Of all the people in the world to age, get a bus pass and retire, I didn’t think it’d be David Bowie. Then again, maybe this ability to be properly popstar fabulous and completely human is why he’s so awesome. At the risk of sounding a bit ballsy, if you’re yet to take a voyage to planet Bowie, do not let this talk of retirement put you off. You’ll learn that it’s impossible for Ziggy Stardust to ever return to Mars without a trace, his music is as relevant as ever.
Though I purport to be an expert on this music sort of thing, I admit I was a little late to the Bowie party. Make that – a lot late. This was no case of being held up by Tube signal failures, I was held up by 23 years of brain signal failures. Till last year (breathe), he was just the guy that sang “ch-ch-ch-changes”, often at one in the morning as I pranced about some indie club, the guy with chevrons for eyebrows that played the Goblin King in cult movie Labyrinth (1986). Yep, last year, the legendary DAVID BOWIE meant nothing to me bar sticky dance floors and bricking it behind the couch, 6-year-old style. If you see yourself in this at all, it’s time to do something about it. Turn and face that strain.
My Bowie-piphany happened one fateful, unsuspecting day. While dodging the office mice, I hear this tight, hot rhythm section on the Q Magazine stereo, followed by an arresting, frightening vocal. The hectic guitar riffs sound better than Foo Fighters’ latest, the title track grows more dystopian than Joy Division, the lyrics – something about a European canon – are more spacy and insane than even Muse. I’m finally hearing Bowie’s 10th album – Station To Station for the first time.