Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

13 January 2016

Bye to Bowie...

David Bowie died the other day.

I had never met the man legend. Nor, really, saw him in the flesh.
Unless you count being in a crowd, in a field, at the 2000 Glastonbury pyramid stage, singing at the top of my lungs, every damn word as though it was only me and David Bowie face to face, as 'seeing' him.
I totally do.

(Just brilliant and I shall always name this knife thusly)

David Bowie dying isn't going to change my life dramatically.
It will still plod on, like normal. Work will happen, school will happen, everything will just continue as before really.
Just his music will be on the radio a lot more, for a while, and everyone will talk about him a lot for a while. Quite right too. He was a legend.
Still a world without David Bowie feels less awesome.

“... Planet earth is blue and there's nothing I can do …”
'Why's it blue'
<Checks Google for answer, WiFi is down>
Because it would be rather silly if it was bright red with yell...
<Just runs>

I believe that no one is really gone, if they are remembered.
Which is true, from some points of view. If someone is still spoken about, then they are still here really. It's when you can't remember them they've gone. But of course how would you know…
I still tell the kids about my Grandma, so she hasn't really gone. She exists for them, even if it is just as a memory.
She was less famous though.
Less Glam Rock too.

(Everyone loves a pirate...)

To me music is incredibly important.
I feel that music is an important part of our culture and history. It can sum up thoughts and feelings of the world at one moment in time, it can also speak to everyone, right into their hearts in a very personal way. It crosses all boundaries, no matter age, colour, or Apollo creed. It's pretty cool like that.
Just how important that music is, I feel, is best judged by how well it is remembered. If something's stays in our hearts and minds, it has for a reason.
David Bowie and his music will be remembered long, long, after I fall into that chocolate vat and drown succumb to the reaper myself. He's a legde’ for a reason.
It only takes a few minutes on Wiki to realise just how unique and special David Bowie was.

“... turn and face the strange…”
<Boy8 runs past armed to teeth with Nerf guns>
<And not one, but two pairs of pants on his head>
<Carries on as though nothing has happened>

I try to pass onto my kids the music knowledge I have.
I think it's very important. My father passed down to me all the music he loved and got excited about. By playing it. My brothers too.
And I thank them all for that. Some was rubbish though, utter, utter rubbish. 'Hundred Reasons' what were you thinking? LAME! But many things are brilliant.
Over the last eight years I have been busy filling Boy8's head with music from the past, the legends, what it meant at the time, what it changed, and all the cool stuff right now. (And yes there's loads of cool stuff now, you're not looking hard enough).
The same goes for Miss4, but we've had less time rocking out in the car together. And BabyBoy1 well, he's not quite ready for lyrics and guitar riffs, but he loves a good beat.
He already boogies with his heart and soul like his Dad.

The kids journey through music has been insanely ecliptic and pretty damn random to be honest.
I've covered many, many artists and bands and I am happy with what I have managed to show them. I tried not to bore them too much and just let them choose for themselves whilst holding a hammer and their Lego masterpieces.
I think I've done well, and done lots of music legends of the past, proud.

I think... and now worry about. I think I may not have highlighted David Bowie quite enough.
Which is why my fatherly chat with Boy8 about the death of someone very important in musical history, and to me, didn't go so great...

Dude! David Bowie has died!
'Uh huh' <Nods and continues watching Turtles>

(Note to self, turn off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when trying to talk to Boy8. Just always.
(Unless we are talking about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then keep it brief))

David Bowie? <Looks deep into Boy8's eyes hoping, praying for a spark recognition>
<Boy8 glances back to the TV>
'That's sad'
<Knows he doesn't mean it>

Full credit to Boy8.
He knows that I am trying to tell him something interesting and important. And he knows kind of what response he needs to give, so he does. Just he's no idea what I am trying to say.
And that's the problem. I've no idea of what I am trying to say.
I want to tell him how David Bowie gave hope to millions of people that were different and outsiders in their own lives. I want to tell him how no one else writes songs like he did. How much he rocked. I have a million things I want to say but it is so raw and emotional and tied to memories I can't quite get to. Words utterly fail me.
Instead I miss-quote...

They say... That he sang all the right notes, but in the wrong order

I'm pretty sure that's a Morecambe and Wise joke. But it gets his attention.
He glances away from Donnie (Orange Turtle) throwing a baseball at someone's head. (I watch it).


I rattle out my spell on how unique and different he was and how he gave hope to millions, by just being himself. It's not great, because there's lot about David Bowie and his lifestyle I don't actually want to discuss with an eight year old. Not yet anyway.
I lose him and he's back watching Splinter (the big talking Rat) muller ten foot soldiers at once. It is hella cool.
But damn it. My moment has gone.
I should do better prep.

“... Are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through…”
<Glances at Boy8 and Miss4 and worries about the teenage years>
<REALLY worries>

(Fine! Dress how you want, but no smoking and definitely no Bieber…)

I know what the problem is.
I cannot name Bowie songs for him that he knows and has fallen in love with. He's heard them, but not enough. Whereas when Michael Jackson died Boy8 knew his music better and we could chat about it. I could share my loss with him and talk about a living legend that had passed. Have a fatherly bonding moment and show him what one person can achieve, affect and change. You know, the cool, tingly chats.
I couldn't do that with David Bowie, which I shall always regret.

But I know how to make this right. 
The best way to put David Bowie and his music in Boy8's, Miss4's and that dancing loon BabyBoy1's head, is just to play Bowie’s music for them.
Over and over (with reasonable breaks and other stuff in-between, not shove it down their throats) so they can choose to love it when they are ready.
Nothing beats singing and dancing around the kitchen to a song we all love.
“Ziggy Stardust” has to be a winner for a eight year old! Spiders! FROM MARS! There’s a cartoon right there. #Winner 
“Diamond Dogs” for Miss4. BLING!
and “Golden Years” for BabyBoy1, he’s got soul that boy, already.

The kitchen playlist has already been littered with Bowie tracks that I hope they are going to love. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.
Lyrically it could be too challenging for them. The melodies may be too complex for their young ears. Not all of it makes that much sense, still, to me.
But come on... It's Bowie!
Of course they're gonna love it.

I’ll leave you with David Bowie performing “Heroes” at Glastonbury in 2000.
I’m somewhere near the sound desk singing my little heart out, linked arms with friends and family, utterly loving it. What a brilliant song.

Bye bye Starman and thank you for everything, especially Labyrinth.
Have a good trip home.
X <Hug>