I have a great deal of respect for David Bowie and his music, and I was shocked and very saddened this morning to hear about him dying. But I also know that I didn’t really grow up listening to his music, and I don’t have nearly the same connection and memories that a lot of others have with his impact in their lives. It got me to thinking about whose death has already or might later have that same sort of impact on me. Three names come to mind:
Isaac Asimov: I was still a teenager when he died, but I had spent so much of my teenage years reading his novels and short stories that I can recall being tremendously sad about it.
Chuck D.: Public Enemy was really the soundtrack of my youth. I wore out cassettes and CDs listening to their albums over and over and over again, memorizing lyrics, feeling like some of my views on society evolved over time along with theirs. I imagine that’s a loss I’ll really feel if the man behind that group goes before I do.
Gordon Sumner: My “big brother” (of the Big Brothers organization) introduced me to “…Nothing Like The Sun” not too long after it had come out, and I fell in love with it. Something about the combination of jazz and Sting’s vocals really hooked me. From there, I spent a lot of years working my way backward into and through The Police’s catalog, and followed him as he continued to make more music. Probably my all-time favorite musician. As with Chuck D., I’m sure I’d feel that loss severely.
At any rate, who falls into this category for you, and why?