I took my time thinking what I wanted to say about the passing of David Bowie.
So many folks jumped right in to give this master musician his just due.
He deserved every word, photograph, screen roll.
I wanted to get it right.
The man born 10 years before me held my attention from the time I first heard Space Oddity when I was not yet a teenager until the sad day I heard he passed away from cancer at the age of 69.
David Bowie the artist broke ground. He sang of the lonely spaceman looking back at Earth when Man was staring down space and figuring out how far to take that mystery. He took on a new persona and sang about Spiders from Mars. He dared to duet with John Lennon in a song about Fame. He put on his red shoes and danced the blues after John Travolta put on a suit and danced disco.
And yet …
David Bowie the man knew how to avoid the glare of celebrity, didn’t he? Did you know he was born with the name Davy Jones?
The artist worked until the end, acting and writing and putting out new music.
The man left behind his wife Iman, his son Duncan Jones and daughter Alexandria, and his step-daughter Zulekha Haywood.
The musician left behind for the world 26 albums.
Rest in peace, David Bowie.
And then when I was putting the finishing touches to my Bowie tribute together in my head, I heard the news that Glenn Frey had passed away at the age of 67, from the complications of an assortment of illnesses.
Frey got together at the start of the 1970s with Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon to back up Linda Rondstadt.
They knew they had something.
After one show as Rondstadt’s band, they broke off to start the Eagles and make history.
Frey played guitar and sang, a major player with drummer-singer Henley in the group that would define the bridge between country and rock and folk and go on to sell more records and concert tickets than any other American band. Ever. (Their greatest hits topped only by Michael Jackson and Thriller.) Their songs Hotel California, Peaceful, Easy Feeling and Take It Easy are part of the fabric of our country. Of my soul, too.
Hell, folks my age and even generations younger loved the band so much — add guitarist Joe Walsh on for good measure after the fact — that after a split and halt, they made them reunite and tour some more and put out a live album that made fun of their disagreements and that fact with the title Hell Freezes Over.
Rest in peace, Glenn Frey.
How did you react when you heard the news of David Bowie’s passing? Glenn Frey’s? Are you more of a Bowie or Eagles fan, and why?