David Bowie is dead. The announcer on Radio 3 was almost sobbing yesterday morning when he broke the news. It filled up half of all the television news yesterday, and is on the front page of all the newspapers today.
I have never knowingly listened to any of his music. I paid no detailed attention to the television and newspaper outpourings of grief. But I am curious. Do his achievements justify so much coverage? Was he a great musical genius? Or was he, like everyone else praised by the modern arbiters of taste in this country, somewhere between the mediocre and the piffling? Was he the musical equivalent of Carol Ann Duffy and Lucian Freud? Or have I spent all these years ignoring something wonderful?