SallyP

Retroladytyping …

The Coolness of a Laughing Gnome

on 12/01/2016

laughing gnomeAlong with many others I couldn’t quite believe it when I heard the news of the death of David Bowie.  In my half-asleep state I thought I had dreamt it.  Such an iconic figure must live for ever, surely?  I wasn’t sure why it mattered so much to me; I hadn’t actively listened to any Bowie for quite a few years, then it dawned on me:  he wasn’t iconic at all as there wasn’t (isn’t) a single Bowie identity;  the restrictions involved in that were not what he was about.   He was all things to all people, adapting and reinventing himself throughout most of his life.  Whatever he was at any particular time was ok.

My most formative years, adolescence, were spent listening to David Bowie in all of his incarnations.  During those turbulent times from age 11 to 18 and beyond, with all its uncertainties and anxieties about identity, appearance and acceptability with occasional paranoia and bouts of extreme self-doubt there was one constant – change.  David Bowie epitomised those changes and made it cool to be different.  I often felt different, not one of the crowd, with my then uncool specs, wayward hair and what I believed to be my odd, geeky appearance.  But that was fine … David was geeky, strange and yet was cool.  So I must have been the same.  I wish I had realised that then.  I do now.  It’s ok to be true to yourself, ok to be different, ok not to be one of the crowd; in fact it’s better than ok, it’s cool.  David said so.

I have chosen The Laughing Gnome as the title for this, because throughout yesterday it’s the track which kept coming to mind.  I think it might be because it is so different, is not ‘worthy’ or artistic in the way that his other recordings are and which have been played many times today.  It is, however, cool, geeky and funny.  I loved it as a teenager and I love it now.

RIP The Laughing Gnome.

 

laughing gnome single

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