Like so many others, I've been a fan of David Bowie's music, art, performances, lyrics, etc. for decades. I've also always been intrigued by his outlook on the world, technology, communication , art, and many other topics.
One memory I cherish is from the January 9, 1997 event at Madison Square Garden to celebrate David Bowie's 50th birthday, with an arena full of like-minded fans, and getting to witness David Bowie sing and celebrate with other talented musicians. It was an honor to get to be one of the people in attendance, and I love watching the DVD I have from that performance. Everyone and everything that night was just "on" and it was truly magical.
My next chance encounter with someone closely connected to David Bowie was in 2014, when I was attending a fundraiser for cancer research, and one of the bands had a special guest percussionist -- Gerardo Velez!!! After the event ended, I was fortunate to get to meet and talk with Gerardo, and I loved listening to him recount his time in the studio with David Bowie while recording the tracks for "Black Tie White Noise". Gerardo said that he'd always hoped to get to work with David Bowie again, but timing just never worked out. He spoke every word about his experiences with David Bowie while wearing a big smile on his face. It was clear that David Bowie's impact and impression on Gerardo Velez was there every day!
Then in the fall/winter of 2015, I had more fortunate meetings with people close to David Bowie!
First, on November 29, 2015 my boyfriend and I attended the evening performance of "Lazarus" which was absolutely incredible! I loved every minute, and I was in tears at the end. After the show ended, most of the cast members came outside and talked with many of us from the audience. Everyone was so kind, and so happy to hear how much we all loved the performance and David Bowie. It was wonderful to hear from them what it was like to work with David Bowie and how he got them to stretch beyond their comfort zones for their roles, and how appreciative they all were of being cast for their parts. They all said how smart and hysterically funny David Bowie was, and it was wonderful to see again, just how David Bowie had such a profound impact on so many.
A week later, on December 4, 2015 my boyfriend and I were at a Tedeschi Trucks Band concert, and their bass player is Timothy Lefebvre!! After the concert, their keyboard player, Kofi Burbridge, brought us backstage and we got to meet most of the band which was really great! And when we were on our way out, we met even more members of the band -- including Tim Lefebvre! Just a real honor to again be talking with someone who had firsthand knowledge and experience with David Bowie!! Another cherished memory!
On January 8, 2016 we found ourselves in Brooklyn, NY at Rough Trade NYC for a Release Party of "Blackstar" and a birthday celebration party for David Bowie. Many local musicians showed up and sang and played some of their favorite David Bowie songs. And someone had a beautiful birthday cake made for David Bowie with a "Blackstar" theme. When the candles were lit, we all sang Happy Birthday to David Bowie. He may not have been there physically, but we were all sure he was there in spirit!
The very next day, we went to see Holy Holy perform -- with Woody Woodmansey and Tony Visconti!! They, along with the rest of their talented band mates, performed "The Man Who Sold The World" album, and then performed a handful of other David Bowie songs mainly from the early 1970s!! Again, another magical night!!! Getting to meet two people who knew David Bowie early on in this musical adventure, and getting to hear and see them perform so close to David Bowie's birthday was wonderful! We got to talk with them after the show, and they were both very kind to everyone there!
Having no idea that David Bowie was so ill, and so close to passing away, all of these recent events had me beaming from ear-to-ear with how lucky I was to be getting chances to meet and talk with people who were connected to David Bowie in so many different ways, and at different times in life and career!!
The closest I ever got to having any direct interaction with David Bowie was in December 2003, at Mohegan Sun during "A Reality Tour". At one point, there was a break in the vocals on the song, and the band kept playing and David Bowie walked off to the side of the stage to let the focus be on the band. While he was in the wings he was looking out in to the crowd, and I noticed he was looking up in to the section where I was sitting. I waved to him, but he had turned while I was waving so I didn't think he saw me. A few moments later he looked again, and I waved again. He stopped and tilted his head and looked more intently, so I waved again -- and this time, he waved back!! I was ecstatic! Everyone in the section where I was turned and looked at me and many were happy for me and saying nice things about how lucky I was!! And, I fully agreed!!! I was honored that David Bowie waved to me!!!!
I'm sorry that I will never have the opportunity to meet David Bowie in person. I'm sorry that I won't get to ever see him perform live in concert again. I know many countless others feel the same way, all around the world.
What I am most sad about is the loss that his family is enduring. I truly hope that these stories bring them some comfort, and some smiles through the tears.
R.I.P., David Robert Jones - R.I.P., David Bowie