“I could make a transformation as a rock & roll star” – D. Bowie, Star from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Folks who know me have either put up with, or completely embraced my lifelong obsession with David Bowie. I had several of Bowie’s hairstyles while slogging my way through Junior High and High School. My Walkman always had a Bowie tape in it. I watched LiveAid just because he was scheduled to perform. I scoured record stores for anything and everything even remotely Bowie-related, including pouncing on artists like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, simply because they had albums produced by the Thin White Duke. I actually yelled at Jennifer Connelly’s character in Labyrinth to stay with the Goblin King. I would have. When the man went on tour, I raced to get tickets to every show I could attend. I had the massive Bowie shrine, including all the music, videos, posters, teeshirts, and anything else I could lay my hands on. I threw glitter on him during performances of Hallo Spaceboy. If you haven’t guessed, I’m just a bit of a fan.
Monday morning started just like any other; the alarm woke me up. I squinted at my phone and read emails till I could actually drag my carcass out of bed. I was puzzled by the sudden popularity of a Ziggy Stardust outfit I’d made for Second Life. It wasn’t a huge seller…till now. But still, things didn’t click in my sleep-fogged brain. Then I saw an email from my oldest and dearest Second Life friend. It was simply titled, “Shared Grief” and in it, she wrote, “E and I are thinking about you. If you need to talk, please call.”
I was really confused now. Who did we both know who had died? That’s certainly the gist of the email. I replied, saying, “It’s too early to call and I have to be at work in 15 minutes. I’ll call you later.”
Then I saw CNN.
THE PLANET EARTH IS BLUE. David Bowie. On the front page of CNN. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Right to the face. My hero, an icon of my youth, the soundtrack of my life…dead of cancer. I cried. I sat at my computer at 6:15am and cried. I briefly thought, “I need a bereavement day.” but I wasn’t thinking straight. I went to work and it was the longest day of my life.
“Lady Stardust sang his songs of darkness and despair.” – D. Bowie, Lady Stardust from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
I came home and immediately put on the Ziggy costume, made a black armband for good measure, and headed to The Village of Nyght for the tribute I never wanted to host. I sent out notices, and people poured in, commiserating, reminiscing, sharing stories, requesting their favorite songs, crying. People who haven’t been in Second Life for years showed up just to be with other fans and give Mr. Bowie a proper send off to his home planet.
I’m afraid most of us were quivering heaps of jelly, curled into fetal positions, shaking and crying when I played Lazarus from his Requiem Mass, Blackstar. It got even crunchier when I pulled out a rare live recording of Bowie and Gilmore singing Comfortably Numb. The tribute set lasted four and a half hours. Maybe a smidge more. I’d have kept going if I didn’t feel so utterly wretched, wiped out, and still mourning the loss of a man I never met, yet loved with all my heart. Besides, after all the tears, my eyes were dry and burning. It was time for a rest.
“Give me your hands, because you’re wonderful.” – D. Bowie, Rock n’ Roll Suicide from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
It’s now two days later. I still hurt, but life isn’t all bad. If I wanted to, I could listen to Bowie non-stop for weeks. But, it’s time to move on, just a little. I had mentioned I made a Ziggy outfit in Second Life. I’ve made a number of Bowie-inspired outfits through the years for Avatar Bizarre, and had a few in the pipeline that were to debut over the next few months. Now I feel like it’s time to push these costumes to the front of the line.
The first to be built (and released soon for men, women, and femboys, I promise) is Moonage Daydream. This is an outfit based on a design Bowie wore during his Ziggy Stardust tour. It is a simple Asian design with thigh high satin boots. It will likely be available with a color HUD. But you need to give me time. Between real life excitement, work, and whatnot, Second Life gets relegated to the back burner sometimes. I would say after Further ConFusion (a convention in San Jose, CA) this weekend, I will have both versions available in the store and on the marketplace.
Love on, Ya!