Can You Hear Me Major Tom?

By now, most of you will have heard the news that David Bowie passed away at age 69 from cancer.

This news hit me like a wrecking ball. I grew up with Bowie and his cast of characters. In my university days, I went to a Halloween party dressed as Ziggy Stardust. My boyfriend at the time went as Paul Stanley from Kiss. I was taking a dramatic makeup course and was quite proud of my work on these two rocker looks!

David Bowie was in many ways the quiet innovator, even though there wasn’t anything really quiet about him. His personas were so varied and he went from one to another with chameleonlike ease. Some were album concepts, others just characters from a song, a movie or even just a new look. Bowie didn’t just create, sing or act them, he became them:

  • Ziggy Stardust
  • Alladin Sane
  • Major Tom
  • The Man Who Fell To Earth
  • Jareth The Goblin King
  • Starman
  • …and many many more

Some of these worked and some didn’t; however, they were all Bowie and he always came out okay. His music was haunting and inviting at the same time.

I read an interview with Madonna this morning where she said she snuck out with a friend to see Bowie in concert and it was amazing. She got caught and grounded but didn’t mind because she had her memories and Bowie albums! He was one of her first influences!

People of all generations love the duet of “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” by David Bowie and Bing Crosby on Crosby’s 1977 Christmas show. My memories are so vivid of the usually empty TV room at our university residence being packed with students watching the show just to see Bowie and the room being so quiet during that duet. It is played all over and has become a Christmas classic.

So, Major Tom, this is Ground Control, we won’t be seeing you anymore here; however, we will hear you in your music, feel you in our hearts and love you for eternity.

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in the most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in my tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do”

David Bowie – Space Oddity

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13 Replies to “Can You Hear Me Major Tom?”

    1. I just finished watching several tributes and they all talked about how David Bowie transcended music, acting, sexuality, and so much more to blur the lines forever. One thing that got me was an interview with Iman a couple of years ago where she stated that “I cook every night because my husband doesn’t want take-out anymore!” It’s kind of neat to hear that this larger than life man enjoyed a good home-cooked meal with one of the most beautiful models of all time!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So many of us have memories of David Bowie. I think it’s going to take a long, long time to sink in that he’s gone. He’s one of the acts I would have hocked the house to go and see. I’m totally with Madonna. The stars who credit him as profoundly influencing them span the generations, and in addition to Madonna: Freddie Mercury and Lady Gaga to name just two. What a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, he definitely had an impact on a lot of lives – celebrity and not! The news seemed to affect the celebrations going on in Hollywood after the Golden Globes were over. They started playing his music at all the after-parties.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice tribute Lydia. We in Philadelphia are saddened in that not only did David record his first live album here but also most all of “Young Americans” was recorded here. He liked the vibe of the city back then and I suspect this was always one of his favorite cities to tour at. He will be missed. True icon. Commanding presence not only on stage but in film as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! Vancouver was a favourite place for him as well. He stopped here more than any other Canadian city and did many interviews with a local DJ/TV Host who broke down Monday morning when he was telling his radio audience. He said they had become good friends over the years and Bowie would come here “just to unwind”.

      Liked by 1 person

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