Death of a Goblin King

Unless you are currently residing in a bubble, you will be well aware that the incomparable David Bowie died today after a prolonged illness.

Today the news, radio, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and no doubt every home and office have been filled with tributes to this great man and the work that he has created over his career.

Now, your particular memories of Bowie will probably depend on your age and upbringing but if, like me, you’re a child of the 80’s who is also a bit of a geek/fantasy lover the name David Bowie will also lead you to one thing – Labyrinth.

I am always gobsmacked when I meet someone who has never seen the Jim Henson cult-classic, which stars David Bowie as the loveable rouge(!), Jareth, the Goblin King.

I first watched it as a child, when it was an almost mythical film that only ever seemed to appear on telly at Christmas.  Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I’d imagined it or not, until the next year came around.

As a got older, I started to believe that I might be the only person in the world who had seen the film – no-one I spoke to had ever watched it. Clearly I was speaking to the wrong people as I have now found a whole group of people who are fans.

When I first met my husband, I was delighted to discover that he was also a huge fan of Labyrinth (and indeed Bowie himself) and we wasted no time in sharing our love of the film with our two children. Moogle, the eldest, knows many of the lines off by heart and the youngest even likes to pretend to run away with the cleaners.

It’s strange to think that something that was probably such a small part of his career, has been such a phenomenal part of my life.

Although Bowie is no longer with us, I am sure he will live on forever through his music and other works,  I just think it’s a real shame that he wasn’t around today to hear all the wonderful tributes and see how much people truly loved his music.  Maybe it would be nice if we showed our appreciation a bit more for people when they’re actually around to enjoy it.

I wonder how many people are watching Labyrinth tonight? So let’s end on a high note shall we?  Anybody for some Magic Dance?





  1. Graeme Price says:

    I’ve not seen this film and am not a fan of his eighties work but I have very strong memories of his Ziggy Stardust period when I was about six. At the time, I found him a bit frightening – something told me he was ‘definitely not for kids’. Then his old record company released a novelty single he’d made before settling on his successful style – The Laughing Gnome – which I loved: it reassured me that he was ‘normal’, after all! It’s actually a great record of its kind, corny jokes and all!

    I became a fan of his early work when I was in my teens and the events of last week have made me dig out the records and give them another listen. It’s a great body of work.

    • Stacey says:

      I definitely came to be a fan of his in later life, rather than as a teenager. And to be honest, I don’t love everything he did. But I read an article yesterday that hit the nail on the head – most people don’t love everything he did, but there is something for everybody to love.

      I would recommend you watch Labyrinth, except I’m really not sure how it stands up to first time viewing now. It’s obviously quite dated, but it’s such a classic for me that I love it. The original songs by Bowie are fabulous and Jim Henson did all of the creature designs so it’s a real work of art.

      Michael Jackson was also pegged to play the goblin king before Bowie took the part – that would have been a very different film!!

      Thank you for commenting. It’s lovely to hear someone else’s point of view. I’ve never heard The Laughing Gnome, but I shall have to go and hunt it out now!

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