David Bowie – A Modern Day Shakespeare?
The news of the death of David Bowie has rocked our world. He was a legend – an over-used phrase – but here at FTW HQ we are into legends. We use their words and inspiration on a daily basis so, on this day of all days, to all our friends and fans we say “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues!”
400 years ago a talented man, who had always been there in the background of our lives, died too early (aged 52). His work and his words pepper our lives and our language to this day. His name was William Shakespeare. Today another talented man, who has always been there in the background of our lives, died too early (aged 69). His work and his words punctuate our lives. His name was David Bowie. But the comparison does not stop there. Worldwide fame, international recognition by the general public and those within the industry, many reinventions of a lifelong career, and an early exit stage left.
Tragic – and even more tragic is that he will never hear the outpouring of emotion, accolades and tributes although a comfort to his family, friends and all those who loved him no doubt.
In the days, months and years to come – let’s be bold and say centuries too –historical moments, world events, life-changing moments (both terrestrial and outer space) will be sprinkled by snippets of the music of David Bowie. Likewise even now 400 years on from Shakespeare’s life, we still use speeches, quotes, words and phrases of his to say what we cannot say (at least not in the poetic succinct way that Shakespeare could). There is much about Shakespeare’s language that we don’t understand, but nevertheless we ‘get’ him and the emotions and dilemmas he was trying to convey. Similarly there is and will be much about the life and work of David Bowie that people don’t ‘get’, but his passion, artistry, technical ability, and general genius will continue to speckle our lives like a favourite seasoning. So was he a modern day Shakespeare? We think so – we’d love to know your thoughts.
And those of us lucky enough to have grown up with Bowie’s live sound track to our lives can glory in the fact that we were there when the 20th century Master of Popular Music and Culture was at his very best.
Good night, sweet Prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
David Bowie – Let’s Dance