Even successful people can be suffering privately. Those Born to be Artists tend to explore the world through an empathic lens. Bruce Springsteen’s characters and montages are only possible, because as a writer he was able to slip on the coat, or walk in the shoes of other (usually struggling) people.
When I wrote about David Bowie I noted that the only male celebrities I ever impersonated for Hallowe’en were Bowie and Prince. The two things that stick with me about Prince are in contradiction (like life).
I found his songs joyously sex-positive. The women got off in his songs. They did not exist as simply a plaything for a man. (I wasn’t familiar with his earliest stuff, and the film Purple Rain didn’t appeal to me. I am reading that I might find those misogynist.) The Prince I listened to loved women. They were also respected as full musicians in his band, not simple novelties.
Memorable men were born on January 8: David Bowie, Elvis Presley, and my dad.
David Bowie left us in a way that has moved me to my very core. His longtime friend and producer Tony Visconti has already been widely quoted:
He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life—a work of Art. 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. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.
“‘Cause as sure as the sun will shine
I’m gonna get my share now, what’s mine”
I AM going to get my share of the truth, of respect, of human rights!!
“But I’d rather be a free man in my grave
Than living as a puppet or a slave”
Fitting epitaph for anyone (above from “The Harder They Come” )