David Bowie died today, aged 69, following an 18-month struggle with cancer.
I never met him, not even briefly, but his music has been an important part of my life since he first appeared on "Top of the Pops" as Ziggy Stardust. I was still a child then, but already into Marc Bolan's music. David Bowie's music has been on my turntable, then cassette deck, then stack systems, then CD players ever since. (I can't be bothered with my iPod; it's more trouble than it's worth and so gathers dust in a cupboard drawer.)
Who could forget attending those "Bowie Nights" years ago, at Olivers nightclub in Leigh, when a perfectly mundane small-town disco would be transformed largely by an act of imagination into a doorway into another realm dedicated to the creative outpourings of Mr Bowie himself? Everyday teens and twenties would tog themselves in theatrical replicas of his stage clothes, and dance the night away - or mime the night away, if a person was really devoted - to track after track by Bowie, Japan, Roxy Music, early Human League and the seemingly mandatory "I Travel" by Simple Minds.
And later, when I lived on my own for around eleven years, first in St Helens and then in Aigburth, Liverpool, Bowie's music was always there, changing as his creative vision continued to expand. While my tastes in music have also expanded to encompass classical, jazz, prog rock, rock and folk, I've always kept playing his music.
It feels sad to recognise that there will be no more music from him; his creative genius has been halted here. His experimental search for artistic self-expression was wonderfully individualistic. He will be truly missed.