If you know anything about Denton musicians, you probably know that Daniel Markham has been incredibly influenced by the late David Bowie. Bowie passed away at age 69 earlier this week after an 18 month battle with cancer.
Blackstar is an album that ultimately curated Bowie’s death and a rather large secret he had been carrying for months. His 27th studio album has left a tiny hole in many of our hearts, one that could not be filled with any amount of space dust or dancing. With the news of Bowie’s passing just four days ago, a short two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final album Blackstar, we reached out to Markham for his thoughts on Bowie's legacy.
It was a nightmare…I was standing in the back of what appeared to be a used bookstore with bicycles hanging from the ceiling. I was dressed in yellow and singing soul music at the top of my lungs. All of a sudden three large gentlemen walk in to tell me that what I’m doing is completely offensive. They threaten me with violence and I just keep singing louder and louder...
I woke up from the nightmare in my hometown, completely out of breath and little bewildered in the darkness. I turned to check the time on my cellphone and noticed I had received a text from my friend and bandmate Grady Sandlin that just read “Bowie.” I knew right then that one of the biggest musical influences in my life was gone.
It was 2:00am and I struggled to fall asleep as I kept reading different news stories about how the legend had passed just two days after his birthday, two days after the release of the last album of his life: Blackstar.
It was lucky that I was able to pick up the record the day it came out at Ralph’s Records in Lubbock, Texas. I was in town to play music and visit with old friends. It was an exciting time, however, I had no access to a turntable and was not able to listen until after I had heard the news.
Having returned to Denton, I spent most of Tuesday listening to Blackstar on repeat. Every note. Every word. I examined the packaging. I smelled the ink on the booklet inside. It had all been carefully planned, and it was all so grim and beautiful. It was pure Bowie.
Blackstar is death, and it’s one of the most important albums to ever come out of popular music. A dying pop icon giving it all away without ever giving anything away. I can’t recall anyone having done anything quite like it.
I was just as heartbroken over the loss of David Bowie as anyone else, but this record really made me feel at peace with his passing. He spent his entire life giving us his everything, and Blackstar is the perfect final act.
It’s hard for me to imagine how an album so meticulously and secretly planned could ever be outdone. With Blackstar, Bowie has shown us that it is possible to die with dignity and style, and we are all better off for it.
Blackstar Track List:
2. Tis a Pity She Was a Whore
4. Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)
5. Girl Loves Me
6. Dollar Days
7. I Can’t Give Everything Away