15 Jan 2016 | Archive

Letter to Ms A Bowie

Dear Lexi,

Sorry for invading your privacy, but as my youngest daughter is your exact same age I think I have a fair chance in writing in a way that you and I will both understand and may even be a little helpful.

You see I was 15/16 when I first listened to music (a bit of a late developer!) and for a few months I only listened to your dad’s work (specifically The Man Who Sold The World and Aladdin Sane). Right now you’ll be hearing and reading a lot of stuff concerning him and I am sure most of it is good; after all, he was a great figure to me and many other members of the public. I have little idea of what he was like as a person and to be frank, I HAVE NO RIGHT TO KNOW or speculate. The private details are only for you and your family. When people pry, just tell us to butt out or better still, walk slowly away without giving feedback. I am sure you have seen how to do this already, think of the ‘tricks’ you have watched and copy them. You have a great role model by your side whose sole aim is to support you.

You are in a rare situation, the child of a respected man whom so many others of us think we share. But we do not have a share, he is all yours. What we fans do have are masses of memories, inspirations and love for the art your dad produced. His output inspired us because he made it just personal enough to tingle raw nerves yet he kept enough of himself back so that he was not too exposed (he knew how brutal the world can be if you are too open to it). At least, that’s what I think happened.

I too have lost a parent and I know the feeling of having been robbed and even a bit abandoned. It’s going to be challenging for you because whatever you do and wherever you go images of  David and the ripples he made (those that change their size of course) will appear in front of you, even when you don’t want them to. But remember much of what you see and hear has been manufactured by him with the help of professionals he personally selected. These sounds and visions are a perfect and opaque fence designed to simultaneously feed the hungry public while protecting you, your mum and brother. You may laugh at some of them and others might make you sad, but the great thing is that what you feel in your heart and what you know in your head is yours and yours only.

I’m sure you’re a ‘Juvenile Success’ on the way to being a strong woman and I wish you a healthy and long life…

Renato Fantoni, London

Image: http://www.thelittleprince.com/