Bono remembered David Bowie, who died Jan. 10, in an emotional, moving tribute published in Rolling Stone on Wednesday. “I’ve played at being a rock & roll star, but I’m really not one,” says the U2 frontman, remembering his relationship with the iconic star. “David Bowie is my idea of a rockstar.”
Bono wrote the piece while in Myanmar, saying that while he was a bit detached from the world’s reaction, he knew “the sky is a lot darker here without the Starman.”
The Irishman remembered the first time he ever saw Bowie perform, on Top of the Pops in 1972. “He was so vivid,” he writes. “So luminous. So fluorescent. We had one of the first color TVs on our street, and David Bowie was the reason to have a color TV. I’ve said he was our Elvis Presley. There are so many similarities: the masculine-feminine duality, the physical mastery of being on a stage. They created original silhouettes, shapes now seen as obvious, that did not exist before.”
He also spoke about how falling into Bowie led to falling into other great artists: Bertolt Brecht, William Burroughs, Bruce Springsteen, and, most important to Bono, Brian Eno. In another touching moment, Bono remembers when Bowie met his daughter Jordan when she was just two years old. “He called her ‘Pixie,'” he remembered. “And she’s been a lifelong Bowie fan.”
Finally, Bono touches on Bowie’s musical legacy, for which there are few who will ever compare. “Bowie’s musical landscape affected you in a way that is completely different from all the other music around it,” he says. “You have to close your eyes, imagine you don’t speak English and just feel the songs and say, ‘What part of me is being played by those notes?’ Or ‘Who else plays them?’ And in his case, the answer is nobody.”
Head to RollingStone.com to read the tribute in full.