David Bowie performs in 1997 at at Madison Square Garden in New York.
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
I woke up to that text this morning sent at 1:59 a.m. and assumed this friend was excited about having heard his new album, or something.
Within seconds, a notification appeared that David Bowie was dead, a shock to the system to anyone who saw it first thing Monday morning.
It seemed like he was just at the beginning of a new creative cycle. Little did we know it was the end.
Needless to say, the music world has lost one of its greatest artists and pioneers, an innovator who touched — no, jolted! — musicians across all boundaries.
As we work on a bigger story, here are some reactions via social media from musicians and other people in Pittsburgh:
Michael Kastelic, The Cynics: “He was a life changer. Today I feel like someone gut punched me, but he left us so much to live for, if it's just revisiting his whole catalog.”
Nathan Zoob, Wreck Loose: “You know when you hear news that's so strange you sit there for minutes trying to blink it off? That's what's happening right now. Goodnight Goblin King, we were just borrowing you.”
James Hart, The Harlan Twins: “I came to Bowie late in my 20s and I have to admit that I — up to that point — I had probably been rock & roll-ing wrong. I'd never considered it, but if you'd asked I probably would've said that I expected him to outlive me. Thanks, Starman.”
Lou Christie: “To wake up and hear Howard Stern tell everyone that David Bowie passed away last night was something I never thought could happen… he made all of us believe in what he sang, felt and touched. This was his life, and he let us experience it with him.To me, he was kind,smart and knew how to live his life with his own vision. Be at peace David. Thanks for sharing your talent.”
John Schisler, New Invisible Joy: This is the saddest I've ever been about a musician dying. RIP David Bowie. You were a pioneer and a genius with a golden voice.
Mike Tamburo: “He was not of this world.”
Herman Pearl (Soy Sos): “I always imagined David Bowie would live to 100 in a little villa somewhere with Iman, spending his days gardening, painting and writing poetry. I'm really beyond sad, we lost one of the 20th century's (into the 21st) greatest artists today. That can't be said very often, but it's really true. I played ‘Ashes to Ashes’ in almost every DJ set and I'll never stop admiring all the great music and art Bowie created.
Tom Moran, The Five: “Davie Bowie taught me my most valuable lessons in dealing with art/music and the the creative world. Keep moving. Keep being creative. Keep true to your own vision. Keep them guessing. Up to the very last second. Thank you. Jai!”
Alan Siegel, singer-songwriter: “In my rock n roll days, as committed country rockers, David Bowie was a scary foreshadowing of things to come...not just a phenomenon but a true change in the face of music.”
T. Mitchell Bell: “Just shocked and saddened, David Bowie influenced rock music, culture and a 13-year-old kid in his first band in middle school. We covered Rebel Rebel. Rock on. Say Hi to John. RIP.”
Kevin Amos, DJ: “The man who fell to earth returns to the heavens. RIP David Bowie.”
Max Leake: “In the midst of being a young musician in the late 70s and 80s I played in a lot of top 40 bands in order to keep food on the table. A lot of the music was pretty dismal. I remember David Bowie tunes finally making it into the mainstream and getting added to the repertoire and thinking, I guess there is some hope, this is fun... He always pushed the boundaries in a high quality manner. RIP David Bowie!”
Shari Richards: “I thought this was a hoax but apparently not. Damn, this is sad news. And he left us with one last great album in ‘Lazarus.’ He was the embodiment of a true artist. Rest In Peace David Jones Bowie.”
Richard Parsakian, Eons: “I was just playing all of his early videos in my store on Saturday. A genius who blurred gender identity with art.”
Johnny Saint Lethal, The Show: “Doesn't matter if you're 110 percent straight, Bowie made damn sure to lead by example in making sure that being yourself, or your multiple selves, was accepted. He was a pioneer and took a lot of [expletive] for all of us to come later.”
Bruce Lentz, Volcano Dogs: “I've been a rabid fan since I heard ‘Space Oddity’ on KQV-FM when I was a kid. Saw all the Pittsburgh shows in the 70's. A sad day for music.”
Michael T. Nolan, Venus in Furs: “I want to be him when I grow up.”
Dave Kuzy, Microwaves: “The local library had a copy of ‘Scary Monsters,’ which I frequently checked out as a young teen, then taped. It's still probably my favorite, and Fripp's guitar was a revelation at the time.”
Vinni Belfiore, Rock N Roll Reporter: “He made us believe we were each something more.”
Sam Matthews, The Sicks: “Being a Bowie fan (and one of glitter rock in general) in the early ‘70s wasn't very cool in my rural small town high school. But because I loved Bowie, I was predestined for punk. He made it OK to be a freak and showed us how to follow our own paths. And he made music until the end.”
Bobby LaMonde (former Science Fiction Idols): “It really feels surreal because he was so eclectic that in any of his incarnations he didn't seem mortal. I found him to be more frightening and alluring without the makeup. He just had that. Being such a huge fan of the ’70s glam rock, I really love the Spiders stuff. What a lot of people fail to mention when they make ridiculous comparisons to, say, Lady Gaga... let her write ‘Moonage Daydream.’ But we really are just men and everyone's getting older. One day you're gonna hear about Elton and McCartney, Alice, Mick, Keith (well maybe not Keith. He's undead LOL)! they're all getting up there. We all channel these artists in our own way and Bowie's influence on me is undeniable. Through him I felt I was given a key to unlock something inside me that was there and if not for him may remain inside.”
Karl Mullen, former Carsickness, Ploughman’s Lunch: “I awoke this morning to hear ’David Bowie is dead.’ I just couldn't believe it and literally have been sad all day about it. He was a huge influence on me: his interest and exploration of many mediums (theatre, art, fashion, music) and how he invented and reinvented himself. He gave all of us who didn't quite fit the mold another model of 'self’ and the permission of invent ourselves.”
Scott Mervis: firstname.lastname@example.org; 412-263-2576. Twitter: @scottmervis_pg
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