How David Bowie fans are coping with a newly Bowie-less world

How David Bowie fans are coping with a newly Bowie-less world

David Bowie streeters
(Images: Nam Phi Dang)

David Bowie’s death on Sunday sent fans around the world into mourning, inaugurated a short-lived cottage industry in hasty front-page obituaries and may have contributed to a Labyrinth shortage on Amazon. In Toronto, all that grief found a focal point on Tuesday night when Holy Holy, a touring Bowie tribute band led by two of the late performer’s former collaborators, played a pre-scheduled show at the Opera House on Queen East. Fans who had bought tickets to the concert weeks ahead of time expecting a routine evening of nostalgia were suddenly plunged into an impromptu Bowie wake. We asked some of them how they’re coping with the loss.

(Image: Nam Phi Dang)

Marc Winegust, 22, film distributor from North York

“Everybody’s celebrating Bowie in their own way. I’m doing it in a Jewish heritage way, where it’s going to be this shloshim—30 days of just celebrating the legacy.”

Favourite Bowie song: “Lazarus

(Image: Nam Phi Dang)

Jim Reynolds, 60, music worker, and Henry Reynolds, 21, both from Vermont; Doug Lannak, 59, financial advisor from Rochester

Doug: “We watched about six hours’ worth of documentaries on YouTube, particularly the old stuff from back during the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars period.”

Jim: “We started listening to him when we were teenagers in high school. His music has been the soundtrack to our lives.”

Favourite Bowie songs: “Kooks” (Jim), “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” (Henry), “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” (Doug)

(Image: Nam Phi Dang)

Kayvon Zahedi, 35, “media personality” from North York

“Being at this gig tonight, that’s the most special thing, really, because it’s going to be a celebration of his life.”

Favourite Bowie song: “Under Pressure

(Image: Nam Phi Dang)

David Bradley-Bell, 27, stereo compositor from Hamilton

“I feel like being here is the best way to commemorate him. It’s the closest I’m going to get now, besides listening to all the music constantly.”

Favourite Bowie song: “Stay


Amanda Cassidy, 47, social entrepreneur from London, England

“It was people like him that showed me you could go against the norm. I’ll do what I always do and listen to his music when I’m on the road. I don’t like to be sad when people pass. I like to celebrate their lives.”

Favourite Bowie song: “Space Oddity


Aaron Badgley, 57, social worker from Etobicoke

“Last night I got out a load of old Bowie albums and listened to them on vinyl. I grew up in a small town where everyone went to work at the factory. It was a kind of predetermined future. Bowie was one of the people who said that, as long as you don’t harm anyone, follow your dream.”

Favourite Bowie song: “The Man Who Sold the World

(Image: Nam Phi Dang)

Sarah Blostein, 32, costume designer from Bloor West Village; and Kimberleigh Roseblade, 32, sword fighting instructor and apprentice falconer from Cabbagetown

Sarah: “He’s been a huge force in my life ever since I was 14. I just had a Bowie-ette bachelorette party.”

Kimberleigh: “I think the best way you could honour Bowie is just by being your most authentic self, whatever that is, and expressing it.”

Favourite Bowie songs: “Look Back in Anger” (Sarah), “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” (Kimberleigh)

(Image: Nam Phi Dang)

Roz Baird, 52, executive director of an aboriginal anti-diabetes organization from St. Catharines

“I’m going to be wearing the same shirt for the next six years. That’s how I’m going to be honouring him. I slept in it last night. I put it on when I found out the news yesterday morning. He’s been the soundtrack of my life from grade seven to now. I never hung around anyone that didn’t like him.”

Favourite Bowie song: “Life on Mars