Of Blackstars, Black Holes and Lucky Men (and Women)

Jan 10th, 2017 | By | Category: From the Editors

A year on, and the news of David Bowie’s death still feels painfully fresh. That loss started 2016 just a few days after his release of Blackstar and his 69th birthday. Sadly, the year just continued to take away one musical legend after another, wrapping up with the death of George Michael on Christmas Day.

As a result, many music lovers began the year with Blackstar but ended with black holes in their hearts, mourning the loss of so many who had provided the soundtracks to our lives.

And it wasn’t just musicians whom we lost, of course. Throughout the year, a never-ending series of actors and prominent figures also departed, from Muhammad Ali to Gene Wilder. How could this be, we asked, that so many are taken in the same year?

In some ways, the cascade of death is not surprising. Many of those we lost were part of the baby boomer generation, which means they are getting up there in years. Throw in lifestyles that were not always the healthiest, and a better question might be how have some of them managed to stay alive so long. (We’re thinking of you, Keith Richards.)

So chances are that 2016 won’t prove to be an aberration but will more likely be a harbinger. And so our grieving will likely continue, hopefully with a little let-up from time to time.

But these losses are also cause for celebration. All of us lucky enough to be alive during the heyday of the Starman and the countless others who have left us are so much richer for having had that opportunity. For those who weren’t around for the first act, the ready availability of almost all the music ever recorded is a treasure unimaginable just a few years ago. We may have lost two of the three artists who brought us “Lucky Man” nearly half a century ago, but we were indeed lucky men and women to have had them in our lives.

 

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2 Comments to “Of Blackstars, Black Holes and Lucky Men (and Women)”

  1. Well said, Thom.
    Hoping that 2017 will have fewer of these ‘passing’ moments is, frankly, delusional. Unlike many of his followers, King Canute knew he could never stop the tide. Let’s feel sadness, sure*, but also aim to enjoy our living treasures and continue to appreciate the legacy of the dead. We’ll all be dust soon enough.

    * I’m still feeling somewhat bereft at the Bowie-shaped hole in the world.

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