Happy 2016, folks. Did you miss me while I was gone? Probably not. I was only swanning off for three weeks after all, and you knew I'd be back.

But ask yourself this: would you miss me if I was dead?

Perhaps I'm being cynical, or perhaps it is simply true that, as with so many things including rock stars, we never know what we've got until it's gone.


I'm not meaning to be morbid, I'm just curious about the psychology of the question. Because, until David Bowie died last week, I'd never really given the guy a second thought.

Then all of a sudden I'm shedding a tear as I listen to the "greatest hits" playlist Spotify hastily compiled for feel-good mourners like me who never bothered to listen to Bowie in life but feel strangely compelled to do so in death.


In the immediate wake of his premature passing at only 69, the airwaves were abuzz with tributes, the newspapers stacked high with full-page cover photos of the man dubbed the "greatest musician of all time" (that is, until the next one dies).

Perhaps I'm being cynical, or perhaps it is simply true that, as with so many things including rock stars, we never know what we've got until it's gone.

I'm not sure why but, as a girl, Bowie as the all-powerful, manipulative Goblin King in Labyrinth was one of my first-ever crushes.

When I heard of his passing, it felt like a little piece of my youth had been snuffed out.

Read more: New show to honour Bowie

It also made me feel older than I wanted to knowing that my girlhood crushes were starting to pop off.

But Bowie the musician was an enigma to me. Why all the hype?

For some reason that probably has a little to do with his low-key personal life and a lot to do with the fact he was in his zenith before I was even born, I didn't know a single Bowie song. Or so I thought.

As his life's work filled the airwaves of my studio, I realised that David Bowie didn't just write a few songs I knew, he wrote dozens.

So how the heck did I miss music's latest "Greatest"?

It's not because I only listen to 20-something, top-40 pop tarts. My passion for ageing British alternative pop singers like Morrissey and Robert Smith started when I was a teen.

I suspect Bowie was just a little too "rock" for my tender teenaged tastes, and, by the time I could have appreciated him more he was, well, dead.

And so, like most of the rest of the world, I am digging him retrospectively.

As a result I was amazed to learn that, after half a century of showing the rest of the music industry how it was done, he was doing it still right up until his latest album release in the week before his death

Six days before he passed away, a rave review of album Blackstar began with the words "David Bowie has died many deaths yet he is still with us" and fatalistically concluded with "Bowie will live on long after the man has died".

Who knew this would be proved true so very, very soon after those words were published?

Obviously, Bowie knew, and his portent of doom in his latest lyrics said everything about what was ahead and how the world would react:

Look up here, I'm in heaven

I've got scars that can't be seen

I've got drama, can't be stolen

Everybody knows me now

Including (finally) me.