Musicians May Die but the Art is Reborn
Music fans the world over have had a taxing few months regarding the untimely deaths of a few iconic figures. The first bomb to drop was the news of Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver fame dying of a drug overdose on December 3, 2015. A few weeks later came the shocking announcement that Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead had died of cancer on December 28, 2015. The third and perhaps most surprising (since no one outside of his inner circle knew he was sick) icon to leave us was the Starman himself, Mr. David Bowie. Bowie had been battling cancer for 18 months before succumbing to the disease on January 10, 2016.
Being a fan off all three artists mentioned above I feel somewhat beaten up as it's still all so fresh and ugly. In the case of David Bowie, I've ackowledged many times over that he and his song Space Oddity are the reasons I fell in love with music the way I did....hard, unforgiving and beautiful. (read about it here) but beyond that, all of the music and art that came from these men feel more important to me than I can explain. That's the thing about being a lover of music, I don't really need words to explain it, it's innate. If you love music in the same way, you know exactly what I mean.
Throughout my lifetime I've been fortunate enough to keep the company of many musicians of varying degrees of fame. I've either met, hung out with, interviewed, been an acquaintance of or very close friends with local and world famous musicians alike; and the one thing they all have in common is this: the art is who they are, not simply what they do. They'd all be doing it, whether for an audience of one or one million. They have to do it. It's this indisputable drive, this laser focused need to create that draws all of us in. It's why we care. And we, like them, cannot help it.
The physical must disappear, it's a fate we all share. That doesn't mean however that we must leave completely. We are what we create and what we create cannot be taken away. T. S. Eliot once said "I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different" and in the case of music and art, there is birth but never true death. Not only will what's been created continue, but sometimes those who leave wind up spawning other forms of art when others step in and advance the cause. It's a cycle that the worst disease nor old age can abolish. It's forever left to the universe to share. Yes we lost three unique, talented and inspirational artists over the last few weeks, but not only will we never lose their art; we will gain new incarnations of what that art means to us. We'll look back, reflect, think ahead and each time we hear Scott, Lemmy or Bowie we'll feel something new and different. Something unique to that moment and time. Kind of reminds me of "...I'm stepping through the door and I'm floating in a most peculiar way. And the stars look very different today"