When I read the tragic news on January 11th, it was the saddest day of my life. I’ve been scared of this for quite a while already and always dreaded the day, but hoped it would still at least take another 15-20 years. Never would I have imagined it would happen this soon. Even though today it's been 7 weeks since, not one day has passed without tears - at least a single one, usually more.
All other problems pale in comparison and just can't bother me much anymore.
It’s been a little comfort though to see how the world reacted, and to read all the lovely tributes that people wrote afterwards. So I’d like to add a story as well.
I fell in love with David the first time I saw him live on June 7th, 1997 at the Go Bang festival in Lubeck. He got on stage in his white clothes, looking like an angel, singing "Quicksand", and I was done. Got totally addicted then (even though I did like his music for a few years before already too of course). I saw him two more times within a month, unfortunately also only at festivals.
But over the following years I managed to see him live for about 100 times - in concert and TV shows - in Europe, America and even made it to Australia and Japan, and was so lucky to also have several very memorable encounters with him off-stage.
One of those was in June 2000. I arrived in New York two days before the first Roseland show. Thanks to another BowieNetter we knew where he was rehearsing for the shows, and right after my arrival her and me went there to wait for him to come out. He looked pretty tired and scruffy, so we only said hello, but I came over with only a backpack in which I also got a stuffed animal as a gift for yet-to-be-born Lexi. So I told him “here, that’s for you, I don’t want to carry it around any longer!” And he took it and replied with a grin “aaah, I see. So now you want me to carry it around instead?” Haha! Yup, that was the plan! And he thanked me with a kiss on the cheek.
That evening I wrote him a lengthy email how much I suddenly loved New York (which I didn’t yet the very first time I got there in 1995), and other things. Thanks to Bnet I got to exchange several emails with him for a while, which I will always treasure. I also told him that I’d be back there the next day, even though I’ll be very embarrassed.
So of course, the next morning I went back to that studio and waited for him again. And it didn’t take long until he came strolling over the street. Ouff, I was nervous.
David smiled, said hi, shook my hand, and asked how long I’ve been there. Then he also asked me something else: ‘So that girl has been picking you up?’ Huh? I didn’t understand him at all, so he repeated it…I still didn’t get it. So he rephrased it and asked “So you are staying with that other girl?” And I was stunned. It was something I mentioned in my email to him…wow.
I was wearing a black shirt on which I decided to have all Bowienetters write their name on, and so I also asked David if he could sign it. He asked if he should do it really nicely, with “for Simone”? Whoohooo, now I also knew he actually remembered my name! But no I said, please just sign it with ‘Sailor’. Which he did with a smirk.
However I did also have a nice picture from a magazine with me, which I also asked him to sign, and yes, now with ‘for Simone’ please. So he thought for a second, and then wrote “For Simone, with love, Bowie 2000”. Even though I got quite a few autographs over the years, this one remains my favorite! I thanked him with a kiss on the cheek, about which he was a bit perplex I think, as this time it wasn’t him doing it first, but he returned it right away. Then he went inside….and I floated back to meet some friends. Later that day I also noticed his email reply, which he already sent the previous night…”Simone, promise to shave :-o, Sailor” LOL. What a lovely day!
All those shows and encounters mostly happenend in the years 1999-2004. I also did get to see him once at least in 2005, 2006 and 2007, but the years after I spent missing him.
So on his birthday in 2013 I couldn't believe my eyes when he released "Where Are We Now" with "The Next Day" to follow two months later. That year no problems could bother me either, as I was so incredibly happy to finally have him back.
And I loved these lines from "I'll Take You There":
"I don't need to know
Know where you are
Only that you are
Safe in this world
Then I'll be content
To get on with my life
Eat, drink and sleep
Look up at the stars"
So beautiful and true....wish they could still be true. I can't believe how depressed I've been for years, only cause he remained silent and wasn’t active. I should have just been content that he was alive.
But I'm glad that at least I was one of the lucky few who still managed to see him for a last time when he arrived for the premiere of "Lazarus". He looked so happy then and smiled from ear to ear when he saw us Bnetters standing there - I would have never guessed what was really going on. A friend of mine fortunately managed to take a photo of that smile, from the angle where I saw it, straight on, so I can always remember him like that now. What a brave, couragous and amazing man! And leaving us all such a wonderful gift with his last album ? is unbelievable. I miss him so very much!
Thank you David! Will love you forever. You will never ever be forgotten!