THE BLOG

Our Brixton Boy: David Bowie 1947-2016

11/01/2016 23:22 GMT | Updated 11/01/2017 10:12 GMT

It was pitch black this morning when the news came through. At first I tweeted my sadness and then was told it was a hoax. Relief spread, but no, this was real. David Bowie had succumbed to cancer.

I was first exposed to his hits through my collection of Now That's What I call Music! cassette tapes and Britpop bands playing covers of his hits.

He was never one to run with the crowd, and what impressed me most was the way he changed and challenged himself. Drum and bass! Jungle! Apparently his unhappiest time as an artist was in the early 1980s when on the hit machine both sides of the Atlantic and seemingly in a musical straight jacket.

The Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition of his life in 2013 was a true homage, I managed to sneak in on the last day and it was packed. Bowie was sure a hoarder, every aspect of his life was there on show over five decades. Throughout the day I kept myself busy, knowing that if I played Absolute Beginners or Heroes I'd get wobbly.

BBC Radio Two were superb in the early evening, playing wall-to-wall Bowie, with Rick Wakeman giving a superb live rendition of Life on Mars? on piano just before the pips sounded for 7pm.

BBC1 then showed a tribute to his life and cut live to a vibrant Brixton crowd paying homage to his life. I simply had to be there and jumped on the next train to South London. Hundreds had turned up, singing songs, waving placards or simply gazing across this unplanned celebration of his life.

It's my dad's birthday today. He's four years younger than David Bowie. Realising this, my father's mortality struck home. Work commitments meant I couldn't be with him in person but even after an earlier phone call, I texted him later to say I loved him.

David Bowie: song creator, artist, innovator. Rest in peace.