That was what my phone suddenly lit up with this morning as I was making tea first thing. The partial nature of the announcement made it seem almost ambiguous (was he right? How did he die? David Bowie? Really??) But uncertainty gave way very quickly to mundane reality, and BBC news at 8:00 was giving over 12 minutes of lead news to the story. So, there we are.
It’s too soon and too early to reflect on his incredible work. So, just as a sidebar comment almost, how fitting was it that the announcement should have been the way it was? His was a career built around ambiguity: genre-busting changes from novelty song to doomy SF-inspired pieces to flamboyant rock to soul to electronic to metal to no-label-what is it? music, gender-busting moves in appearance and behaviour – gay? bi-sexual?, even age-defying moves, constantly evolving a style in a business constantly focused on being youthful.
There will be a slew of detailed and reflective accounts appearing, many being typed even as I type for this. ‘The clock waits patiently,’ he sang once. 69 years and cancer waiting at the end. But he will live longer for the rest of us. As he finished in the same song, speaking to an audience: ‘Oh gimme your hands.’