Do you remember the first time you fell in love?
I don’t mean the first time you heard a song and loved it. I don’t mean the first pop star crush you had, which yes, yes, I know was true love and you still hope to marry them one day in the future because they wrote the best song ever when you were 12.
I mean the first time that someone made your heart go pitter patter. The first time you had those funny feelings just below the pit of your stomach. Maybe this person even made you feel like you were about to throw up.
But the coolest part about being in love for the first time was that someone else liked you for who you were. And then you and they fell in love because you just really liked hanging out together. Just hanging out with someone who really thought you were cool just made you the happiest person on the planet, and your heart would sing to the heavens.
That first time you fell in love.
Maybe some of you haven’t experienced this yet. Don’t worry. You will. It will fill you with joys unbounding and unending. You never forget that feeling when you first experience it. It will be different every time after that, but that first time stays with you forever.
I remember the first time I fell in love. The grand affair lasted for all of two weeks. But those two weeks were special. My heart was over the moon. I liked someone who was a cool guy, and he liked me. And he could kiss like nobody’s business.
We only went on one big date. We went to see a film that I had been dying to see. The only reason I was dying to see it was because the soundtrack was by David Bowie and it was directed by Julien Temple.
Today I bought the Bowie retrospective Nothing Has Changed. Sure, if you want to call it a Greatest Hits package, you can. But it’s just as much a retrospective as the David Bowie Is… exhibit that toured the world in 2013 – 2014. Except it’s a retrospective that comes to you once you download the mp3s or buy the CDs. The track order is in reverse of normal retrospective convention: he starts with the most recent tunes and they work backwards until we get to Liza Jane, which was his first single ever.
While I was listening to this retrospective, I realized that, even though I know that David Bowie is God (and don’t argue this with me, just accept this as a tautology and move along), the reason why his later music still resonates with me are the feelings that are put into the songs, and the emotions that are evoked in me. I know every lyric to every song on this collection because of the depths they reach inside me. That’s funny given Bowie’s method of writing lyrics by playing Yahtzee with a bunch of words.
So there I am, in the car, listening along, when the title track to Absolute Beginners was called up.
And I remembered what it was like to fall in love for the first time, since I fell in love with that person for the first time while that song played overhead through the theatre’s speakers. It’s such a simple song, a very 80s song with a 50s vibe, yet it is a love song with profound feelings for its simple message.
And really, isn’t that what falling in love, whether it’s for the first or the 31st time, is like – profound feelings in a simple message.
EDIT: I just watched Absolute Beginners again for the first time in at least twenty years. It’s so flash, so styling and slick, just like a Julien Temple video. I think what drew my date to me was my fangirl giddiness over David Bowie. Even though our two-week romance has been done for over 28 years, my fangirl profound love for David Bowie hasn’t changed one bit.