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Funk to Funky

And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor” – Bowie

So David Bowie died. This was the send-off news from San Francisco where, of late, it seems I’m spending about half my days. I read a few mandatory ageing drama geek postings — “David Bowie didn’t die, he just returned to his home planet” — but this wasn’t the point. Sure, Bowie bridged that gap between high school theater productions and football fields, appealing equally to androgynous adolescent thespians and rock-headed defensive linemen. But he also registered with normaloid nobodies like me, alone and spinning the bedroom vinyl. He was cool to look at in all his Thin White Duke glory, but what struck me was how incredibly consistent this cat was. Diamond Dogs. Young Americans. Five Years. Modern Love. Panic In Detroit. The man could flat-out write a tune, paint a picture, set a mood. And the way his voice could kick in to overdrive with a chilling break when needed .. “smiling and waving and looking so fine ..” Maybe he was from another planet .. but it always sucks having this asserted by mere and geeky mortals after the cool ones go. Better to just listen to what he left behind.

As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent
You asked for the latest party
With your silicone hump and your ten inch stump
Dressed like a priest you was
Todd Browning’s freak you was

Works for me. And they’re getting some rain out there. San Francisco that is, not David Bowieland. Turns out this El Niño deal is one of the few meteorological metrics that doesn’t disappoint. As the late-great not-so-Bowie-like Chris Farley once pointed out, El Niño is Spanish for “The Niño.” It’s also Northern Californian for “washing excrement from San Francisco streets” which can only be a good thing, even for those doing the depositing. West Coast rain is different from East Coast rain. I’m not going to go into any further detail, but this is the sum total of accumulated wisdom from my decade-plus, bi-coastal experiment. I’ll get arguments from some on a molecular level, but it’s also about how it falls, where it falls, and what it falls on. Speaking of which and keeping in line with recent postings .. sublime exit from The Man Who Fell To Earth. As Roger Kahn wrote in his great work on the Brooklyn Dodgers, “The Boys of Summer” : “You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat. Losing after great striving is the story of man, who was born to sorrow, whose sweetest songs tell of saddest thought, and who, if he is a hero, does nothing in life as becomingly as leaving it.” And so it was with David Bowie, if not this disjointed and rambling blog entry. That’s OK .. I think I’ve got a few more in me.

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