I am not a rock and pop critic, nor am I the head of anything. I can tell a story, because I seem to have a story for everything and Bowie's art lends well to them.
It was, I think, senior year of college when a freshman and her two friends announced they were headed down to the city for the weekend. I knew the driver's boyfriend and she knew I wouldn't mind a free ride so she offered me one; I knew the city well so I navigated from shotgun. We left after someone's final class for the week, and found ourselves just outside the city limits at that point before golden hour when--if you're the particular sort of sort--one begins to anticipate its arrival.
We still did CDs back then, though I believe there was a five-disc changer. And "Ashes To Ashes" off Scary Monsters came on just as her classic red Jeep took the roadway's pitch smoothly, swinging us into the mellow sun of late spring. A river was to our right and traffic became instantly more insistent. But we flowed: under overpasses; past turnoffs for a massive bridge and exits to the streets. I have maybe an unhealthy attachment to stories about brushes with ecstasy while cast in the fading light of day, but whenever I need to feel that moment, I listen to that song. (I've taken its possible message to heart, though, and use it sparingly.)
There's an oral history of Bowie out there (David Bowie: The Oral History by Dylan Jones; ISBN 978-0451497840), and I've read it, and I liked it well enough, and I think the underlying message was that David Bowie tried to live his life like he was the art. If that means an appreciation of any of his songs (and he has some REALLY shitty ones) brings the listener as close as humanly possible to knowing him, then they're all fucking great.*
What follows below are the first pages of a spec script for the first episode of the fourth season of a show called LASTLAND. The characters and concept date back to 2002 and 2013, respectively; the pages below were drafted in March, 2021.
(For those who read through OFC HRS 14, new material begins at the very end of page 31 of 37 on the counter.)