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David Bowie In Memoriam

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I didn't think it was appropriate to leave such a culturally influential figure as Bowie to be a footnote in the celebrity death thread.  


So I guess this should be a place to discuss the man, legacy, and art.


I guess I'll start by saying my favorite period of Bowie was probably the period, in retrospect, he didn't like very much of as he was in a pretty deep cocaine habit:  The Thin White Duke.


I think Young Americans, and Station to Station(Bowie Live is also pretty good) is one of best one/Two punches of an artist ever.  Even though he didn't seem to be very fond of his R&B stuff(he called it "plastic soul"):  I loved it.  I felt his voice had never been more better suited than for that particular genre.     

Edited by Ruckuss Zuckuss - 1/11/16 at 8:28pm
post #2 of 22

Would it be possible to migrate all the Bowie posts in the 'Celebrity Death' thread to this one?


I think it would be a safe bet that all the posts from #8428-8573 over there relate to DB.

post #3 of 22

The default radio station I listen to is totally "New Rock" and typically doesn't play anything earlier than 90's stuff.  Tonight's request hour though has been for Bowie song after Bowie song after Bowie song.  And the station is playing them all.  It's pretty great.

post #4 of 22
I went to see The Revenant tonight to take my mind off of his death and illness in general, but of course (with no help from the subject matter of the film), he kept creeping into my head.

Like I said in the other thread, it's going to take some time for me to accept thinking and talking about him in the past tense. The amount of difficulty that I'm having here is absurd. He was 69 years old and had some bad habits in the past and I've spent the day bewildered as if I can't do the arithmetic on that.

I've spent so many years discussing him in nigh mythic terms as an illustrative device to explain his influence on me, that I may have absorbed that into my skin.
post #5 of 22

For all the memories and videos posted, I didn't see the main song that sprang to mind for me, perhaps because I was thinking of it lately anyway.  The bittersweet tone seems to fit.


post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'll join in:



post #7 of 22

My fondest Bowie memory:


In high school, my friends and I made a series of films (goofy shit we shot on VHS) about a bunch of drug dealers in the 70s. The only way you knew it was the 70s was because we played songs from the 60s and 70s on the soundtrack. Our clothes and vehicles were very clearly from the 90s. The titles were all made-up drug slang and the second part was called Colombian Toothpaste, except the camera we used on that required us to put the title in manually using the tiny-ass viewfinder. This took forever, as you had to cycle through every single letter and my buddy goofed when he was doing it, so the title on screen ended up reading "Colombian Toothpast." 


Anyway, the song we played during the opening scene of that film was Velvet Goldmine. I've been listening to Bowie since high school but hearing that song brings back so many good memories.


From the Colombian Toothpast(e) soundtrack:


post #8 of 22

I follow Adrian Belew on Facebook. He posted the first part of a story about when he first met Bowie and ended up playing with him (and pissing off Frank Zappa in the process).


Belew is a guitar player and has played with the folllowing: Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, Nine Inch Nails, Joe Cocker, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, and William Shatner.


His most high profile gig was as the frontman and second guitarist for King Crimson from 1981-2013.


He played on Bowie's 1978 live album, Stage, and 1979's Lodger.



In 1978 I did my first tour of Europe as "stunt" guitarist and singer for Frank Zappa's band. The night we played in Cologne, Germany unbeknownst to me Brian Eno was in the audience. Brian knew David Bowie was looking for a new guitarist for his upcoming tour. He called David after seeing our show and told David he should come see the guitarist for Frank's band.


The next night we performed in Berlin. There was a part of the show where Frank took an extended guitar solo and most of the band members, including myself, left the stage for a few minutes. As I walked to the back of the stage I looked over at the monitor mixing board and saw David Bowie and Iggy Pop standing there.
Wow! I couldn't believe it!


So I walked over to David Bowie, shook his hand and said, "I love what you've done, thank you for all the music". And he said, "Great, how would you like to be in my band?" I motioned back towards Frank and said, "Well, I'm kind of playing with that guy." David laughed and said, "Yes, I know, but when Frank's tour ends my tour starts two weeks later. Shall we talk about it over dinner?"


David said he would meet me back at our hotel and sure enough when I arrived back at the hotel David Bowie and his assistant Coco Schwab were sitting on a couch in the lobby. As I walked past them they whispered to me, "Get into the elevator, go up to your room, come back down in a few minutes, and meet us outside. we have a car waiting."
It was like something out of a spy film.


When I came back down and went outside there was a black limousine waiting. The driver opened the door and I got in the back with David and Coco. David immediately launched into all this plans for his upcoming tour, the songs we would play, the staging, and so on, and how much he loved my guitar playing! It was so exciting! He said they were taking me to one of his favorite restaurants in Berlin.


How many restaurants are there in Berlin? 25,000?


We arrived at the restaurant, went in the front door, and who should be sitting at the very first table but Frank Zappa and the rest of the band! So the three of us sat down with Frank and the band. David, trying to be cordial, motioned to me and said, "Quite a guitar player you have here Frank."


And Frank said, "F••• you Captain Tom."
(note: Frank had demoted David from Major Tom to Captain Tom.)
David persisted, "Oh come on now Frank, surely we can be gentleman about this?"
Frank said, "F••• you Captain Tom."
By this point I was paralyzed. David said, "So you really have nothing to say?" Frank said. "F••• you Captain Tom."


David and Coco and I got up and went back out the front door. Getting in the limo David said in his wonderfully British way, "I thought that went rather nicely!"


The second part of the story will be posted tomorrow.

post #9 of 22

Belew is one hell of a guitarist...a true 'guitarist's guitarist'.  I look forward to the rest of that interview.

post #10 of 22
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

Belew is one hell of a guitarist...a true 'guitarist's guitarist'.  I look forward to the rest of that interview.


Bowie and Belew collaborated on one of my favorite "lost" 80s songs (yes, it was released in 1990, but it's got an 80s vibe through and through).


post #11 of 22

My bad, I had not read the celebrity thread thoroughly enough.  Machiav posted a demo version of Lady Stardust early on, and a bunch of other great stuff.

post #12 of 22

Part two of Adrian Belew's story:


By definition a postscript is never as engaging as the story itself. I hope you're not expecting too much, but here's the conclusion:


It was February in Europe which meant it was icy cold outside, but for me it was even more icy inside. When you're touring, especially in a professional band of hired musicians, you tend to "partner up" with someone; one person you hang out with the most.


Frank was the person I hung out with. I often sat next to him as we traveled on planes and buses, I joined him at breakfast, etc. I had stayed at Frank's house many weekends during our 3-month rehearsal schedule and I felt we had some sort of friendship.


Of course he was entitled now to be distant to me. He had plucked me out of obscurity, taught me so many things, and shined a bright light on me. Frank was my mentor and he was not an asshole to me, not ever! He was generous, funny as heck, brilliant, and informative. A genius. I had the time of my life around him. It was never part of my plan to leave Frank's tutelage forever.


We still had two weeks of touring left. Frank had already informed me of his intentions after the tour ended. He said he was going to rent a giant film editing machine and spend three or four months editing our live concert footage into a film called "Baby Snakes". He explained I would be kept on a retainer which meant I would be paid to do nothing but wait for Frank's next project. I received a call from my manager. Now it was official, I was being offered a 4-month tour with David Bowie.


Later that day we were on a bus to an airport. I decided to break the ice. I walked to the very last row in the bus where Frank was sitting. I told him about David's offer. I reminded him of his plan to edit his film and pay me a retainer and asked him if it didn't make more sense for me to join David's tour for 4 months instead. I told I would gladly return after the tour. I am loyal to a fault. Frank reached out and we shook hands.


That evening, February 26th, we played a concert in Brussels, Belgium. One of Frank's songs we did was "Yo Mama". But for that show Frank substituted the words "Your David". So this is what he sang:


"Maybe you should stay with your David,
He can do your laundry and cook for you,
Maybe you should stay with your David,
You're really kind of stupid and ugly too".


Two nights later the tour ended in London at the Hammersmith Odeon. There was an onstage occurrence which angered Frank. Fortunately I had nothing to do with it. Frank cut the show short and stormed off. The next day most of the band members flew back to L.A. where they all lived. I was told later that Frank fired the band on that flight home.


I got on a plane to Dallas for two weeks rehearsal with David Bowie.

post #13 of 22

I'm starting to come out of it now. I'm listening to his music again, trying to enjoy it. I want to share this one song (pre-Space Oddity, 1967). I unabashedly love it. It's so silly and disposable and kind of wonderful in that.






Also, this needs no introduction...


post #14 of 22

January 21, 2016 10:21 a.m.
Besides Being, You Know, David Bowie, David Bowie Could Also Do Pretty Excellent Impressions
By Halle Kiefer

Imagine being David Bowie, and then, on top of that, you are really good at impressions. You wake up every day and you are already David Bowie–level talented; then you go into a recording studio and knock out some A-plus imitations of your peers, just while screwing around.This week, So So Glos' Zack Staggers shared a 1985 studio recording of Bowie just killing impressions of Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen and others, audio he inherited after his father got it from producer Mark Saunders, who worked with Bowie on sessions for Absolute Beginners. You can read Saunders's description of working with Bowie over at The Talkhouse.David Bowie was incredibly professional and a pleasure to work with. Seriously, how is all of this one man? Are there seven completely untalented people walking around just to balance Bowie out? Ah. Okay. Yeah, that adds up.

By Joe Blevins@joe_a_blevins

David Bowie was a musician, but he was also a lifelong lover of music and amassed quite a collection of LPs. In November 2013, he shared with Vanity Fair a collection of his 25 greatest record store discoveries, and this list has now resurfaced on the blog of web designer Sam Allemang. Bowie begins his survey of favorite records with a disclaimer: “There is no way to do a list of my favorite albums with any rationality.” With apologies to The Beatles and Nirvana, he rules out any albums that are “too obvious.” What’s the fun in telling people about records they already know and likely own? The goal of Bowie’s list is to recommend some cherished albums to readers so that they, too, might share in his audio adventures. “If you can possibly get your hands on any of these, I guarantee you evenings of listening pleasure, and you will encourage a new high-minded circle of friends,” he writes with his characteristic dry wit, “although one or two choices will lead some of your old pals to think you completely barmy.” He also laments that a few of his selections were proving difficult or impossible to find on CD.

So what does David Bowie include on his list? Considering Bowie’s deep and freely acknowledged debt to African-American music, the article contains a gratifying number of selections by the legendary artists of blues and classic R&B (James Brown, Little Richard, John Lee Hooker). And there are some expected nods to art-rockers of Bowie’s own generation (The Velvet Underground, Syd Barrett), plus a few titles from the world of classical music and opera (Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre Du Printemps, Gundula Janowitz’ recording of Strauss’ Four Last Songs). But Bowie being Bowie, there are plenty of wild card selections here, too, like The Glory (????) Of The Human Voice, a novelty LP by the melodically challenged and apparently naive Florence Foster Jenkins. (“Be afraid,” Bowie warns. “Be very afraid.”)

What makes this article a keeper is that it is highly autobiographical and intimate. Bowie not only describes these records and explains why he loves them, he also describes what was happening in his life when he heard these records and how they affected him. A Charles Mingus album, for instance, brings to mind Bowie’s memories of a particular department store in his hometown of Bromley. And when it comes time to describe the cast album of Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris, Bowie begins this way: “In the mid ’60s, I was having an on-again, off-again thing with a wonderful singer-songwriter who had previously been the girlfriend of Scott Walker. Much to my chagrin, Walker’s music played in her apartment night and day.” But it was through Walker’s music that Bowie discovered the songs of Jacques Brel.
These were interesting articles that put a smile on my face
Edited by dilla7 - 1/21/16 at 1:19pm
post #15 of 22
post #16 of 22
Jesus, why did I read that? Every time I think I can deal with this, I get hit again. I guess it's of some comfort that there are so many people in a sort of personal crisis over this.
post #17 of 22

I got hit too reading that. However, its likely because it reminded me how much I miss Lou Reed more than anything. Bowie is the far more influential and culturally significant artist and I have a significant place for him in my pantheon of heroes. But for me, he's no Lou. No one is.

post #18 of 22
post #19 of 22

Trent Reznor talks about touring with David Bowie and how it helped him get clean:

post #20 of 22
I've been waiting for him to say something. I rather fortuitously got into Nine Inch Nails around the same time that I was beginning to devour all things Bowie and when I discovered a connection (The Downward Spiral track "A Warm Place" being a remix of Crystal Japan) I was delighted. Then they began working together...

It was like a gift.

Also, not for nothing, but Reznor and I have the Scary Monsters moment in common. It was the second album I bought after Ziggy, and it broke my fucking mind.
post #21 of 22
post #22 of 22
The LAZARUS cast album is out. It includes the last three Bowie tracks from the BLACKSTAR sessions. Like "Lazarus" itself, they're versions of songs from the musical.

As you might expect, they feel like a seamless extension of BLACKSTAR in sound and substance, though they're definitely "bonus track" material.
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