During the first half of the 1980s I was a neophyte as far as rock music was concerned, having been raised mainly with classical and jazz. I had a few favourite tunes but I hadn't gravitated toward any artist in particular. And then in 1986 I saw the film Labyrinth, which sparked my interest in Bowie's music. (His handsome and other-worldly look helped too.) I grabbed every album of his that I could afford, starting with his smash hit Let's Dance (1983).
His music helped me through a lot of difficult times, and even with schoolwork. The song "Loving the Alien" from Tonight (1984) was the backdrop for a synchronized swimming routine I choreographed for a physical education course. I used clips from many of his hits in a presentation for a music-appreciation class. My first-ever online alias was lifted from the song "Blue Jean".
When the 1987 Glass Spider tour was scheduled to arrive in Montreal, I clandestinely saved up my money and planned to skip school so I could go to buy tickets. However my mother found out and forced me to attend my classes while she went to get the tickets instead - and her effort was not wasted by a long shot. She and I braved an audience of 45,000 people to see one of the most theatrical concerts that I have ever witnessed.
I was to see Bowie live in concert twice more: the Sound+Vision tour in 1990 and the Reality tour in 2003. Today I have a great number of his albums and several compilations, not to mention a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings about him.
He was the first superstar that I'd taken such a close interest in and he remains my favourite rock musician to this day. The world has lost a true artist.