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Dear David....

REVOLT's Hannah Rad remembers the impact of David Bowie's music.

Tim Ireland // Corbis

To my guardian alien,

You didn't know me and, in physicality, nor did I you. But your orbital influence and bold voice impacted and envelopes me in a way that would befit the moniker "protector and savior."

Straight out of a farming town-area college in small town Pennsylvania, I moved to new terrain (the very briefly, once prior-visited New York City) and adopted the standard of a very real foreigner in a very new, strange and unsettling place. The move occurred at a time of personal identity crisis and real life traumatics that perhaps had my energetic ideals clouded with poor judgements, lack of self-knowledge and overall "what in the fuckedness."

For better or worse, I was alone.

And then your album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars, re-entered my unbalanced existence. As a child raised on most classic rock staples, I'd been familiar with the LP, but this was the instance in which you (as Ziggy and as a guiding light) really spoke to me and stood for something beyond my, to this point, nearsighted experiences.

As a generality, the album "tells the story of Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a rock star who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings." With themes of ambiguity, political artificialities, sexual exploration and social commentary, the concept LP has since been hailed as such by critics, and by one lone "ET" who consistently found herself immersed in these conceptions while aimlessly traipsing the very streets where Stardust was birthed.


I'd lose myself at the witching hour(s) on the F train... traveling back and forth from Coney to Jamaica as this "tongue twisting storm" was being summoned to "Hang On to Yourself."

Hours turned into days of being holed up in a cramped studio apartment in Queens while letting the album run over and over and again on repeat. With each play, furthering into the most abysmal part of a dark mind.

At this point, my "brain hurts a lot" (to quote "Five Years") and a few short weeks became a tumultuously derailed coaster of emotions and exposures... until the leader of the stargazers came to rescue and wrap me in a blanket of celestial harmonies and hopes.

We've only got "Five Years"? Then we'll make the most of it.

Oh no love! You're not alone

You're watching yourself but you're too unfair

You got your head all tangled up

But if I could only make you care


David... I'm overcome and I have over come. Sitting here in pools of tears and superior sadness. It's not you I mourn. I celebrate your life and legacy and the impact that you, and this very album, had on a directionless being. A life turned around. Protected. Loved. Saved.

From then to now and forever to the stars you're watching down from, no words are enough to say thanks, so I salute you... my guardian alien and captain in the sky.

Sleep well, Starman.



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