David Bowie is not dead.
No matter how news outlets may report it, or social media commentators may cry about it, David Bowie is not dead. To imply or insinuate that Bowie is dead is to horribly misunderstand the purpose of Bowie or the art that it worked its life, and even its death, for.
So let us clear the facts: yes, David Jones – the human host of the immortal David Bowie essence and persona – has today passed away, age 69. That in itself is horrible news, which means that the spirit of the starman no longer has a vessel through which to bestow its otherwordly pop gems onto us.
For David Bowie was never truly human. Born in 1947, David Jones would have no idea of the spirit that would one day – twenty years on – inhabit him. Bowie’s birthing sound of The Laughing Gnome may not have charted, and it may not even be an especially great song, but it demonstrated that spark of something else. That bizarre charm and wonderful weirdness that made Bowie the artistic alien that it was.
It is only right that Bowie is referred to not by male or female phrases, but only ever in the gender neutral ‘it’. Not simply because of the androgyny that was Ziggy Stardust, but because to give Bowie any form of human trait is to do it a disservice. A spirit that morphed so frequently and successfully, from Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to Goblin King and beyond. There is no set sexuality, gender or appearance of Bowie. Bowie is a concept, a spirit of the times, but never human.
No further proof is needed of the elongated artform that was this lifeform than the death of David Jones. Since his human body suffered a heart attack in 2004, Bowie gradually and graciously began to remove itself from the public eye. In 2013 the shock dropping of The Next Day sparked rumours of a return, but Bowie never had any intent of that happening.
The Next Day marked the first, in a sense, album by Bowie to not feature the figure of David Jones on it. While it technically did, it was a recycled image of 1977’s “Heroes” album with the face removed. This was, two days prior to the death of Jones, followed by Bowie’s final album Blackstar. Blackstar was the first album by Bowie to not feature Jones’ face, simply settling for a minimalistic black star logo that will forever be treated as an artistic full stop.
With Blackstar Bowie has returned to the stars, finally deciding after 49 years that this planet was not for it. As we bid farewell to the pop majesty of Bowie and mourn the death of the regal human David Jones, the only suitable way to do so is to repeatedly listen to the finest epitaph that any artist, whether human or other, could hope to produce: Blackstar.