, it flags up a general concern that our boy Bowie might not be in the best shape.

Blackstar's lyrical content is as follows; a character (referred to solely as 'he') is described, before being depicted as someone becoming a god - immortalised, etc. "Something happened on the day he died," he sings, implying that the song's character reached godlike power in death. Kinda cool I guess. Then you look at the video, and there's all these allusions to the wayward spaceman Major Tom, an alter ego of Bowie, as the camera pinpoints the Major's skull whilst Bowie sings about this transcendency. And it's noted in the videos comments and on forums too; this song talks about Major Tom becoming a god.

Upon realising this, I guess I extended the meaning of this to Bowie, himself, becoming a figure of godlike stature upon death. Not something beyond the realms of reason if you ask me. I mean, obviously these are only lyrics, open to interpretation, but it's my hunch that it's a premature elegy from Bowie, for himself, disguised as one for Major Tom. I think. Maybe. Either that, or it's just a song.

For someone as self aware as Bowie though, I think that Blackstar might be a little more than a throwaway comeback single. It has everything, but I think there's a bit more to it than maybe there seems at first. But the idea of David Bowie being completely mortal is something that just haunts me about this. Good day to you all.



The Blackstar album is out Jan 8th, and features the title track as well as newly unveiled Lazarus. Exciting stuff.

(incoherently rambled by calum cashin)