As if there wasn’t enough proof that David Bowie is god, here it is.
After years of speculation of ill health and retirement, most of us fans had resigned to the fact that our David Bowie fix would only be filled by repeated reruns of grainy YouTube videos of concert footage from the 1990′s. Considering that I was a late-blooming Bowie fan (a child of the 80′s nonetheless), falling for Bowie after he’d disappeared from the public eye for nearly six years felt much like missing the last train to the city. Tonight, I had stayed up until midnight to watch the clock on my computer roll from January 7th to the 8th in anticipation of an uneventful 66th birthday for Mr. Bowie. Surely his Facebook account would announce a pleasant, well-groomed message from the Bowie camp as it has done for the past few months.
I added my cursory “like” to the thousands who had already beat me to it. (Aren’t they on East Coast time? They posted this one hour early!). Happy 66th birthday Mr. Jones. I imagined him enjoying quite the pedestrian lifestyle, not much unlike mine except in a much more expensive home surrounded by much prettier things.
It was late and I stayed up a few more minutes finishing some work when I suddenly received that familiar notification ring on my phone. My phone was set to only notify me of new tweets from David Bowie (and well, the Dalai Lama), so when I received the notification well after the birthday post, I knew something was odd. Two media messages from the Bowie camp within the hour? I quickly read it. DavidBowie.com has been updated. Updated? It hasn’t been updated since 2006. I scrambled onto my web browser in hopes that a million other Bowie fans weren’t clogging bandwidth to his server.
A new album? A new album! How can someone, with the rockstar status of David Bowie, go about recording an entire album under the radar? Ironically, if any artist would, or could, it would be David.
A master at self-promotion, Bowie manipulated his image and the media with deliberate ease. Considering that he knew how to play the media game, his decision (and self restraint) in quietly forgoing multiple high-exposure, promotional opportunities including the 2012 Olympics, goes against common logic. It’s so strange seeing the master of media forge new trails once again. In today’s saturated, over-exposed society, where “shock” is the norm, the original pioneer continues to prove that he effortlessly strides five steps ahead as an artist. What is currently lauded as unique, trendsetting and original in today’s musical entertainment has been said-and-done nearly 40 years ago. Has it truly taken 40 years for the rest of us to catch up?
Perhaps I haven’t missed the last train after all.