By Lisa Morgan
David Bowie was “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. Since 1969, he was unlike anyone we’d ever known in music or otherwise. While others played safely in the confines of success that had been forged and defined by their predecessors, Bowie nonchalantly and unabashedly opened ominous closed doors and danced right through them. He had omnipresence even when he wasn’t “trending”. His music would pierce through every season of radio droll and leave his unique signature on every decade, until finally he made his graceful and eloquent exit in this one.
A video for the song “Lazarus” was released along with what we all expected to be his latest, not his last and final, album. It would soon dawn on us all (and would be confirmed by producer, Tony Visonti) that this was his carefully-orchestrated farewell to his fans following an 18 month battle with cancer. “His death was no different from his life – a work of Art,” explained Visconti to NME.com. “He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it.” And neither were we.
Local music makers in the Coachella Valley of all ages and genres, jumped at an opportunity to express their appreciation for an artist that left an indelible mark on them:
“The video he just released was so Bowie; always transparent to his true art and feelings. This has impacted me deeply.”
– Ronnie King (Multi-Platinum, Diamond aritst, Oscar and Grammy nominated producer)
“David Bowie, ‘an innovator’ is a small term; he was so unique, so musically compelling… he captured your attention whenever his music was playing, even if it was on a car radio station. The interpretations he was throwing at you were so broad and wide that you felt like he was talking to you. He was a true artist, I guess, in human terms. Blackstar, his last release, is so beautiful – him saying goodbye in his unique way.”
– Gary Arce (Yawning Man)
“David Bowie had the magic power of drawing from a seemingly bottomless well of music history, art and style. The result: an indescribable body of work that inspired countless other indescribable bodies.
Wonderful Weirdo wizard.”
Mario “Boomer” Lalli, (Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man)
“It’s our gift, a gift to humanity what he shared and left with us. We all had the rare opportunity to experience such a genuine, life altering, soul shifting experience in our lifetime. Comet men like Bowie only come around this galaxy every 10 thousand years or so. Echo forever star child.”
– Chris Unck (Musician/Song Writer/Producer , Lucky Bones, owner of High Lonesome Recording Studio in Joshua Tree)
“From Stardust to Black Star, and from Ashes to Ashes, the human-form-alien, David Bowie, obliterated boundaries in art and in personal identification, giving everyone permission to reinvent as needed. His impact on me is beyond measure and his legacy reverberates across the universe. This gentle, genderless, grinning soul who rocked the earth will be sadly missed and never replaced.”
– Ted Quinn (American singer/songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Co-founder of renowned recording studio Casa de la Luna in Joshua Tree.)
“We grew up waking up to music every day in our home. I feel that a lot of who I am comes from the music that has been a part of my life. My mother made a Bowie mix that she’d play in our family van and I remember asking her to play it over and over again. Bowie’s impression on the world of music and its performance is awe inspiring. It is something that pushes me in my own. I don’t think of his passing as a loss, but rather his life as an eternal gift to so many. He will be a hero forever and ever.”
– Katie Cathcart (Drummer/Vocalist in Bridger and CV Music Awards Best Drummer)
“When I left home and went to live in LA, Bowie went with me. As an actor, Ziggy & Hunky Dory shaped my early years into manhood. I’ll always remember countless spins in my first loft apartment, where every play was as if I was taking advice from an insightful friend. The greatest thing about Bowie to me was his ability to use his evolving brand of art in life to move through it. A truly remarkable artist and in my opinion, the epitome of cool.”
– Jim Cathcart (Actor and Songwriter/Vocals/Guitar for CV Award winning band, Bridger)
“To me, David Bowie is one of the most enigmatic, diverse, and influential artists ever to live. He and his music have touched me personally and changed my life forever. With his ever changing style, and boundary pushing ideas, it almost feels too human that he died from cancer. I always thought he would get picked up by an alien spaceship and return home.”
– Ison Van Winkle (Songwriter/Vocals/Guitar/Keyes for the band IIIZ
“He was a very nice fellow. Always very nice to me. I bumped into him from time to time over the years. I remember one time, we were doing the first Glastonbury festival, and we had a chance to talk for quite a bit. He was telling me how he’d cut out words from newspapers, like a jigsaw puzzle then spread them all out onto a table. He’d mix them all up, then randomly pick one and turn it into a song. That was how he’d write his lyrics! I asked him, ‘What happens if the windows open and the wind blows them all over?’ He says to me, ‘Well, then you’re fucked.’”
– Terry Reid (English rocker, vocalist and guitarist who toured with the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Cream, and collaborated with Graham Nash among many others.)