The Man Who Rose From Earth

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Front door of 155 Hauptstrasse Schoeneberg – Bowie’s apartment in Berlin – 17th January 2016

I fell asleep with the radio on…

…when I woke just before 4am, death hour, David Bowie was playing and the listeners to Up All Night on Radio 5 had selected Sound and Vision as the song that best captures Bowie, and one caller was arguing for Station to Station as the best LP, which was my view too in the wake of his death on 10th January last year. Sound and Vision was the track on my first directorial showreel (of which a poor digitisation is to be found here, though I think it may have been blocked by YouTube during the last year because of the copyright track (I can still see it but sorry, you may not be able to)) – cutting that reel is why it is burnt into my consciousness, hard wired from the edit suite.

Update 8.i.17 21:30 – I managed to find a badly encoded/pixellated copy of my Sound & Vision reel from which you can get the general idea

So it’s 04:40 now on Bowie’s birthday – one year on. We’re all going to be bombarded with Bowie The Next Days of course but it’s worth asking “Where are we now?” like the image I saw on the Big Man’s front door at 155 Hauptstrasse in Schoeneberg, Berlin on 17th January 2016. I was due to work in Berlin by chance, at Documentary Campus, six days after I first heard the news of Bowie’s ascension early one morning on the radio. I decided to make it something of a tribute trip. Here’s the photo album.

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Berlin, 16th January 2016 – 8 days after Blackstar release

Where Are We Now? The world looks quite different from 10th January 2016.

That set of photos is the first fragment as I start over the next couple of anniversary days to pull together a picture of where we are now Bowie- & Other-wise.

My initial reaction at this point one year on is that his death cast a shadow over the whole year which is extraordinary for someone I didn’t know and never talked to. I saw him in the flesh a couple of times but I feel less about his passing emotionally than that of John Martyn, however his music is woven into my life, like that of many other people of the Bowie era (a long one by popular music standards) and that I reckon is one of the main reasons his passing prompted such widespread, strong and unique reaction.

The second fragment is this – written 15 minutes after hearing the surprise black news 363 days ago, another occasion I have been woken early by Bowie.

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My 1977 vintage badge which dropped off my lapel in Berlin, January 2016 – from Carnaby Street to a mysterious final resting place

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5 comments so far

  1. theluckhabit on

    ‘Sound and Vision’ was the first Bowie track I ever heard. Isolated with chicken pox in a boy’s boarding school with Radio 1 for company in 1977. Like you, I had a strange connection on the day of his death, as I was in Brixton. Station to Station has grown on me over the years but it does have a couple of weak tracks, so I place it alongside Aladdin Sane in that regard. Not his very best. As time goes on I have come to love Diamond Dogs more and more and perhaps because I am a big Eno fan, the one that has stayed with me the longest is the Heroes album, more so than Low. His last album merits all the plaudits. By a long way his best since ‘Scary Monsters’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ArkAngel on

    Agree Aladdin Sane is a very special album too

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  3. theluckhabit on

    Actually I was saying the opposite! Like Station to Station I think Aladdin Sane has a couple of weak tracks on it which means it doesn’t quite sit at the top with Ziggy, Diamond Dogs, Hunky Dory, Heroes, Low and Scary Monsters. A great album for sure but perhaps not at the top.

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  4. ArkAngel on

    I guess my argument is that they both reach higher peaks even if there are valleys

    Like

  5. […] promised in yesterday’s birthday post, The Man Who Rose from Earth, in this one I’m going to gather some of the Bowie posts from across the years of Simple […]

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