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Thank You Mr. Bowie

March 7, 2013
David Bowie's Triumphant Return

David Bowie’s Triumphant Return

Music is everything for me. Many of my strongest memories are attached to songs in one way or another. Being able to build a career within the live entertainment industry was, and still remains a huge blessing for me. Though I have lugged my fair share of road cases and truss across the nation, and even the world, in the end, I am just a simple music lover. It speaks to me in ways that other art forms may not, and I’ve always found this humorous as I am legally deaf in one ear, and otherwise tone deaf.

The one artist that has remained a personal constant in my life is David Bowie. With each stage of his musical journey, his artistry has been able to speak to me at the point I was in my own life.

I have been blessed with multiple opportunities to see him perform live and those experiences are something that will remain with me forever.

 I recall one time seeing him at the historic Kit Kat club in New York City, and being completely mesmerized at his gift for, and of, his performance in such a small intimate setting. I then had the chance to see him again, at the Tibetan Freedom Concert at Carnegie Hall. I will always hold that memory close to my heart.

When David Bowie did a brief tour with Nine Inch Nails, I was working and—imagine this!—I had the opportunity to meet him. I had never idolized him or been star struck, but I can’t lie when I said I wasn’t prepared to meet him face to face.

Having played such a huge role in my life and my growth as a person, Mr. Bowie had always been an inspiration from afar, a force that molded me and spoke to me through melody and lyric, intangible and beautiful. Can anyone prepare for such a meeting? I think not.

I had been standing next to him, and our mutual friend turned to introduce us.

“Michele, this is David Bowie. David, this is Michele on our crew.”

(!) Just like that. My life’s worth of admiration dropped before me and now here I was expected to say something. I wanted to remain professional, of course, but with so many thoughts coursing through my mind, I was frozen. Did I thank him for speaking to my life? For being the humanitarian that he was? Did I express my admiration for his passion for life and adventure? Or did I pull out my wit and make myself a profound memory for him to carry?

The answer, my friends, is none of the above.

When my body finally unfroze, and my mouth was able to conjure up something akin to speech, I looked at him and said, “You’re David Bowie.”

That was it! That’s all I had! My moment to make an impression and show gratitude had been reduced to stating a fact he had known since birth. Though we did talk briefly afterwards, his initial reaction was priceless, and that first second will forever remain engraved in my mind as one of my greatest flubs.

And now Mr. Bowie is at it again. As I am entering a new chapter of my life, the day before my big birthday, he is returning to bless us all again with the gift of his music. I imagine Mr. Bowie must know this is the greatest gift I could have ever dreamed, but I’ll admit I never thought it would come. But here he is, speaking to my life once more.

Thank you, Mr. Bowie. I am humbled by the gift of your artistry. 

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