We shouldn't mourn David Bowie, we should thank God for him

Mark Austin

Former ITV News presenter

It was May 1973 at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens . Yes, Bowie had only come to the Winter Gardens. It was normally Slade or a Panto. Not Bowie, never Bowie.

I was 15 and it was my first concert. A year earlier I had bought Hunky Dory, my first album. Now it was all about Aladdin Sane and painted faces and crazy lyrics.

It was the lyrics that hooked you with Bowie. Some so pointed and poignant and "why couldn't I put it like that" good. Others we could interpret anyway we wanted and we did. And some just out of this world, baffling, "what was he on when he wrote that" sort of lyrics.

But it was different and new and innovative and it was ours. Bowie arrived just in time. Life was bleak, the music was dire.

Then the Starman arrived. Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Bowie's genius was writing and performing but most of all it was his ability to reinvent himself. The Bowie of the seventies would have been enough to make him a legend. No question. Then came the Bowie of the eighties. Let's Dance, Modern Love,China Girl and the rest, bellowing out through the Thatcher Years.

David Bowie on stage in 1992. Credit: PA

When I say my first "concert" was the Winter Gardens in '73, it was actually much more than a concert. It was performing art the like of which had not been seen before .

Tony Parsons writes today that "four or five generations are in mourning for him today". He is right. My 18-year-old daughter's phone is full of Bowie . She loves it almost as much as me. And the thing about his music is that the 70s and 80s stuff still sounds modern and relevant today. It has not only lasted, it still stands out, way up there.

And that's where I differ slightly with Tony Parsons . We shouldn't mourn Bowie today. We should just thank God for him.

He is still here, ringing out on every music station in the world and will be for years to come. Heroes like him don't come along very often .

David Bowie rose to fame in the late 1960s. Credit: PA