I’ll never forget the day David Bowie died

Rock icon David Bowie
Rock icon David Bowie

A few weeks ago I was sat here writing about David Bowie’s new album Blackstar. Scratching my head trying to interpret his cryptic lyrics. The excitement of the new album release on his 69th birthday, filled with hope that this was the start of an exciting new era for Bowie fans.

The thing I can’t get my head around is the bizarre feeling of great sorrow I felt for someone I’ve never actually met. For a few hours after the news broke I just felt numb. It’s weird seeing all those scenes on the news of distraught fans who ,like me, didn’t know this man personally. Even though I’ve never met the great man, I can sort of track the significant events of my life through the Bowie songs I was listening to at the time. When I hear one of his albums it takes me right back to where I was when I first heard that record. I think that’s why the news has had a really strong impact on me.

Darren Milby, presenter with The Bay radio, with Faye Bowness in the studio on St George's Quay.

Darren Milby, presenter with The Bay radio, with Faye Bowness in the studio on St George's Quay.

I see his latest album as a thank you to us, his fans. The meaning of the Blackstar album has become a lot clearer from the poignant first line of his most recent single Lazarus, ”Look up here, I’m in heaven.” The music video featuring Bowie in a hospital bed and the interpretation of his spirit as an artist coming out of the closet for one last time before returning and the door closing is blatant in hindsight and haunting at the same time. How did none of us spot the meaning a week earlier?

I can’t imagine many people in his situation continuing to work up until the end and the fact Blackstar is one of his most creative albums is a true testament to the genius of David Bowie. Before any of us knew what was to come the reviews for the record were astonishing. After such a long and trailblazing career he was still breaking boundaries in his final days which just shows he is on another level.

David Bowie is the artist’s artist. He has been inspiring for decades and that will continue for years. I wasn’t around when Elvis died, I was too young to comprehend John Lennon but I’ll never forget the day we lost the greatest of all, Mr David Bowie. Things will never quite be the same again.