As I understand it, and I’ve only caught snippets of this news, because, frankly, I’ve been pretty busy with my own creative output, Mr Bowie has released his first new single in ten years to celebrate his sixty-sixth birthday.
This seems to have set up some sort of hue and cry.
I haven’t heard the new song, although I might just saunter over to YouTube after I’ve written this and check it out. Who knows? I might even post a link to it, so that any of you who might not have heard it can check it out too, and, if I like it, who knows, I might even post it on this is my jam. (I do so love this is my jam; in fact, I love it so much that I wrote about it on this blog.)
Right... back to business. Forgive me, but I do not understand what all the fuss is about. I am not surprised that Mr Bowie has written and recorded a new song at the age of sixty-six. If anything, I am more surprised that he appeared to stop writing new songs as early as his middle fifties, if it is true and he hasn’t written a new song in ten years.
Aren’t we supposed to get better at what we do with age and experience? Doesn’t practice make perfect? When asked, don’t I continue to tell budding writers that the way to get any good at this thing we do is to write every day and read every day and keep doing it until something half-decent emerges?
We used to call the early work of any creative type ‘juvenilia’, and there was a reason for that. Artists, by which I mean all creators, would regularly destroy early or sub-standard work rather than have their weaknesses exposed to the public. Now, I see pages from the sketchbooks of well-known artists mounted and sold that would never previously have seen the light of day, and it seems horribly cynical to me. At the other end of the spectrum I see writers who cannot find representation self-publishing everything they produce rather than work at their craft until they have something that is fit for public consumption.
There are no filters any more.
Mr Bowie came up through the ranks the old-school way, because he had talent and drive, because he worked long and hard to produce good work, and because, let’s face it, other than the ‘casting couch’, there was no other way to come up through the ranks. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that he was easy on the eye and that some of his work was controversial, but he took those risks. Hard working, talented people don’t fade out at thirty or forty or fifty-five or ever. It doesn’t matter what field they’re in, they move with the times, they reinvent, they lead in their fields, and they never stop learning and they never stop creating.
It is nothing for a man of Mr Bowie’s talents to write and record a new song at sixty-six after a career spanning five decades, why should it be?
For goodness sake, people, we’re not talking about bloody “New Direction” for crying out loud!