Monday, January 11, 2016

Lemmy and Bowie

I shouldn't need to find links to note that both Lemmy of Motörhead and David Bowie have recently died. Both near the same age, both right after their birthdays, both from cancer. And if I thought my Facebook feed got flooded when Lemmy died, I knew nothing of what was just to come when Bowie died.

The important thing to note about them how closely both were associated with being outsiders.

You can find it in something like David Bowie by Devin Faraci. The outsider in everyone is comforted by Bowie, at least if you have any outsider in you at all. He made being an outsider seem so glorious. It made people who weren't really outsiders want to be outsiders. He celebrated unusual acts, touting The Velvet Underground and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, long before they had any kind of renaissance with the public. I doubt anyone could claim to have done more to bring outsider art to the mainstream.

I have nothing but the deepest respect for Bowie the man, but I have to confess, he never connected for me the way he did for others. While, I certainly enjoyed much of his music, I never quite connected the way so many other people did. He was so comfortable being an outsider, an alien, the "other". For others, his comfort made them more comfortable. For me, my discomfort was different. I feel like I was too different or too uncomfortable with my difference to connect to someone so comfortable in his weirdness.

Even now, as I've genuinely found a degree of comfort in my own skin finally. I can't imagine being someone who fits in and can even less imagine being someone who would want to. To that extent, even my younger self is very much an enigma to me.

But I still can't relate to being the outsider everyone secretly relates to. It's too inside for me to connect to on anything but a surface level

And I do celebrate that. And I acknowledge the many, many people I love and respect and how profoundly Bowie and his music affected their life. I think it is a tremendous and unique legacy that should be applauded with all of the vigor we are seeing today.

Here's something from the beginning of his career, a cover of a Paul Revere & the Raiders song that Mark Lindsay's Facebook posted in celebration of this remarkable life.

Lemmy was one of those special folks for me. I tried to find an article like the one I posted about Bowie and didn't see anything. I posted few articles about Lemmy on my Facebook, because I immediate started posting example of example of his music, from Hawkwind to HeadCat, such was the power that seems to me to speak for itself.

Lemmy doesn't seem to invite you to join him on the outside. He stands his ground and doesn't mind if you do too. He's even there with a middle finger proudly extended to everyone on the inside. Perhaps that means I'd be a better person were I a Bowie fan more than a Lemmy fan, but sometimes life is what it is.

Very much like the passing of Kurt Cobain, the passing of Lemmy leaves a hole in my life. An artistic connection that is noticeably gone from the Earth in knowing they're no longer here to feed my soul.

I'll leave this with something from Bad Magic, now officially the last Motörhead album, that seems to say a lot now.


Neil Sarver said...

For the record, I have, since this posting, seen this article: An image featuring David Bowie and Lemmy is fake

I'm leaving this as is for posterity, though. The picture works well for my post either way.

Neil Sarver said...

If I seemed unnecessarily unenthusiastic about Bowie, that was not my intent. Suffice to say, this guy is a fucking badass: A complete list of everything David Bowie turned down.

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