David Bowie - TopPop 1974 08.png
David Bowie – TopPop 1974 08” by AVROBeeld En Geluid Wiki – Gallerie: Toppop 1974. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Yesterday the Berklee Digital Learning offices, like probably every other administrative office at the college, was abuzz with the news of David Bowie’s passing. As each new person trickled in for the day, the animated conversation about Bowie began anew. No one could believe it, and everyone talked of him as if they knew him. He had mattered in all of our lives.

I’m not a person who feels a personal connection to any celebrity, and call me cold but celebrity deaths rarely move me. Bowie was different, though. As I listened to my musician coworkers and watched the umpteen billion Bowie Facebook posts, I realized that he was different to many, if not all, of us. It only confirmed what I wrote when I first heard about his passing: That we mourn Bowie’s passing not just because of who he was and what he did, but because of what he represented. To me, Bowie represented unbridled creativity and the power of authenticity.

Here’s my take: