Farewell Major Tom

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Nearly a year ago today the music died.

Actor, rockstar, musician and suspected otherworldly being David Bowie passed away one year ago, three days after his birthday which is today.

As we celebrate Bowie’s life and legacy, I’m reminded of the fact that it was roughly around this time two years ago that we lost Leonard Nimoy.

Much like Nimoy, when I think back on Bowie, I realize that he was an influence on me in ways I never considered.


spock1It was my good buddy Cherie Priest who actually got me into Major Tom himself. I’ll be eternally grateful to her for that.

There are artists and then there are visionaries, prophets even. Bowie certainly set the standard for all of the above.

He was an original and made no apologies for who he was. Much like Brian Kinney, he taught me to embrace what makes me unique and be exceptional with no excuses, no apologies, no regrets.

He was a rebel and a revolutionary.


I remember back in art school, I read an interview with Bowie where he stated he didn’t like to always discuss his bisexuality because society is too quick to place you in boxes so they can feel better about their shortcomings.

Those words gave me strength on many a day when dealing with homophobic conservatives and liberal fauxgressives alike.

His love affair with his soulmate and legendary supermodel Iman was the stuff of fairytales.


Like Richard Loving, John Brown, and Jane Elliott, he taught us how caucasians should conduct themselves as romantic partners, friends, colleagues, and anything less than that should never be excused or accepted.

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And speaking of Iman, Bowie taught me all to always celebrate my African goddesses.


He also discovered a young upstart by the name of Luther Vandross.



It’s my belief, and I could be wrong, by embracing what made him unique (and loving and respecting one’s self) and always striving to evolve as a man, an artist, a human being, Bowie personified a level of excellence that few of us will ever know.

The rock star of rock stars, my friend Edward DeGruy said it best, “Because as we all know David was cooler than the devil and Satan knows it.”

Rock on Goblin King and thank you.


6 thoughts on “Farewell Major Tom

  1. Lovely article. Thank you! This allowed me another perspective on this wonderful man. He taught me a lot in middle school that got me through tough times. Oddly enough, it was the lesson that clothing is just a costume, not who you are, and also that you can express yourself in a way that lets who you really are shine. I finally tried to stop dressing and “being” like everyone else because that wasn’t working anyway. Again, thank you for this lovely piece!

  2. Has it really been one year already? Yes, I suppose so. It was right after last year’s Golden Globes when it was announced that David Bowie had died. Now his image is likely going to appear in tonight’s memorial montage.

    I’ve never been big on Bowie, I could see how he was to others immediately following his death, and what he did in terms of breaking boundaries. I appreciate you writing this thoughtful essay on your thoughts and feelings about him, for I’m sure many other fans would agree with every word you said.

    “Let’s dance…”

  3. Great article Dennis. Can´t believe it´s been a year already…time sure flies. In my opinion all these artists, visionaries, ahead of our time that we lost in the past year the future generations yet to be born will regard them with the same reverance as Renaissance artists. I was never a big Bowie fan but I can understand the impact that he made on countless others and you just presented a well made perspective on the kind of man he really was.

  4. Thank you for this. Along with Nimoy , he was one of the only celebrities I ever truly loved, and I’m mostly indifferent to them, so that’s saying something. The more I learned about the two of them, the more I admired them.

  5. One of my younger sisters discovered David Bowie on her own when she was a teenager. I was introduced to Queen and their frontman, Freddie Mercury through that one song, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. 🙂 Who knew that David and Freddie -with Queen- would collaborate on a song that is still relevant to today? 🙂

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