Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tears. Bowie. And my dad.

I was at the Sound And Vision tour in Tinley Park. It was a concert my mom argued against me attending (he's too young!) and my dad insisted I go to (it's David Bowie!). His insistence wasn't built on a longtime fan stance, I mean he know who Bowie was, but I think my dad saw the confused kid identifying with someone that said it was O.K., nay AWESOME, to be confused.

(Cue tears. Literally. In a United Lounge. 96% 0f these people are working on spreadsheets and tears are streaming down my face.)

So I'm at the show. It's my first time seeing Bowie. My friend Julie just got me high (and I was never a stoner but it seemed right at that moment) and I walked to the concession stand for a soda. While waiting in the endless line (I think during the awful opening set hat consisted of a woman in a corset singing atonally while she beat a piano; something the crowd only put up with out of respect for Bowie) I felt a tap on my shoulder.

It was my dad.

At the time he was between full time gigs. It's far too long a story but he'd gone from the upper reaches of the white collar world to not understanding the politics that lifestyle entailed* only to fall like Icarus as the fallout from other people's bad business deals. This particular day he was piloting a limousine that delivered some front row folks to the show, and they had an extra lawn seat, so they gave it to my dad so he could enjoy the show while he waited for them to need a ride home.

So, technically, the kid that was super rebellious, and fought his parents pretty much every inch of the way between the ages of 8 and 23, saw his first David Bowie show with his dad.

We never really talked about it. I assumed my dad wouldn't be familiar enough with Bowie's full catalog to say anything of interest to me, and I assumed anything I said to him would be inscrutable. That was my mistake.

Whether or not my dad was familiar all Bowie had done, he knew enough that Bowie's work meant an enormous deal to his teenage son.

(Tears again. KEE-RIST.)

I should have shared just how deeply important that small courtesy was to me at the time, and reveled in the fact that, unlike most, my dad and I saw David Bowie together.

ADDENDUM: I keep reading everywhere that David Bowie was a "misfit" or an "alien." Those people are getting it wrong. He was so deeply human, and so deeply inquisitive. He was fearlessly exploring our subconscious, not from outer space.

*Something his son is still guilty of since I try to never assume ill intent and 56% of the time I'm wrong; there was ill intent.

1 comment:

Betty said...

Stop making me cry, Jim! Although, the title should have warned me; anytime your dad is involved in your writing, there are always tears.