Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bowie's death hit us so hard because it signalled the beginning of the end of truly great generation

Tributes in front of a mural of Bowie in London last year, painted by Australian street artist James Cochran. Photo: Getty
Tributes in front of a mural of Bowie in London last year, painted by Australian street artist James Cochran. Photo: Getty

Frank Coughlan

So it was a year ago today that he died. It was a thunderbolt. A real where-I-was moment. To those of us who came of age in the Seventies, Bowie's abrupt departure was an unwelcome tap on the shoulder, reminding us baby boomers that we were getting on.

But even I - a Bowie disciple from the early days when I picked up a well-thumbed copy of 'The Man Who Sold the World' in a second-hand store - was surprised by the eruption of grief and regret that his passing generated. I knew he was something approaching a pop deity, but I didn't realise that so many millions felt the same.

The rest of the world had caught up with those of us who knew 40 years ago that Ziggy Stardust was a shape-changer.

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