6 Music, the BBC’s slightly left of centre radio channel, has been dedicating this weekend’s schedule to commemorating David Bowie. Long noted as a Bowie superfan (not a prophet or a stone age man), Adam Buxton has been back on the airwaves as part of the programming with this two hour ‘take on the great man’.

It’s well worth seeking out and giving some attention to, as it has many very funny bits in (Cobbler Bob…) and some intriguing lyrical exegesis from the late Dame David as well.

Bowie’s clarification of the intent behind Space Oddity – that Major Tom is not victim to mechanical failure, but deliberately cutting himself adrift – was a major (Tom) perspective shift for me. As happens from time to time, your world view can be altered by something you’d never considered. Purely on a ‘song itself’ basis, it’s such an important detail. The mournful ending is still there, it’s still sad, but for different reasons. In that light, of course, Ashes to Ashes holds even more resonance.

Anyway, as I write this I’m listening to Brian Eno recounting his and Bowie’s devotion to Derek and Clive during the recording of Low.

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Derek Bowie… Of course! Suddenly it *all* makes sense.

I heard the news today, oh boy…

It wasn’t until after the second Bowie song on the bounce came on the radio that I realised something must be up. We had a group moment at work listening to about an hour of his records. Although we tried to get on with whatever we had to do, no one’s mind was really on the job, and all eyes were a little dewy. Drive-In Saturday set me off.

Dame David Bowie had such a wide appeal, I don’t have a lot to add to the millions of words and hearts being poured out. The story of how I came to Bowie, and the videos I would post regarding that, are available to view at this post, Where are we now?, from 2013.

I’m very sad he’s no longer with us physically, but draw some solace from the marvellous sounds and visions remaining.

… blue, blue, electric blue.

The video and lyrics to Lazarus constitute an unarguably poignant final statement by David Bowie.

If you blog with WordPress, you receive little notifications from time to time, telling you when people “like” your posts, or if you have followers, sort of thing. They also have a virtual trophy cabinet, marking your significant achievements in WordPressery.

The Mortal Bath has been publishing for five years, I discover today. Five years! Hoopla. During which time I also changed career, helped make a child, managed to stay happy in the face of near-constant provocations from The Man and all his little wizards… as well as doing some writing.

Here is a selection of my favourite posts from the last five years:

2009: Fat Duck and Little Chef, an everyday tale of nostalgia and terrible food.

2010: Tiger Feature, Disneyesque Metro parody that also contrives to include reference to Wildlife Photographer of the Year controversy.

2011: Has to be the Iron Maiden Powerslave one, which remains my most viewed post, I like to think for the honest writing although I suspect it’s actually the enormous image of the album cover. I am rather fond also of That rumble in the chest.

2012, the year I wrote a lot of drafts that never saw the light of day: A bit of semi-fictional Dylan-nodding in stompingly yours, Lazy Henry. Or, writing about writing, and a game changer announcement, and a chance to turn the pages over.

2013: Consider her ways, concerning gender bias in kids’ products.

Well, happy browsing. All The Mortal Bath output is solid gold genius, of course.

Having said all THAT… in fact, there is actually only one thing that happens in my brain when I hear the words “five years” – FIVE YEARS!

So here it is: some vintage Derek.

“I suppose it’s another quotation from Derek Bowie is it?”

David Bowie, or Derek, (“I suppose it’s another quotation from Derek Bowie, is it?”) has released a new song. It made the news today – oh boy! You can see it at his website.

Is it any good? Well, that’s up to you. I like it. It occurred to me that I could blether on at length offering my opinion on the tune, Bowie’s importance and cultural context, perhaps making some pithy remarks on the music media commentariat in the UK, but it occurred further that there’s no point. This is David freakin’ Bowie we’re talking about! “If you have to ask…” …as the Red Hot Chili Peppers once suggested.

I’ve liked Dame David for a long time. I had a couple of teachers at school who used to obsess about Bob Dylan and David Bowie, getting me into them and a bunch of other ‘cultural touchstone’ bands through careful pointers. One of them created a memorable tape compilation for when I was leaving sixth form, called ‘I remember when all this were fields’. I sometimes say that when looking at the YouTubes, “I remember when all this were compilation tapes”.

These were the two Bowie songs on that compilation:

You betcha! And a version of this, which makes me wish we’d had the YouTubes back then:

Given his near half century of professional superness, I think it doesn’t really matter if David Bowie’s new song could maybe be more awesome. He’s still moving, doing it. On the rare occasions people have tried to argue with me regarding Bob Dylan’s continuing relevance, while I’m on the DB/BDs, I’ve said that anyone who managed to come out with Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, in the space of 18 months, is allowed to do what they like as far as I’m concerned. The same goes for Bowie.

Hunky Dory, 1971. …Ziggy Stardust, 1972. Aladdin Sane, 1973. Shush.”

History will show that Coldplay performed at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony, but everyone was more bothered that Bowie did not. That is all. You betcha!