TORONTO – David Bowie was a musical explorer who dared to tread where few others would, said the founder of La La La Human Steps, the Montreal-based dance group that toured with the singer more than 25 years ago.
“It’s one thing to have ideas, but it’s another thing to have the courage to voice them,” said Edouard Lock in a phone interview from Paris.
“He was very aware of where society was going and how he wanted to interact with it.”
Lock was among the Canadian musicians and entertainers paying tribute on Monday to Bowie, who died of cancer at 69 a day earlier. The Weeknd, Will Arnett, Chantal Kreviazuk, the Sam Roberts Band, author Lynn Coady and former astronaut Chris Hadfield all posted praise for Bowie on social media.
Lock had a unique relationship with Bowie, who eagerly pursued a collaboration with his dance company for years before it finally came to fruition.
La La La Human Steps was initially selected by the singer to perform as part of his 1987 “Glass Spider” tour, but scheduling conflicts with the dance group sidelined their involvement.
Bowie circled back a few years later for his “Sound+Vision Tour” in 1990, sparking a collaboration that Lock fondly remembers.
“The way to his heart is through an idea,” said Lock, who served as artistic director for the tour.
“If he thinks it’s going to bring him into new territories … he just goes for it.”
Singer-songwriter Kreviazuk posted a photo of Bowie on Instagram and wrote she felt the “tragic and permanent impact of death” when she heard the news.
Other fans quoted favorite song lyrics, including Toronto-born comedian and actor Arnett, who picked Bowie’s 1971 track “Quicksand.”
“You were my all time,” Arnett wrote of Bowie on Twitter. “You were the greatest. We’ll miss you more than you’ll ever know.”
The Sam Roberts Band tweeted of an `”unpayable debt” to Bowie. “He taught us to never let the dust settle, to always push further into the unknown. RIP.”
Author Lynn Coady posted this tweet: “Think I’ll just watch Labyrinth & cry all day, like I did when I was 15.”
A more straightforward tribute came from singer the Weeknd, who tweeted a simple “Rest in peace” message.
Hadfield, who became a viral sensation in 2013 for his acoustic rendition of Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” tapped into the star’s intergalactic persona.
He wrote on Twitter: “Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman.”