The track above comes from a Nikki Sixx solo project called 58. The song is called All My Heroes Are Dead Now. The album is called Diet For A New America. It came out in 2000. Don’t feel bad if you never heard of it, most people haven’t, which is too bad, because it is quite a remarkable album. Different from most of the stuff out 16 years ago, even different from most of the stuff out today. The album was way ahead of its time, and still is in my opinion. Please check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
When I first heard this song back at the turn of the century, the impact of what it was saying hit deep. It wasn’t a new concept of course. People have been singing about losing their heroes long before I came to be. It’s a part of life that can’t be skipped unless you leave early or choose not to have heroes. Both ideas are very sad to me.
I have been lucky enough to both to have lived a little while and to have many, many heroes. I’ve use the word lucky a lot lately… I definitely feel I have lived a lucky life… I also feel lucky is just another word for blessed. And in this world of contradictions, being blessed is also being cursed. I know, that doesn’t sound right, but it’s true.
Back when I first heard the song I was quite a bit younger than I am today, (duh, 16 years younger) and it made me think of my lost heroes like John Lennon, Sid Vicious, and Kurt Cobain. But to be honest, other than Kurt most of my dead heroes were dead before they were heroes and Kurt was a quick flash, in and out, still very influential to me and his death was a shock and left its hole, but again it was all so quick. Also, with these heroes (John, Sid, and Kurt) their deaths were part of the whole romance, part of the story, part of the hero. Sorry words can’t help me get to what I’m trying to say, but I know most of you get it.
I never want to claim to know what a writer of a song is trying to say, but I definitely don’t mind talking about what the songs say to me. And in this song, I knew that there might come a day when I would feel all my heroes were gone, the blessings of the curse.
I turned 45 the other day. I know most who read here are a little older than me and hate when I talk about how OLD I’m getting. I know, I know, I’m still really young… but I can’t help it, I feel my age. If it’s any consolation, as I’ve pointed out before, I’ve lived a very excessive life, and therefore I don’t just feel my age, but the life I lived as well, and damn it, I feel old.
Regardless, 16 years later (older), and the first of my heroes (the ones who have been there from the beginning and make you feel like they will be there forever) is dead. And I won’t lie, I’m not ready for it. And I’m not taking the news of David Bowie’s death well. Even after a week it’s still sitting very heavy on all my thoughts. I’ve been playing all my Bowie records all week remembering all the years his music was there for me, after all it’s been there my whole life. I really haven’t been doing too much else this week. Haven’t checked any social media or the blogs (and I see I’ve missed a few things, but we shall get to ALL of that in good time). I plan to write a more detailed memorial for David Bowie soon, when I can deal with this loss clearer. For now I’ll end this post with how last weekend crashed into my life, like a diesel truck hauling nitro glycerine.
I had spent Saturday January 9th, 2016 listening to Howard Stern and catching up. I hadn’t listened in a few months. I was devastated hearing of Riley Martin passing away recently:
Damn, I loved Riley Martin. His death saddened me even if I wasn’t too surprised by the news. Howard had often said Riley did not seem to be doing well, and since there had been a couple other Howard Stern show deaths this year, mentioned in this earlier post:
I had thought that a third death was imminent, and that it would probably be Riley. So I was not surprised, but still very sad from the news.
Later that night I thought about making a post about the things discussed on Howard Stern that day and thinking about Riley. And then I thought about how Natalie Cole and Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead had both recently died. The 58 song came back to me. These were heroes to people, lots of people. Their deaths were more than just deaths, they were the loss of heroes.
Now some of you may doubt this part, but this is what happened and you can check television listings for that Saturday night if you don’t believe me. I was sitting there thinking about dying heroes and the 58 song and a David Bowie documentary came on the T.V. It was called David Bowie: 5 Years. I had never seen it before, and it was so good and brought me to some great memories I have that go along with all those Bowie songs discussed in the documentary. It was cheering me up and then the drastic thought came to me.
The song tells the truth, my heroes will all be dead one day.
Not David Bowie though, I told myself as “Diamond Dogs” played on my T.V. I couldn’t even let the thought form completely. I still hadn’t seen a David Bowie show, surely David wasn’t going anywhere till I saw him live. But something dark nudged at my soul. Still I would not let the thought finish in my head. It was just too much to wrap my head around.
Until the next day when I was forced to finish the thought.
I had just come to the blog and was deciding if I would write about Howard Stern or the many other things in my head begging to be worked into posts, the television was on, news (as usual) and they announced that David Bowie had died.
I just looked at the screen at first not believing it, it was a trick of some kind. I looked at my wife who immediately teared up, she was seeing what I was seeing.
I cried out. “No…”
My wife said that she had woken up last night saw I was watching something about David Bowie and she had thought that she would really like to see him live again (Sassy was lucky (blessed) enough to see David Bowie live with Nine Inch Nails), I told her I had been thinking how great it would be for us to go see him live together. Then we both had tears running down our faces.
I turned off the computer, no longer in the mood to write a post and put on my copy of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.
And that’s where I’ve been the whole week, lost in my Bowie records, felling my age, mourning the loss of my hero.