The Fall of Ziggy Stardust
January 10, 2016 11:17 PM   Subscribe

Farewell to all-around legend David Bowie.

David Bowie, born David Robert Jones 8 January 1947, was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor.

David Bowie has died after a battle with cancer, his representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief," read a statement posted on the artist's official social media accounts.


As was the case with Miles Davis in jazz, Bowie has come not just to represent his innovations but to symbolize modern rock as an idiom in which literacy, art, fashion, style, sexual exploration and social commentary can be rolled into one.” Rolling Stone magazine
posted by Beti (1410 comments total) 159 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by the_wintry_mizzenmast at 11:18 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by slater at 11:19 PM on January 10


!!!


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posted by mazola at 11:19 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


⚡️.
posted by raihan_ at 11:19 PM on January 10 [88 favorites]


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posted by tychotesla at 11:19 PM on January 10


no no no no no
posted by item at 11:19 PM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Saw this on Twitter half an hour ago and thought "I won't believe it until the BBC does".

BBC lead story as of moments ago: Music legend David Bowie dies

Damn.

Stronger and more articulate comments to follow later.
posted by Major Clanger at 11:20 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Somehow believed he was immortal.

Tears....
posted by oceanview at 11:20 PM on January 10 [54 favorites]


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posted by colie at 11:20 PM on January 10


Fuck. All of my heroes are dying or being outed as scumbags. Fuck this.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 11:20 PM on January 10 [22 favorites]


Two days after the release of his latest album.

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posted by zabuni at 11:20 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


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overheard on the internet:

"holy shit, David is Bowie dead."

I was listening to Simon + Garfunkel at the time.

one of the greater stories ever told
posted by philip-random at 11:20 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


⚡️
posted by Jimbob at 11:21 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Five Years
Blackstar
Fame

Because I need to listen to these, and all of his songs, so much right now.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 11:21 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


David Bowie - My Death - 1973

Goodbye Starman.
posted by adept256 at 11:21 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]



posted by Artw at 11:21 PM on January 10 [20 favorites]


Look up here, I'm in heaven
I've got scars that can't be seen
I've got drama, can't be stolen
Everybody knows me now
posted by vverse23 at 11:22 PM on January 10 [27 favorites]


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posted by zadcat at 11:22 PM on January 10


Yeah, I was sure it was a hoax until Duncan Jones tweeted about it.

Quite sad, but trying to use this as an opportunity to re-explore the music he shared with us.

(and Labyrinth!)
posted by taterpie at 11:22 PM on January 10 [12 favorites]


Two days after the release of his latest album.

Hell of an album, and weirdly resonant now.
posted by Artw at 11:23 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


⚡️
posted by Pendragon at 11:23 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


argh. no eloquent words, just regret. was hoping for many more creative years.

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posted by retronic at 11:23 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was sure it was a hoax until Duncan Jones tweeted about it.

Yeah, I was holding out hope till then.
posted by Artw at 11:23 PM on January 10


No no no no no. David Bowie was always meant to be immortal. This is fucking devastating.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:23 PM on January 10 [25 favorites]


⚡️
posted by Xere at 11:23 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


He seemed so vital! of late, as if all his energy just had to come out and go and be spent before it was too late. And now, this.
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posted by Going To Maine at 11:25 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


⚡️
posted by donatella at 11:25 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


The whole world is going to wake up sad this morning.

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posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:25 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


Just came here to post this.
MOTHER FUCKER.
Go watch and listen to his videos for Black Star and Lazarus and tell me that it wasn't Streets Ahead of anything else out there now.

"Look up here, I'm in Heaven".
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:25 PM on January 10 [42 favorites]


Holy fuck.

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posted by equalpants at 11:25 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Somehow believed he was immortal.


He is.
posted by Segundus at 11:25 PM on January 10 [100 favorites]


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posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:25 PM on January 10


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posted by vac2003 at 11:25 PM on January 10


No words. I am so sincerely sad. His music saved my life 1000 times as a teenager.
posted by frumiousb at 11:26 PM on January 10 [24 favorites]


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posted by edd at 11:26 PM on January 10


Hell of an album, and weirdly resonant now.

Hell, I was in the middle of making an FPP (glad I didn't, this one is better) and I wanted to make the title some part of:

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

posted by zabuni at 11:26 PM on January 10 [27 favorites]


⚡️
posted by antipodes at 11:26 PM on January 10


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posted by snwod at 11:27 PM on January 10


Yeah. Awful thing to hear first thing on the radio this morning. Fuck.

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posted by skybluepink at 11:27 PM on January 10


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posted by interrupt at 11:27 PM on January 10


Godammit. This was never supposed to happen. he was just always supposed to be there, somewhere, being all around awesome.

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posted by Ghidorah at 11:28 PM on January 10 [18 favorites]


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posted by mountmccabe at 11:28 PM on January 10


We could be heroes, just for one day.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:28 PM on January 10 [35 favorites]


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posted by Ignorantsavage at 11:28 PM on January 10


Duncan Jones tweeted this and this on Sunday. I remember reading these tweets -- just 10 hours ago -- and thinking how lovely it was that he was so proud of his old man. They read so differently now.
posted by maudlin at 11:28 PM on January 10 [15 favorites]


Oh no. Goodbye and thank you.
posted by Petersondub at 11:29 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]



⚡️.
posted by mwhybark at 11:29 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


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I was fortunate enough to win a newspaper competition to get backstage and meet him during the 1. Outside tour. Easily the most charismatic person I have ever met. If you get the chance, the touring museum exhibit (I saw in Berlin) is really, really good.

Goodbye, Blackstar.
posted by bouvin at 11:30 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]



posted by egypturnash at 11:30 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


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posted by threecheesetrees at 11:30 PM on January 10


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posted by Archelaus at 11:30 PM on January 10




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posted by pipian at 11:32 PM on January 10


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posted by gmb at 11:32 PM on January 10


Nothing's going to touch you.
posted by rewil at 11:32 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


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posted by theseldomseenkid at 11:33 PM on January 10


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posted by edeezy at 11:33 PM on January 10


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posted by potch at 11:34 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]



posted by eyeballkid at 11:34 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:35 PM on January 10


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The stars look very different today.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:35 PM on January 10 [65 favorites]


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posted by Autumn Leaf at 11:36 PM on January 10


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He taught us that we could be heroes, or martians, or goblin kings. His was the truest realization of the promise of the freedom of Rock and Roll.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 11:36 PM on January 10 [29 favorites]


I'm lightheaded with grief. Incoherent. The new album is so good. He never told us but he's been telling us since The Next Day. And this new album - I mean, my friends and I have been messaging each other about it like mad "have you heard it? Have you heard it? "

Bowie is bigger than us. He's bigger than himself. He's shown us how to live and he made art to the last. I was going to write "how can we go on without him" but we're never going to be without him. He is the great I am.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:37 PM on January 10 [44 favorites]


I honestly thought this was made up...until I saw it was on the BBC. Damn. Only a few hours ago I was listening to "Under Pressure," thinking what a perfect song it is. Damn. He's just always been there, you know?

And I will always think of him fondly as my first real, actual crush that sprang to life fully formed when my twelve year old self saw him in Labyrinth. He was amazing in that movie, and I mean that 100% seriously.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:37 PM on January 10 [19 favorites]


He's just returned to the goblin kingdom.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:37 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


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posted by spinifex23 at 11:38 PM on January 10


Oh no, I have no words.

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posted by arha at 11:38 PM on January 10


• Oh, no, no, no.
posted by bz at 11:38 PM on January 10


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posted by Zedcaster at 11:38 PM on January 10


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posted by brambleboy at 11:39 PM on January 10


Lemmy's forming a new band
posted by philip-random at 11:39 PM on January 10 [34 favorites]



posted by divabat at 11:39 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Fuck cancer
posted by futz at 11:40 PM on January 10 [23 favorites]


.

😭
posted by R343L at 11:40 PM on January 10


"mixed media, cinema, mime, Tibetan Buddhism, acting and love..."

Quite a range of talents, and very few people stay at the top of their field for close to 50 years. Goodbye Starman indeed; perhaps he's out there now hanging with Major Tom.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:40 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


So sad. I don't have words.

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posted by TedW at 11:40 PM on January 10


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posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 11:41 PM on January 10


Can you hear me, Major Tom?
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posted by a halcyon day at 11:41 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


cannot. believe.
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posted by litlnemo at 11:41 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I can't process this until I get all the fragments together. This is all I've got so far.

- Watched The Martian last night and was happy to hear Starman instead of Space Oddity or Life on Mars.
- Two minutes of Bowie as Tesla, full of extra significance.
- He was such a finely drawn man, guys, but so obviously as tough as wire.
posted by maudlin at 11:41 PM on January 10 [9 favorites]


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posted by OHenryPacey at 11:41 PM on January 10


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posted by sleeping bear at 11:42 PM on January 10


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Bowie was an important part of my life and his music helped mould who I have become.
posted by my-username at 11:42 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Wow I just kind of never thought this would actually happen. I always took some comfort that he was out there somewhere, creating, being Bowie.


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posted by no mind at 11:43 PM on January 10 [16 favorites]


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posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:43 PM on January 10


This was not the news I wanted to start a wet and windy Monday morning off with, tbh.

💫☄.
posted by halcyonday at 11:43 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I am bereft :*(
posted by h00py at 11:44 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


One of my students has a David Bowie t-shirt. I asked him if he listened to Bowie, he said that he never listened to music in English, but he knew that David Bowie was the most fashionable man. "He is style and cool."

I was about to protest in my rockist way that the music was the important thing, but then I thought my student might be on to something.

David Bowie was style and cool.

(that past tense feels so wrong)
posted by betweenthebars at 11:44 PM on January 10 [63 favorites]


I never wave bye bye



but I try
posted by potch at 11:44 PM on January 10 [15 favorites]


planet earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do.

rest in space.
posted by Phire at 11:44 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


⚡️
posted by brecc at 11:45 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:45 PM on January 10



...two days after we FPP'd the "What did David Bowie do at your age?" web thingy which is currently hard to reach - probably overwhelmed with traffic - and not yet updated with today's news for age 69. Any age over 69 says: "When David Bowie is XX: He's probably an astronaut. Or an extraterrestrial being. Or something we can't comprehend." which could still be accurate.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:45 PM on January 10 [66 favorites]


Just heard the news as I was leaving work. Walked outside and was disoriented to see everything looking normal.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 11:46 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


This was my reaction to reading the news: "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME, UNIVERSE." Followed by me bursting into ugly tears because holy shit, December and January have just been a complete shitshow for me and this was the thing my brain saw and went, "nope. time for ugly, snotty crying."
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:46 PM on January 10 [23 favorites]


Fearless and Amazing.

⚡️
posted by benito.strauss at 11:47 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by humanfont at 11:47 PM on January 10


I'm utterly speechless. This is such a shock to me, I don't even have any context for my feelings right now. Jeebus.

I'm going to be mourning his passing for a long time to come.

. and . and so many more .

He deserves all the .
posted by hippybear at 11:47 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


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posted by Samuel Farrow at 11:48 PM on January 10


The AV Club: David Bowie 101
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, rock music faced a severe vacuum. Hard rock, progressive rock, pop saviors, and singer-songwriters abounded, but with The Beatles’ demise in 1970, no artist was left to truly straddle the aisles and unify the increasingly fragmented music scene. Did David Bowie fill that vacuum, or exaggerate it? To this day, his challenging, enigmatic image and music make it hard to say. What’s clear, though, is that Bowie’s emergence in 1969 with the earth-shattering single “Space Oddity”—a song sandwiched ingeniously between the release of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Apollo 11 moon landing—marked him as a rock auteur not only of his time, but of the future.
RSWX presents: Dave, an hour-long audiovisual extravaganza.
Our homage to the man whose ability to change whilst remaining himself has been a massive influence on us. There are many legends in the music industry but for us, there is no greater than the mighty Dave. We've included all things Bowie, whether that is original songs, covers, backing vocals, production work or reworks we made, to attempt to give you the full scope of the man's genius. For the visual side to this mix our friend Wim Reygaert (who also made the amazing film for Into The Vortex) came up with the most ambitious film for RSWX, taking us on a fever dream time travel through the man's career starring the amazing Hannelore Knuts as Dave.
(Both via TVTropes: David Bowie)

And one of my personal favorite Bowie tributes, from a 2013 issue of The Onion: David Bowie Asks Iman If They Should Just Do Lasagna Again
The 66-year-old singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and producer, who once reinvented himself as a gender-bending extraterrestrial rock star named Ziggy Stardust, as well as an emotionless Aryan superman named The Thin White Duke, then looked through the couple’s refigerator and, noted they still had a jar of Mario Batali pasta sauce and a “pretty full” box of lasagna noodles in the cupboard. [...]

Sources confirmed the nine-time platinum recording artist—who claimed at one point in the 70s to have subsisted on a diet of red peppers, cocaine, and milk—then preheated the oven, started boiling a pot of water, and searched around inside the kitchen cabinets, at one point asking Iman if she had seen the “good baking pan.” In addition, Bowie, who allegedly had an affair with Rolling Stones lead vocalist Mick Jagger at the pinnacle of the glam rock era, suggested that the “fridge needed a quick wipe down” while grabbing a carrot, a cucumber, and a box of organic spinach to make a quick salad. [...]

Sources confirmed the rock legend, recognized for mixing British mod, mime, and Japanese kabuki styles to bring art rock to a mainstream audience, pulled on a windbreaker, slipped on a pair of Asics sneakers, and reportedly spent several minutes considering his grocery list. [...]

“Okay, love you,” said the glamrock pioneer, noted for boldly reinventing himself countless times in the span of his life and career, as he opened the front door to his home. “Back soon.”
posted by Rhaomi at 11:48 PM on January 10 [140 favorites]


Thank you Mr Bowie.
posted by Speculatist at 11:48 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Shitfuck.
This easily qualifies as worst monday morning of 2016.


posted by _dario at 11:48 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


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posted by riverlife at 11:49 PM on January 10


No words. Just staying in here and in my twitter time-line for the rest of the day...

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posted by Fizz at 11:50 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I wrote a joke about David Bowie once. It runs longer, but the gist was this--

You've got David Bowie, the absolute epitome of cool, married to Iman, one of the super-est of supermodels. What a life they must have! But, they are still human beings, after all. There has to have been some time or another where Iman thought to herself, 'Holy shit, I'm married to David Bowie!'. And, I'm certain David Bowie, at some point, looked at his amazing, otherworldly wife and thought to himself, 'Holy shit, I'M DAVID BOWIE.'
posted by KHAAAN! at 11:52 PM on January 10 [144 favorites]


I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do... So I'll just write some love to you.
posted by mbrock at 11:54 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


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posted by limeonaire at 11:54 PM on January 10


nothing to say yet. just in shock. my heart goes out to iman and duncan. i hope the celebrity big brother folks tell angie so she stops insulting him on tv.
posted by nadawi at 11:54 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by paulus andronicus at 11:55 PM on January 10


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posted by YAMWAK at 11:55 PM on January 10


It's not right…


posted by mazola at 11:55 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Goddamn. This is not really OK.

⚡️
posted by ubersturm at 11:56 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


This is fucking fucked.

Fuck.

Vale, you brilliant space oddity.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:56 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


This was the best music weekend ever.

Friday night, we saw Patti Smith and her band at the Wiltern in LA giving an amazingly energetic performance.

Saturday night, we saw Peter Case with a surprise cameo by Ben Harper in Claremont. Bought his new CD and got it and a book of his signed. Got to shake his hand and tell him how much his music had meant.

I'd been saving up Blackstar and listened to it in its entirety while grocery shopping earlier. The two videos released so far I had described as creepy-cool in the best Bowie tradition, the songs challenging and tremendous.

I was thinking about how all three of these musicians are doing great work in their late 60s as I tweeted about the new album: "Best music weekend ever concludes with a listen to @DavidBowieReal astonishing new album. Atmospheric and emotional."

No more than a couple hours later, I saw the tweet from his official twitter account come through. Like everyone, I assumed it was a hoax.

And now I'm in tears listening to Aladdin Insane on vinyl.

That's life, isn't it?
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:57 PM on January 10 [24 favorites]


This just sucks. Was listening to NPO Radio 2 and they broke through their golden globes coverage to announce it, and unfortunately when the guy was like "David Bowie is nu helaas overleden" ... that is a vocabulary word I do know and I did understand what he said and it just sucks. My birthday is also 8 Jan and I was also of the opinion that David Bowie was fucking immortal and there is nothing about this that is reasonable or fair at all.

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posted by sldownard at 11:57 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the gut punch, 2016.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:58 PM on January 10


I don't know what to say or do. A true god in every sense. The rapture is probably real and this is it.
posted by naju at 11:58 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by lalochezia at 11:58 PM on January 10


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posted by surlyben at 11:58 PM on January 10


Rest in Space.

⚡️
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 11:59 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


This is Ground Control to the Space Oddity: Thanks mate.

⚡️
posted by quinndexter at 11:59 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


This is overwhelming.

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posted by wallabear at 11:59 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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😢
posted by -t at 12:00 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I just... Our heroes are meant to be immortal. RIP Mr. Bowie and THANK YOU SO MUCH.
posted by teststrip at 12:01 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


there was a boy
a strange enchanted boy
posted by casarkos at 12:03 AM on January 11 [27 favorites]


The first one of my musical idols to die that made me cry. I'm going to miss him so much.
posted by invitapriore at 12:04 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I listened to Blackstar a dozen times this weekend and now I'm looking at the cover art and reading the lyrics and thinking "he knew, didn't he? He had to know. "

This is how a genius artist leaves us. One last great piece of art (and who knows what treasures Tony Visconti has?) and then exit when you're at the top one last time.

He had to know. He had to. He's Bowie and he knows how to make a fucking exit. There will never be anyone like him in our lifetime.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:05 AM on January 11 [107 favorites]


He lives on in us all now.
posted by Artw at 12:05 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by jeffamaphone at 12:06 AM on January 11


Gasped and covered my mouth when I read this headline. What a loss. And how legendary can you be, to release an amazingly well-reviewed album on a Friday that also happens to be your 69th birthday...and check out of this mortal plane before the end of the weekend. The man had style to the last.

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posted by town of cats at 12:09 AM on January 11 [39 favorites]


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posted by From Bklyn at 12:10 AM on January 11


Once there were mountains on mountains
And once there were sunbirds
to soar with
And once I could
never be down
Got to keep searching
and searching
Oh what will I be believing
and who will connect me with love?



posted by brilliantmistake at 12:11 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


A huge loss •
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:12 AM on January 11


.

But also :'(
posted by longbaugh at 12:12 AM on January 11


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posted by polymath at 12:13 AM on January 11


Ashes to Ashes

Man, fuck cancer.
posted by ZaphodB at 12:13 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Always a surprise.
posted by pracowity at 12:13 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I clicked on this thinking he'd retired.
Fuckity fuck.
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posted by Mezentian at 12:14 AM on January 11


On a Metafilter thread from January 8th, 2013, I wrote:

Bowie will never die. Someday he will just close his tired old eyes and simply fade away, like Yoda. Days later we will receive a transmission from his home world, saying that he's happy, and he hopes we're happy too.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:15 AM on January 11 [162 favorites]


Devastating.

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posted by Dysk at 12:16 AM on January 11


I'm at work and have four more client meetings and I'm completely thrown. I have never been impacted by a celebrity death like this and I don't know why I feel this way.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 12:16 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


thanks UH, you just made me cry
posted by hippybear at 12:16 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Nooooooooooo... Unbearably sad. 😢
posted by susanbeeswax at 12:16 AM on January 11




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posted by jbenben at 12:17 AM on January 11


sons of the silent age
make love only once but dream and dream
they don't walk, they just glide in and out of life
they never die, they just go to sleep one day

posted by thetortoise at 12:18 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


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posted by Lyme Drop at 12:21 AM on January 11


No.

The first word out of my mouth.

Somehow believed he was immortal.


He is.


When the great pass away, in Hindu culture, people say "X has become immortal" i.e. one with the gods.

He has changed his body, *he* will never die.
posted by infini at 12:21 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


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posted by infini at 12:21 AM on January 11


No.

Me too :(

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posted by cotton dress sock at 12:24 AM on January 11


Oh damn.
posted by hawthorne at 12:25 AM on January 11


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posted by clockworkjoe at 12:26 AM on January 11


Oh my god. What to say and how to say it? I can't.

Thank you, David Bowie. For a million reasons, thank you.

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posted by but no cigar at 12:27 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.

Thank you David for all you gave us.

Cannot believe how gutted I am about this. Got home, went to put some Bowie on, just cannot decide what to play, because Bowie.

That Lazarus video is bloody hard to watch.
posted by pompomtom at 12:27 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


If there was ever a death which felt more like an apotheosis.
posted by tavegyl at 12:27 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


We were lucky enough to see David Bowie... is last year. Amazing. He was even more amazing than we knew, even though we knew he was SO amazing.

He always seemed immortal.

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posted by andraste at 12:29 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]




Damn. Damn.
posted by bink at 12:32 AM on January 11


. nooooooo
posted by greenhornet at 12:33 AM on January 11


I really can't deal with this, it seems unreal

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posted by thelonius at 12:34 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


From the Internet: "If you're sad, just remember the earth is over 4 billion years old, and you managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."
posted by dirigibleman at 12:34 AM on January 11 [174 favorites]


I had a few drinks with somebody (a big deal star in his own right, just not here in the Americas) who'd partied some with Mr Bowie. "So what's he like?" I said.

He laughed. "David's just a lad."

"What's that mean?" I said

"A regular guy," he said.
posted by philip-random at 12:34 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Crouch End, 1971, Hunky Dory

Thanks, David.

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posted by Mister Bijou at 12:35 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I'm genuinely not sure what I'm more surprised by - the news, or the fact that I'm really not OK about it.

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posted by A Robot Ninja at 12:36 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


to head off the inevitable "but children in this war-torn country are dying"
i think something we need to keep in mind is that when people are sad about the death of a celebrity, is that it isn’t necessarily because of the loss of that person, but what that person represented to them

rarely did the people who mention or mourn the passing of a celebrity know them personally, or even care about their personal lives. but for whatever reason what they did or what they represented was important to them. celebrities become icons more than people, and when they die it’s a little jarring. it reminds us of our own mortality, that in the ever-changing face of the world nothing is permanent.
posted by divabat at 12:37 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


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posted by Iridic at 12:38 AM on January 11


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posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 12:38 AM on January 11


I was riding my bike through midtown listening to his new record today and was mentally remarking about how nimble the vocals were and how agile the mind behind them felt and how crazy it was that that was what 70 years old was now. And 70 in Bowie years too. It's hard reconciling that with a light just going out all of a sudden.

ϟ
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:39 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]




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posted by sudasana at 12:39 AM on January 11


Time may change me, indeed.

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posted by Samizdata at 12:39 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]



posted by k8t at 12:40 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


thank you, starman
.
posted by jden at 12:40 AM on January 11


⭐️
posted by ChrisR at 12:40 AM on January 11


Maybe I shouldn't write this.

After about an hour and a half of shock and processing, it's occurred to me he got to enjoy the trees I had planted on our street (we used to live down the block from each other) for many years after I moved away. He saw them grow up, and I didn't. Hopefully in some tiny little itty bitty way I gave back to this person who enriched my life immeasurably.

I, too, thought he was immortal. And in the nicest way!

David Bowie is Magic. He was a master alchemist, he's left us a tremendous legacy. I hope we use it well.
posted by jbenben at 12:40 AM on January 11 [56 favorites]


⚡️
posted by lapolla at 12:42 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.
posted by norabelle at 12:43 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Vox says that it was throat cancer. I don't see anyone else reporting this, but if it's true -- his throat. How and when did he lay down the vocal tracks for his last album?
posted by maudlin at 12:45 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Velvet Goldmine ...

required viewing
posted by philip-random at 12:46 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


So sad.

The lollipop incident:
On his last concert tour in 2004, during a concert i Oslo someone in the audience threw a lollipop towards the stage. The lollipop stick hit Bowie in the corner of his eye, and got stuck there (photo).

"Bowie stopped the show and shouted, “You f—ing wanker! You little f—er!,” as the crowd booed, according to the Norwegian press. A panicked member of his entourage rushed onstage and helped him remove the lollipop, after which Bowie continued the show. His camp later downplayed the incident on his official Web site, where it was noted Bowie then threw a guitar pick in the crowd and joked that he’d better hide because it might have gotten stuck in someone’s eye."

Compare and contrast.
posted by iviken at 12:47 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


David Bowie - 1980 Tonight Show - Life On Mars Ashes To Ashes

(With an outfit shouting out to James Dean.)
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:47 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


⚡️
posted by mboszko at 12:47 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


parting words from Lazarus: "I'll be free... ain't that just like me?"

I can hear the wink as he slips out.
posted by naju at 12:48 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


In the middle of a Bowie obsession and spent all weekend adoring his new album, discovering the old songs, dreaming a little from the dreams he has made. I did not expect this.

I’m moved and hurt that no amount of greatness can transcend death and sometimes we discover things too late like an inspiration or the things we should have been doing.

When the Blackstar video came out it struck me as being about death, grotesquely real and angry and brave. How it comes swiftly and brutally for the unwilling and unready who are hypnotized by some earthly distractions. I thought the move into old age was making him braver, I was so impressed but I had no idea he was ill and now I think, how much courage did it take to look death in the eye like that when he’s actually facing it? It's a beautiful thing to think that his final message was of passing the flame forward, as he's done for all his life.

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a meter, and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place and bravely cried,
I’m a blackstar


Thank you stranger for the inspiration, thank you Earth for producing these examples of love and courage to inspire each other and the rest of us. There will never be another.

Rest in Peace, David Bowie

.
posted by EarthwormGin at 12:49 AM on January 11 [36 favorites]


philip-random: oh urgh I have such mixed feelings about Velvet Goldmine, the movie was a favourite of my ex and I and I even got custom brooches (like the ones in the movie) made for both of us, and I would wear mine every day just like someone would wear a wedding ring, but then she turned out to be an abusive shithead and I can't bear to look at that brooch again and now I'm reminded of all of that and :( :( :(
posted by divabat at 12:49 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Stephen Collins on David Bowie, for his 69th birthday.

Adam Buxton on David Bowie, a few years back (and another).

Links in lieu of any sort of coherent response.

.
posted by rory at 12:50 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Goodbye, you amazing weirdo.
posted by Rinku at 12:51 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


sorry
posted by philip-random at 12:57 AM on January 11


I loved the new record and now it will be months before I can touch it again. I knew it was about the end of things but lots of artists make records like that without it being necessarily true. It's part of the whole rock and roll myth thing. But yeah now seeing how pointed it was, I can't really listen to it for a bit. I'll probably reach back a lot further for a more comfortable buffer.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:58 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


not your fault! just highly bittersweet and blargh
posted by divabat at 12:59 AM on January 11


I loved the new record and now it will be months before I can touch it again

Presumably he made it knowing he was going to pass beyond the stars, and left it as a gift (an odd, dense gift by all accounts).

If it helps, he'd want you to enjoy it.
posted by Mezentian at 1:00 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


I think the best thing an artist can do, indirectly, is save the life of someone out there, listening. Thanks for reaching me when I was sad and lonely and scared, you wonderful strange person.

.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 1:01 AM on January 11 [17 favorites]


.
posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 1:01 AM on January 11


[long, rambly post deleted]

*
...and everyone listen to Hunky Dory. He made several masterpiece albums, but the record he slapped together in a hurry while writing Ziggy Stardust is still probably my favorite. The cover songs show where his head was at, and the originals display such a great range - touching on his early singles, the glitter bombast of the coming Ziggy, and even hints of the Berlin period. Great stuff.
posted by Anoplura at 1:01 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Jeez, first Lemmie, now this. I bet Robert Smith and Paul McCartney are feeling pretty nervous right now
posted by clockzero at 1:02 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


True. But I think my comfort is probably (and maybe sacrilegiously) going to come from my personal fave non-Bowie-but-still-Bowie Bowie record, Iggy Pop's The Idiot :/
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:02 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


you can tell me all about it on the next bardo...

.
posted by talking leaf at 1:03 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


I think the best thing an artist can do, indirectly, is save the life of someone out there, listening.

r'n'r suicide
posted by philip-random at 1:03 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]




WHAT?

I wake up to this?! .___.

.
posted by bigendian at 1:04 AM on January 11


And I go to sleep to it.

.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:07 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


WOW

.
posted by rhizome at 1:08 AM on January 11


Elvis had what, 3 eras? 4 if you wanted to be charitable an either way the final era was a punchline. He also never truly made a classic album, though that's not quite his fault since he came in a bit early for that.
Bowie had as many classic albums as Elvis had classic songs, and the amount of classic songs?
It's unfair to make this about comparing apples and much weirder apples, but my brain is just trying to contextualize and weigh all this and I just don't know that it can all fit into the frame. Such a massive loss to pop and art.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:10 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


...and everyone listen to Hunky Dory. He made several masterpiece albums, but

if the house was on fire and I could only grab one Bowie album, I'd grab three: Hunky Dory, Ziggy + Station to Station. Then I'd probably do something stupid like dash back inside for Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, Scary Monsters, Low + Heroes.
posted by philip-random at 1:10 AM on January 11 [26 favorites]


hippybear & I spent the weekend together, all too rare an occasion. He'd been playing DJ and threw some Bowie in the mix, quite festive. Getting ready for bed, he refreshed his news feed and... WTF.

Like Joey Michaels said above, he knew. How it didn't leak... wow, Bowie. You were always the master of your mind and your circumstance. You changed so many lives, and you know it.

Blackstar will be #1, watch. This motherfucker had style.
posted by wallabear at 1:10 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


So weird. When I left home this morning I was partway through watching an episode of Downton Abbey. Watching the rest of it this evening, I keep looking at the screen confusedly, wondering why no one's mentioning the fact that Bowie has died.

This, and my earlier observation upon leaving work. It's like some crucial logic has been suddenly subtracted from reality.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 1:15 AM on January 11


Bowie. The first album I ever bought. Gutted. If this is how 2016 starts, God knows how it's going to end.
posted by Jubey at 1:15 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Magnificent, bravo.

.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:16 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Is it too early to point out that this is the second worst thing to happen to David Bowie after that "Dancing in the Street" video with Mick Jagger?

sorry...

I'm searching frantically for the TV performance where he does "Starman" solo in full regalia with fog machines and a children's choir. Anyone else remember this? I'm pretty sure it was a BBC thing. Def not Top of the Pops.
posted by Anoplura at 1:17 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


I was listening to Heroes in the car today, thinking what a perfect song it is. This... just hurts to much.
posted by Fenriss at 1:18 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Well goddamn. I don't know why but:

Soul love - the priest that tastes the word and
Told of love - and how my God on high is
All love - though reaching up my loneliness
Evolves by the blindness that surrounds him

'll do for now.

.
posted by hap_hazard at 1:20 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


. true legend
(Loved this cover he did of America after 9/11)
posted by rongorongo at 1:21 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


.
posted by acb at 1:24 AM on January 11


I couldn't watch the video for Heroes or something right now, it'd be too much. But there was one clip I had to see. It's a 2000 live performance of Bowie performing Absolute Beginners, of all things. It's a relatively obscure song, as Bowie goes. But I first saw this clip on Youtube a couple of years ago, and somehow it made me cry then.

Bowie performs it with such obvious, glowing joy. When he leans in on those wah-wah, wah-oooohs, he beams like it's his wedding day or something. I don't know what it was about that performance that made him so happy, but it's beautiful to see. Even years ago, this clip seemed like the last scene of the movie of his life.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:25 AM on January 11 [42 favorites]


I liked The Laughing Gnome. RIP.

.
posted by Splunge at 1:26 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


The great thing about growing up in the middle-late 1980s was that when you came in to the party all the legends were already lame.
Neil Young was making crappy meta-blues, Iggy was soundtracking Touchstone family films, Bowie was the guy frolicking in silly clothes to "Dancin in the Streets" with Mick during LiveAid and shilling for Pepsi. It's an old joke that every legend of the 60s and 70s got the chance to ruin that legacy in the 1980s, and Bowie definitely put his numbers on the board to that end (Tin Machine anyone?) but unlike everybody else, his indiscretions in the neon decade still felt artistically organic even when they stylistically were anything but. He was seeking even as he was selling out, finding a way to express the decade's cash-in in real time through his own lens.
It was a run that looked uneven at ground zero but made much more sense once you got to the 90s and 00s and were able to see it from a longer view.
I don't really have much of a point here but it's a memory that interests me. I came in at arguably the Worst Bowie and there was still so much there to intrigue me that I still ended up sucked right in.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:27 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


Whenever I've felt badly about life, in an effort to boost my spirits I would have my Naked David Bowie Dance Party™, because who doesn't feel better about everything when you're blasting some Bowie and dancing around?

Definitely scheduling one this week.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 1:27 AM on January 11 [17 favorites]


He just put out a great album. He was still relevant after 50 years in rock. Who else still is from the 60s?

Yes, that cover of America was wonderful.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:27 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


I just had to tell my partner, who is driving back from the country, and has said that if Bowie did another show, anywhere in the world, she'd be there.

Unlike Lemmy (because, Lemmy has always been in the world, but not my world) Bowie has always been there.
Like Elvis or the Beatles, there's always been a Bowie on the radio.

Two videos:

1997 at MSG performing The Last Thing You Should Do and Quicksand for Bowie's 50th.

Under Pressure. David Bowie - Annie Lennox - The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert - London - 1992
posted by Mezentian at 1:28 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


I'm getting teary listening to Space Oddity.

.
posted by mariokrat at 1:28 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


One of the trials of middle age in the 21st century is seeing more and more deaths of people who have been cultural icons for your entire life. I was one when "Space Oddity" was a hit. The video to "Ashes to Ashes" was one of my formative pop moments. No matter how good I think the current crop of pop and rock stars are (and a lot of them are), they can never compete with that.

Given that mass popular culture has a finite and relatively recent history, the scale of this phenomenon feels relatively new. Our great-grandparents only had to deal with the deaths of kings and presidents and artists who were little more than names on a page or engraved reproductions. Not people who recorded dozens of albums that tracked their entire lives, and left behind countless hours of filmed interviews, videos and movie performances. Even bringing to mind images of the man is like flipping through shots of a crowd scene, and imagining that everyone in the crowd has just died.
posted by rory at 1:29 AM on January 11 [23 favorites]


For some reason I keep thinking of him in "Glass Spider" singing about the strange spider's web draped with the skeletons of its prey and how when the wind blew through it, "it produced sounds of wailing, crying—tiny wails, tiny cries". There are more evocative quotes from his songs, hell there are better songs, but I can just hear his voice, meditative and wondering, musing tenderly, "tiny wails, tiny cries".

.
posted by Athanassiel at 1:29 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


.
posted by DreamerFi at 1:30 AM on January 11


.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:32 AM on January 11


My mama said
To get things done
You'd better not mess with
Major Tom.

.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:36 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:37 AM on January 11


How unexpected & upsetting this is. I recall liking Life on Mars and Space Oddity when I’d hear them on the radio as a five-year-old… and I loved Blackstar (the song) the first time I heard it a couple of months ago. His music is woven right through the fabric of my life…
posted by misteraitch at 1:37 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Weird as it sounds, this is near the top of my favorite Bowies.
Dude is just putting his weight behind his friend/quasi-protege and holding in as much of his Star as he can to not get in the way.
For someone that you can't take your eyes off of to be part of the band off to the side is pretty brilliant.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:38 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


.
posted by monkey closet at 1:39 AM on January 11


.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:40 AM on January 11


⚡️
posted by brundlefly at 1:41 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


It will be interesting to listen to Blackstar again today, already a likely contender for my Album of the Year. One thing that has been increasingly clear to me in the run-up to its release is how difficult it is to convey to people for whom Bowie was just a pop star how important he was to us. He was our Beatles.

Contrary to popular belief, almost all of Bowie's albums are pretty good records, actually. It's just that none of them since Let's Dance were essential in the way Heroes or Ziggy or even Station to Station were. But pretty good. And if you gather the best bits of the post-Let's Dance Bowie catalogue together - Absolute Beginners, The Buddha of Suburbia, a few tracks from each of the albums (I'm drawn for some reason to Sunday, the opener on Heathen), you have something really remarkable.

And Blackstar is an extraordinary record. I think it's one of his best. And it's one of the few albums that were made by someone who was looking death in the face, which is how we'll have to hear it now. The only other example that comes immediately to mind is Les Marquises, Jacques Brel's final album. I assume he'd like that, apart from the whole being-dead thing.

"Bowie was..."

Fuck.
posted by Grangousier at 1:42 AM on January 11 [37 favorites]


.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:44 AM on January 11


.
posted by BlueNorther at 1:46 AM on January 11


.
posted by valdesm at 1:46 AM on January 11


Well, at least in my home town Bowie parties are springing up tonight (just been invited to one) so maybe there will be dancing in the street.
posted by Mezentian at 1:48 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


It's 3:37 am and I need to be at work in less than 5 hours and I keep making whimpering noises whenever I even think of this.

This feels like the equivalent of Elvis and John Lennon dying for the generation before me except Bowie and I are both older than both those folks and those who were most affected by their deaths so somehow should be more prepared and less prepared than we are.

I dressed up as Ziggy Stardust Spider-Man for Halloween (see my now changed profile pic) and I only just realized that both David Bowie and Peter Parker seemed as immortal to me until tonight. That's goofy but I'm still glad I was fooled for as long as I was.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:48 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


The kid an I wondered why they were playing so much Bowie on the radio driving home this morning and now we know :( The 11 year old's first response was 'This is even sadder than when Terry Pratchett died'. Our revised response is Bowie has just moved on to another planet - our turn is over.
posted by Megami at 1:49 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


It's just that none of them since Let's Dance were essential in the way Heroes or Ziggy or even Station to Station were

And yet Earthling remains my favourite Bowie album. I consider it his best, and I am not exactly young.
I'd written him off around Tin Machine (rookie mistake) until I heard "Jump They Say" and then... bang. I was afraid of Americans.
posted by Mezentian at 1:50 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


There was never a weak Bowie period. That's including and especially his 90s era of Earthling and Outside (which was largely greeted with a confused "what... uh") Ripe for a major reassessment.
posted by naju at 1:52 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


We can be heroes for ever and ever. What you say?
posted by popcassady at 1:53 AM on January 11


Outside is my favourite Bowie album. I listen to it all the time.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 1:55 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Fell for Bowie and his work in 1972.

Holding off tweeting the news until a friend, who loves Bowie's work and has for so long, finds out on his own.

Hot tramp, love you so.
posted by datawrangler at 1:57 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


This feels like the equivalent of Elvis and John Lennon dying for the generation before me except Bowie and I are both older than both those folks and those who were most affected by their deaths so somehow should be more prepared and less prepared than we are.

This.

This punched us in our mortality.
posted by infini at 1:58 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


.
posted by crocomancer at 1:59 AM on January 11


.
posted by mfoight at 2:00 AM on January 11


.
posted by But tomorrow is another day... at 2:02 AM on January 11


There was never a weak Bowie period.

That's sort of what I meant - Bowie was at the heart of the culture from 1972 to 1983, and then the zeitgeist moved on leaving him behind with megastar status and an insane amount of money. But the records themselves were often very good. Each of them was hailed - rightly - as a Return to Form. Even Tonight has Loving the Alien on it.

When I was about fourteen, a classmate explained how music in the post-punk era worked: basically, everyone from before the Sex Pistols was old and the Enemy and off limits. Except David Bowie.
posted by Grangousier at 2:02 AM on January 11 [16 favorites]


Somehow it's comforting (to me) to know he made it to his most recent birthday (January 8).
posted by datawrangler at 2:05 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


At the end of a damned exhausting weekend in 1983, I stood there and watched David Bowie close out the US Festival. People were leaving in droves. I just stood there. It was just me and David Bowie, and a few other people that didn't leave.

I was a few feet away from the stage, the other 150,000 were a herd heading for the exit. It's the damnedest thing. Why were they leaving? I was enthralled, and confused.

In retrospect, fuck them and their traffic worries. But me, I was THERE. And Bowie was singing to ME. In my face. I will never forget.

Rest, Starman. Or better, grab on to the soul of a young person and infect them with your magic, and stay with us somehow.
posted by wallabear at 2:06 AM on January 11 [32 favorites]


Rough.

.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:08 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Oh god the dead astronaut in the Blackstar video was Major Tom.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:11 AM on January 11 [30 favorites]


News Thump (normally a spoof news site) has a perfect tribute:
David Bowie has returned to his home after an all too brief sojourn amongst humanity.

The departure means that sadly it is the world that looks very different today.

He leaves behind a substantial body of work, including several autobiographical albums about the experience of being something more than human amongst mere mortals.

The singer’s home is believed to be somewhere in the constellation of Sirius but, like so much about him, this was left extremely ambiguous.

Bowie took up residence on this planet after falling to Earth, but it was generally accepted that no one planet could sufficiently contain him for long.

Fans are comforted with the knowledge that life continues somewhere, if not necessarily on Mars.

In response to the news, people worldwide are politely requesting that Tom Waits and David Attenborough go to bed early and take care of themselves, as there’s only so much of this we can stand.

Jodrell Bank have confirmed ground control will continue to call for him into the silent, eternal void, hoping for a signal.

posted by daveje at 2:12 AM on January 11 [69 favorites]


Ooh, and if anyone's in the market for Bowie obscurities, check out Baal, his ep of songs from the Brecht play. It - in particular The Drowned Girl - really shows what an incredible vocalist he could be. Wonderfully intimate, probably because of the budget limitations of the BBC, who recorded it.
posted by Grangousier at 2:12 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Oh god the dead astronaut in the Blackstar video was Major Tom.

And the skull from that is sitting on the writing desk in the Lazarus video.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:12 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


*
posted by taff at 2:14 AM on January 11


This is hitting me harder than I expected. Every time one of these people -- these legends or heroes or whatever they are die, be they celebrities or just people I look up to -- it just keeps getting harder. It's no good.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:16 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Lemmy needed a singer.

Ziggy Stardust has gone home.

Fuck you, cancer.

.
posted by dbiedny at 2:16 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


It only just occurred to me, a few hours later, to check what's playing on Beats 1. As I expected, Space Oddity. So I check out @beats1plays to see what else they've been playing in memorial and… nothing. It was 100% coincidence that I popped it on while they were playing one Bowie song.

All the more poignant, in a weird way.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:17 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]




Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace.

I'm not entirely sure I'm going to be able to handle this one with dignity. I had honestly hoped Bowie would outlive me. I wouldn't be who I am without his music, especially Ziggy. I broke down into a blubbering mess when I tried to listen to “Starman” a few minutes ago. “Modern Love” quite literally got me through my junior year of high school. His music is the only thing I've ever put on MeFi music.

“Life on Mars” & “Ashes to Ashes”The Tonight Show, 1980

If you're heartbroken and at an all-time low like I am, I'll help you with the pain. We'll be alright, even if we've cried until our faces were wet.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:17 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


Fuck.

(I'll leave this here.)
posted by ojemine at 2:19 AM on January 11


Fuck. If gods really do walk among us, we just lost one.

Just over a year ago, I lost my oldest, dearest friend to cancer. I was with her in the hospice on the day she passed away. For days afterwards, I had Everyone says Hi on repeat. It's not his best by a long chalk (not even the best on Heathen) but in it you can hear the suburban angst of Life on Mars alongside the transcendent optimism of Starman and the unbearable tragedy of Five Years, all compressed into four minutes of utterly disposable pop. Some fans think it's sappy and sentimental, which it is, but it's also as profound an expression of the nature of loss and grief that I know about. It perfectly expresses the pain of saying goodbye, that space between denial and bargaining when you have to do something, anything to bring your loved one back. Of all the Bowie songs I've loved over the years, I couldn't tell you which is my favourite, but this is the one that saved my life.

Somewhere between denial and bargaining is where I am right now. When the news broke, I realised I'd been expecting it after Blackstar. Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside, with nobody to take his place. I haven't listened to the album yet but now that I've seen Lazarus, it's even more poignant. It's about those last days in the hospice, the unbearable pain of knowing it's all in the past now and there's nothing left to do but wait.

So, Bowie, today I've put on my shiny gold pants, which wouldn't exist without you, and I'm going to listen to that album until it gets under my skin and won't leave me alone. You always were an unstoppable conceptual bastard and I know you've left us with something great.

.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 2:20 AM on January 11 [26 favorites]


.
posted by homeless Visigoth at 2:21 AM on January 11


⚡️
posted by sukeban at 2:28 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


... and the string chord from the end of Rock 'n' Roll Suicide plays.
posted by scose at 2:28 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


🚀 🌟
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 2:33 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.
posted by klangklangston at 2:38 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by rufb at 2:39 AM on January 11


Shocking. I'm at work. My limbs have gone funny. I've been obsessed with Blackstar the song since it came out, now suddenly it makes sense. How magnificent, and beautiful and intelligent and generous a piece to leave us with. What a man.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:39 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


I didn't download Blackstar immediately on release because it's a busy couple of weeks at the start of semester and I knew it would be waiting for me when I was ready. Of course, I rectified that as soon as I heard the news, and am listening to it now... and it seems the perfect Bowie album to remember him by today, precisely because it's new. No memory-laden, tear-filled listens to Hunky Dory or Heathen: instead, new, old, wise, ever-changing, Bowie.

Dear God, in the track I'm listening to right now he's chanting "where the fuck did Monday go?" The man was psychic.
posted by rory at 2:40 AM on January 11 [25 favorites]


.
posted by fairmettle at 2:40 AM on January 11


no no no no. he was just always supposed to be there, being cool and making music.
one of my favourites

.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:42 AM on January 11


.
posted by valkane at 2:44 AM on January 11


.
posted by Wolof at 2:44 AM on January 11


.
posted by awfurby at 2:46 AM on January 11


I'm going to listen to that album until it gets under my skin and won't leave me alone

Based on my experience of just now, that will take exactly one listen. The closing track is glorious.
posted by rory at 2:49 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


When I was a little kid, me and a mate set up a 'disco' in his shed. We had one record: The Laughing Gnome. It was awesome. RIP

Great thing about Bowie was he never took any honours... it was never Sir David thank god
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:50 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


I saw The Clash on BBC4 on Friday playing "No More Heroes" and today I wake up to this. Just unbelievable. Goodbye, Ziggy Stardust.

.
posted by marienbad at 2:51 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Can't listen, don't wanna listen to any Bowie right now because it will crush me. Maybe in a few days.

Goodbye, Thin White Duke.
posted by valetta at 2:54 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


He took it all too far
But boy, could he play guitar

posted by The Tensor at 2:59 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Perhaps he was just visiting all this time.
posted by quartzcity at 2:59 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.
Wow, shocked! The Universe will miss him but he left us quite a legacy of amazing albums to remember him by. Time to go buy Blackstar.
posted by p3t3 at 3:00 AM on January 11


Crushed, too damn awful to hear this. No words.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:01 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


there was one clip I had to see. It's a 2000 live performance of Bowie performing Absolute Beginners, of all things.

That was absolutely wonderful. Thanks, Ursula.
posted by rory at 3:03 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.

This is what is called in the comic The Sandman's lore "a big death." Bowie's passing will be felt as a ripple throughout worlds.
posted by Kitteh at 3:03 AM on January 11 [25 favorites]


Of course he's been on shuffle this evening.

Five Years just came on.

Shit.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:04 AM on January 11


.
posted by parm at 3:05 AM on January 11


.
posted by fourpotatoes at 3:06 AM on January 11




.
posted by fraula at 3:07 AM on January 11


Genuinely feels like a national day of mourning.

.
posted by threetwentytwo at 3:09 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


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posted by kinnakeet at 3:10 AM on January 11


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posted by neushoorn at 3:14 AM on January 11


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posted by Metroid Baby at 3:15 AM on January 11


BBC 6 Music is earning its spurs today, reading out listeners' memories, mixing up the music, leavening the serious and sad with the silly and celebratory and dropping in the odd non-Bowie track (just now, Neu!'s Hallo Gallo - perfect). Stuart Maconi's got the 1pm slot, which should be something special.

Exactly what I need right now, to feel connected with everyone out there on this suddenly emptier planet. I don't think I can face Black Star just yet.
posted by Devonian at 3:15 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


.

So... we introduced my kids to Labyrinth just this weekend. The boy couldn't understand why the villain was singing so much.

So we also just introduced him to a bunch of Bowie this weekend. Not sure it all registered - but... well it blew his mind - just like everybody else that ever heard his music.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:15 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


I came to David (or did he come to me?) through Heathen. I was late. I'm 35. From there it was a trek through Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity. The rest us history. Such a brilliant man. I'm at a loss. I've only ever felt this way about MCA and Lou Reed. Listening, crying, remembering...
posted by Fizz at 3:15 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Wow. I'm 34, and "discovered" Bowie for myself as a late teenager with Heroes, and at the time Earthling, and worked my way through his back and forward catalogue from there.

I'm really surprised how much this hit me this morning.

Thanks, David Bowie, for teaching weirdos everywhere that we're not alone.
posted by generichuman at 3:17 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


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posted by Jilder at 3:18 AM on January 11


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posted by dg at 3:18 AM on January 11


Woke up out of a sound sleep in a total panic just now, thinking I'd forgotten to set my alarm slated to go off just under two hours from now. Saw the news alert on my phone's lock screen from the NYTimes. Doubt I'll go back to sleep now. Too upset. I've loved him since I was 8. KEXP played an incredible full day of tribute to him on Friday for his birthday... I hope they keep that day's programming available to stream for a really long time because I can't bear to listen to it right now.
posted by palomar at 3:18 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Oh I don't know what to do with this. How can he not be here anymore, existing somewhere out there, being fucking cool and amazing and...just Bowie? It doesn't make any sense. I'm at work and everyone is just kind of stunned and I can't remember the last time there was so much collective grief about a public death. I'm going to have to text my ex because we had some shared language around Bowie and he was a huge fan, and his death feels like losing a part of that relationship all over again. The world is so much darker today.

RIP Starman, you blew our minds.
☆­
posted by billiebee at 3:22 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


.
posted by camyram at 3:25 AM on January 11


There is global mourning, in as far as I can tell from my twitter timelines emanating from at least three continents.
posted by infini at 3:27 AM on January 11


David Bowie on the Kenny Everett Show

Yup.
That happened.
In kids' TV hour.
God love the '80s.
posted by Mezentian at 3:28 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Tony Visconti: "He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life - a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:31 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


Utterly devastated. This version of Silly Boy Blue was in my head when I woke up. It must have surfaced from all the music I listened to on his birthday. Then I read the news.

So glad we got to wish him happy birthday one more time.


posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 3:34 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


.

I'm actually really surprised at how much this news is messing with me. RIP.
posted by Stewriffic at 3:35 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


I listen to BBC Radio 3 every other night so I woke up at 3:20 GMT briefly because that is how my brain rolls with sabotaging sleeping through the night. When the radio announcer gave the news of his death, I just laid there and thought, "How is that possible?" and then listened as they played an instrumental Bowie/Eno track.
posted by Kitteh at 3:38 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


.
posted by nicebookrack at 3:41 AM on January 11


.

Angel
posted by dannyboybell at 3:43 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I am trying to imagine my record collection without Bowie.... which you think would be easy, considering I only own two Best Of CDs, Earthling and some live stuff.... but ... I reckon there's not much that would still be there.
At all.

Gary Numan ‏@numanofficial 4h4 hours ago Los Angeles, CA
A True Legend. David Bowie. RIP

Maybe some of the harder stuff, but I kinda doubt it. Almost everything was inspired by Bowie, or in response to Bowie.

I can't explain it, so here's the opening scene from Dogs In Space.
posted by Mezentian at 3:43 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Ashes to ashes, fun to funky.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:47 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


RIP, you beautiful bastard. You really did change the world. All the best to his family.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:47 AM on January 11


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posted by BobtheThief at 3:47 AM on January 11


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:49 AM on January 11


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posted by ignignokt at 3:50 AM on January 11


His mugshot from a 70s drug bust was just in the local paper.

.
posted by tommasz at 3:52 AM on January 11


🌍☄⭐️

The laughing gnome's not laughing today.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:52 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by davelog at 3:54 AM on January 11


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posted by maykasahara at 3:55 AM on January 11


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posted by Mogur at 3:56 AM on January 11


Neil Degrasse Tyson on Twitter: "I wonder if some forms of creativity can only be generated by a Space Oddity that Falls to Earth."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:56 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


I'm not upset, because he went out with the same amazing sense of timing, style, and art that he lived.

And it's weird how comforting Flight of the Conchords are right now.
posted by Katemonkey at 3:58 AM on January 11 [23 favorites]


.

Damn.
posted by flippant at 3:58 AM on January 11


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posted by eclectist at 4:00 AM on January 11


Alright, I'm probably past the unstoppable crying bit. RIP David Bowie.
posted by comealongpole at 4:00 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


,
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:01 AM on January 11


I've been sick all weekend. Barely got out of bed yesterday. Was feeling about 80 percent on going to work today, and then my spouse told me the news. I came to MetaFilter first, of course, and read most of the thread, and then cued up "Under Pressure" and picked up my six-month-old daughter, who will never get to hear the new Bowie album ever again, and held her and danced in my halting, tear-streaked way and sang along as best I could to two (five!) of the greatest creative minds who have ever lived and decided that I am going to go to work today, because David Fucking Bowie released an album while he was dying.

There aren't enough dots. There never were.

.
posted by Etrigan at 4:02 AM on January 11 [32 favorites]


His mugshot from a 70s drug bust was just in the local paper.

"Among his minor achievements, Bowie also produced possibly the most stylist [sic] police mugshot ever taken, after his arrest on drug-related charges in New York state in 1976."

From grauniad's live updates... photo
posted by Mister Bijou at 4:05 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


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posted by nightrecordings at 4:08 AM on January 11


Damn, this one is hard.

.
posted by octothorpe at 4:09 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I heard last night - I sent the article to my ex. He will be waking up in a few minutes, and he will check his messages...

We had seen Bowie together years ago. We kept looking at each other and shouting in disbelief between songs "DAVID BOWIE IS RIGHT THERE. DAVID. FUCKING. BOWIE."
It felt unreal, dreamlike; he did really seem so otherworldly.

I'm.. I don't know, I feel so out of it, bereft...
posted by louche mustachio at 4:10 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


.
posted by heatvision at 4:11 AM on January 11


Knowledge comes with death's release ~ David Bowie, "Quicksand," Hunky Dory (1971).

.
posted by foodbedgospel at 4:11 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]




The fuck you say he's dead.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:12 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:15 AM on January 11


This is too much
posted by chasles at 4:17 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


There is not enough . in the manifest universe for the brightest star.
posted by SansPoint at 4:19 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Fuck, fuck, fuck. But then again, he only promised us five years, and that was in 1971. Everything else has been a bonus.

And seconding Flight of the Conchords' "Bowie's in Space." Coincidentally, I was just listening to that song last night. What a comfort it would be to receive a transmission from David Bowie's nipple antennae right now.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:21 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


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posted by biggreenplant at 4:21 AM on January 11


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posted by tuck_nroll at 4:22 AM on January 11


.
posted by khaibit at 4:23 AM on January 11


All the other threads seem empty and lonely. But that's ok. Because we have this thread. And even with all the tears and all the shaking of heads in disbelief, we have his music, his memories, and each other.


posted by Fizz at 4:25 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:25 AM on January 11



posted by XtinaS at 4:28 AM on January 11



posted by Gelatin at 4:29 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


.

and a bunch of great big tears.
posted by sallybrown at 4:29 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Now the dress is hung, the ticket pawned
The Factor Max that proved the fact
Is melted down
And woven on the edging of my pillow
Now my Brother lays upon the Rocks
He could be dead, He could be not
He could be You
He's Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature
"Shooting-up Pie-in-the-Sky"
The Bewlay Brothers
In the feeble and the Bad
The Bewlay Brothers
In the Blessed and Cold
In the Crutch-hungry Dark
Was where we flayed our Mark
Oh, and we were Gone
Kings of Oblivion
We were so Turned On
In the Mind-Warp Pavilion
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:29 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


*
posted by betafilter at 4:29 AM on January 11


.
posted by Samarium at 4:30 AM on January 11


What a performance ....
Bravo, bravo!
.
posted by carter at 4:32 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


.
posted by cybrcamper at 4:33 AM on January 11


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posted by bitslayer at 4:37 AM on January 11


How the fuck was David Bowie mortal? Never mind that he just put out an album this week, I feel like the very idea of him dying at any point in time is ludicrous. I should be registering a complaint somewhere.

Gah. Fuck cancer.

.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:37 AM on January 11 [17 favorites]


.
posted by Halo in reverse at 4:40 AM on January 11


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posted by zombieflanders at 4:40 AM on January 11


I don't think I can face Black Star just yet.

I started it this morning on my way to work and I only managed to listen to the title track. It cuts deep but it's a glorious sendoff that I think fans will enjoy. Maybe not now, maybe it is a bit too soon for some people, but it is definitely worth finding. Too soon. Far too soon.
posted by Fizz at 4:41 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Another tweet from the friend of a friend:

"I think a good tribute to David Bowie would be if we all aged well, with grace and dignity, and in excellent pants.'
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:41 AM on January 11 [62 favorites]


Oh my god, no. No no no no no. To wake up and see this dreadful terrible heartbreaking news, and right after having spent the last few days completely transported by joy over the new album and reliving all the accumulated joy and wonder Bowie has brought to my life since the 70s and all the magnificent art this marvelous freak has laid on the world. This is devastating.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:42 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


David Bowie's Kooks was the first song we played for our first daughter on the way home from the hospital.

Fuck.
posted by fancyoats at 4:44 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Simon Pegg: "If you're sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:45 AM on January 11 [58 favorites]


I just woke up from a more than usually surreal nightmare in which Bowie's "Golden Years" featured prominently. Having started brewing the mandatory late-for-work coffee, I reflexively picked up my iPad and read the news.

"Run for the shadows in these Golden Years" indeed.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:45 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


and stay with us somehow

Stay

.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:45 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by amelliferae at 4:47 AM on January 11


He played his part well, and I applaud him.


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posted by droplet at 4:48 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Hoping this doesn't get lost in the stream.

But if anyone has any good links to tributes/obituaries/memorials/etc., please share them.
posted by Fizz at 4:50 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


wait
WHAT

.
posted by Spatch at 4:51 AM on January 11


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posted by Laura in Canada at 4:53 AM on January 11


.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:53 AM on January 11


.

'That's not fair!'

'You say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is.'
posted by ian1977 at 4:56 AM on January 11 [26 favorites]


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posted by parki at 4:58 AM on January 11


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posted by bunderful at 5:00 AM on January 11


My favourite bit from the Guardian:

Actor Simon Pegg wrote on Instagram: "If you're sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:01 AM on January 11 [26 favorites]


.
🌟
posted by tempythethird at 5:01 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.
posted by newdaddy at 5:02 AM on January 11


.

To paraphrase George Lucas, his fire has gone out of the universe.
posted by selfnoise at 5:02 AM on January 11


I woke up and checked Facebook, and no shit but 9/10 posts are about Bowie. I made a post about it, and then five new posts loaded and four of them were also about him. Think about what a life full of creation that implies, about how influential and impactful a person has to be, for that to happen.

.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:02 AM on January 11 [18 favorites]


A lovely essay over at The Guardian: My David Bowie, alive forever. by Suzanne Moore
My David Bowie is not dead. Nor ever can be. What he gave to me is forever mine because he formed me. I have absolute clarity about that, I need no lamentations from politicians or TV presenters with their dim memories of his “hits”. I need no ranking of whether he was up there with Dylan or Lennon because I just know that is a dumb question. I simply know. He was my lodestar: in the years when I was trying to become myself, he showed me the endless possibilities. He extended out into the new spaces, metaphorically and physically. That man could move.

Those possibilities never end though of course he knew they would. He has gone “just like that bluebird” as he soars and sings on his latest single Lazarus. Well he knew things we didn’t, as he had all his life. He departs with Blackstar which I found terrifying without knowing why. What can I do now but listen and weep? Or find your own Bowie. You will have it somewhere. That first play of Ziggy. That time you put food colouring in your hair. The night when lust became utterly confused with a different kind of longing. A longing to be in one of the worlds he told us about.
posted by Fizz at 5:03 AM on January 11 [22 favorites]


I just heard. I am weeping like I lost a friend. Just no. Do not want this universe.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:05 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I listened to Blackstar start to finish twice last night, in the dark using headphones. It'll haunt me to know I was doing that as he was dying.

I'm very sad today.
posted by davebush at 5:06 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


Remember how great it was when we got word that The Next Day would be coming out?
posted by the phlegmatic king at 5:07 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


"You're not alone
Just turn on with me
And you're not alone
Let's turn on and be
And you're not alone
Give me your hands!
Cause you're wonderful
Give me your hands
You're WONDERFUL
GIVE ME YOUR HANDS!"

.
posted by El Brendano at 5:07 AM on January 11 [16 favorites]


.
posted by RainyJay at 5:08 AM on January 11


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posted by pinacotheca at 5:08 AM on January 11


Remember how great it was when we got word that The Next Day would be coming out?

Didn't we wake up to the news it was out, no preamble?

If nothing else, that would gain my respect.
(there was lots else)
posted by Mezentian at 5:09 AM on January 11


.
posted by Cash4Lead at 5:10 AM on January 11


To live as many lives as this man.

.
posted by mysticreferee at 5:11 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Also, I defy you to find a better couplet than

It's not the side-effects of the cocaine /
I'm thinking that it must be love


I fucking defy you.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 5:12 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


.
posted by JennyJupiter at 5:13 AM on January 11


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posted by Wobbuffet at 5:13 AM on January 11


Oh man. Just stumbled out of bed to make breakfast and lunches for the kids half an hour ago and my son told me in the dark hallway. I said, "No!?" like a shouty question.
Can't believe it. I'm 47 and for my entire life there has been David Bowie. That assurance that he's always there, being a freak and making it okay to be a freak. Can't process this.
posted by chococat at 5:13 AM on January 11 [21 favorites]


Labyrinth and chill.
posted by Fizz at 5:15 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


.
Haven't felt this way since Vonnegut. Fuck.
posted by brevator at 5:15 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


I know it's ridiculous but we refer him as "Dave" in my family, which is made up of fans of different, overlapping parts of his various works.

"Dave's got a new album out"
"Have you heard about the new Dave exhibition?" [yes, not actually by him]
"Tilda Swinton's in the new Dave video, bet you love that!"

I can't get my head around the fact that next time I hear this, my reaction won't be "What's Dave up to now?", simply "What are they doing now?"

From the outside, this is harder than Lemmy and Rik Mayall multiplied together. God knows how those who knew and loved him feel.
posted by comealongpole at 5:15 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]






Goddammit. How long until we get rid of cancer now? Fuck it.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 5:17 AM on January 11


.
posted by jadepearl at 5:17 AM on January 11


S.P.C.L.H.M
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:19 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:21 AM on January 11


Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family

On wings Mr. Bowie.

.
posted by evilDoug at 5:22 AM on January 11


I don't care what the reports say, I'm just assuming that Bowie has returned to his home planet.

Godspeed and thank you, Duke.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:23 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Well, if anyone else wants to trek through a labyrinth to reclaim what the goblins have taken, I think we could all use some company.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:24 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


Other people have mentioned how much the video for Blackstar, in retrospect, is obviously about his impending death. But I just thought about the bits where he's got the cloth wrapped over his face with black pupils painted on. Like coins over the eyes of the corpse, or even the eyes painted on stones in GoT. Yikes.
posted by freecellwizard at 5:25 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


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posted by condour75 at 5:25 AM on January 11


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posted by ogooglebar at 5:27 AM on January 11


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posted by Ravneson at 5:28 AM on January 11


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posted by lmfsilva at 5:30 AM on January 11


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posted by haiku warrior at 5:31 AM on January 11


There’s been an outpouring of shock and surprise at his death, not because, at 69, he was relatively young, but because people seemed to ascribe higher powers to him. As if this pop genius would have somehow twigged a way of escaping death. As if we would somehow still be hearing Bowie albums, beamed in via holographic afterlife, in 3016.

If that was one trick even he couldn’t pull off, then we can be sure of something: as Bowie’s influence stretches far and wide, seeping into the work of those whose lives he touched, we will get to see him reborn countless times over the coming decades.


--from this Guardian article about Blackstar
posted by vacapinta at 5:31 AM on January 11 [23 favorites]


gutted
posted by readery at 5:35 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Such sad news to wake up to.

check ignition, and may God's love be with you...
posted by triggerfinger at 5:36 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:37 AM on January 11


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posted by Foosnark at 5:38 AM on January 11


No. Just no.
posted by rtha at 5:38 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by sammyo at 5:39 AM on January 11


Now he belongs to the ages.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:42 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


. no. No.
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:44 AM on January 11


I woke up to this news and I'm positively gutted. RIP you beautiful man.
posted by crayon at 5:45 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


If you get down this far, you might enjoy this:
David Bowie interviewed by Dick Cavett
posted by evilDoug at 5:47 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


.
posted by Faintdreams at 5:48 AM on January 11


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posted by kimberussell at 5:49 AM on January 11


My brother told me recently that the reason he got in to music was that he walked into a party I was having, and Hunky Dory was on, and he suddenly realised that when people said they were 'into music', it was this stuff. My four year old insists that Satellite of Love (production and backing vocals by one D Bowie) is played before I am allowed to play anything else on the stereo. The man was a magnet.

There's a busker here in Glasgow (think he travels about the UK) who only ever plays Bowie tunes. He was out today. I found a pound on the bus to work before hearing the news- I took this to mean that it was a good day. Checked twitter. Feck. Gave the quid to the busker.
posted by Gratishades at 5:50 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


Slept late and just now heard this on NPR. What a crappy start to the day.

.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:51 AM on January 11


some say the view is crazy but you may adopt another point of view

.
posted by NedKoppel at 5:52 AM on January 11


"David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is."

-- Iggy Pop
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:52 AM on January 11 [22 favorites]


If anyone needs a smile:

Adam Buxton parodies Warszawa
posted by EarthwormGin at 5:53 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Via this NYT article: David Bowie’s first wife, Angela, has not been informed of his death because she is a contestant on the reality show “Celebrity Big Brother” and her access to news is highly limited.

WTF? This doesn't warrant an exception to stupid reality tv rules?
posted by p3t3 at 5:54 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


I feel like this is the first time there has been universal mourning from EVERYONE on my FB feed. There was at least one facet of Bowie that appealed to everyone. The world is less brilliant and wonderfully weird today.

.
posted by TwoStride at 5:54 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Such a brilliant mind. Such a wonderful artist. Such a life well led.

Saying Bowie has died is like saying Mozart has died when in fact they will live on for centuries more.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 5:54 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Unioncat at 5:55 AM on January 11


I haven't processed this yet. But I do want to say that I am once again blown away by what an amazing place Metafilter is when momentous things like this happen. You are all amazing people.

And it is a testament to both the uniqueness of the Metafilter community and just how incredible David Bowie was (was? WTF) that this obituary thread contains so many thoughtful, beautifully written and insightful posts from all of you.

What incredible style the man possessed. And how inspirational he clearly was.
posted by biscotti at 5:56 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


Back when my son was an infant, and it was my turn to rock him back to sleep, there were two songs that I would sing over and over again. For whatever reason, it was these two songs that finally calmed and soothed him: "Satellite of Love" by Lou Reed and "Space Oddity" by David Bowie.

"This is Major Tom to Ground Control.
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For heeeeeeeeere, am I sitting in a tin can,
Faaaaaaaaar above the world.
Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do..."
posted by zooropa at 5:58 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


The tribute to New York City that was televised a couple of days after 9/11. Cold opening with Bowie sitting cross legged on the floor, a tiny toy piano in front of him, tapping out "Heroes" while singing alone on the darkened stage. First time I cried since the death of my mother 25 years before.
posted by Chitownfats at 5:58 AM on January 11 [21 favorites]


he was the soundtrack of my teenage-hood. not just the stuff that was popular at the time, but everything he did.

.
posted by tuesdayschild at 5:58 AM on January 11


.
posted by zchyrs at 5:59 AM on January 11


All these years later and the lawman's still beating up the wrong guy, and we're all still wondering if there's life on Mars. Oh man, look at those cave men go!

.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:01 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


it is time to leave the capsule if you dare...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:03 AM on January 11


Someone check that Kate Bush is okay right now.
posted by rory at 6:03 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


In tears on my drive to work listening to Hunky Dory. I just can't quite believe it. I always assumed he was immortal.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:04 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


As a man in his early 50s, I'd like to say a special thank you to all the cool older-sisters-of-best-friends everywhere who had all the David Bowie records.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:04 AM on January 11 [48 favorites]


.
posted by Beardman at 6:05 AM on January 11


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posted by needlegrrl at 6:06 AM on January 11


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posted by mikel at 6:08 AM on January 11


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posted by kitarra at 6:09 AM on January 11



posted by Freyja at 6:09 AM on January 11


I'm the middle generation of three generations of David Bowie fans. My Dad played his music on weekends while he cooked the spaghetti sauce, and he showed me The Man Who Fell To Earth on Betamax when I was 12. My kiddo and I would just fucking massacre Under Pressure at karaoke. She would sing the Freddie Mercury part. Bowie was the weird alien connection in my family. Fuck fucking cancer.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:10 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]




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posted by thewalledcity at 6:11 AM on January 11




You can listen to KEXP's Intergalactic Bowie Day in their archive; select Friday, January 8 and then start with The Morning Show.
posted by synecdoche at 6:12 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


I was not goddamn ready for this one.

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posted by thivaia at 6:13 AM on January 11


The first David Bowie song I loved when it was released was 'Heroes'. A few years later my dad bought a best of David Bowie CD when we got our first CD player which featured 'Changes' and so many more of his earlier songs and that inspired me to listen to so much of his earlier stuff.

One of the best times I've had in recent years was when my son discovered 'Changes' and so completely identified with what he was saying just a year or so ago and we pretty much listened to that same best of CD continuously in the car for months and months and then he discovered the albums and we were all gobsmacked by the songs that weren't singles.

My niece who is 22 and I have no musical taste in common except for a love of David Bowie. I told my mum that David Bowie died this afternoon and she was upset by the news.

He spanned generations, so many generations and we are so, so lucky to have got a new album that is so brilliant before he said bye bye.
posted by h00py at 6:14 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


How do I describe how much David Bowie meant to me? I grew up in a small 99% white town. I didn't know a single gay person growing up. I was super introverted and the class nerd since kindergarten.

Like a lot of 90s kids, probably, I first saw David Bowie in "Labyrinth". I didn't even know he was a thing outside Labyrinth. When I was around 9 I heard "Fame" on the radio and found out it was him. The idea that this crazy glitter king from the movie sang other songs just broke my kid mind. I was hooked. This was 1995 and suddenly I would.not.shut.up. about David Bowie. Some relative bought me his "greatest hits" double album and I still know the track listing by heart. My parents thought I had a stupid schoolgirl crush, I'm sure.


Throughout high school (small town, remember) it was my private thing. My peers either didn't know who Bowie was at all, or knew 1-2 songs, or knew him as that weird, probably gay alien guy. In college, suddenly Bowie was everywhere and he was cool. And part of me was bitter, that as all my new liberal-arts buds were saying they just loooved Bowie, I was thinking bitch, were you hiding your Discman under your covers when you were 12, listening to him? Did he teach you that it could be cool to be a freak, to just be whatever the fuck you wanted, to be something nobody even knew you could do? Because there was nobody else, in your growing-up world, that ever dared to just be that fucking weird?

One of my other great and weird loves was R&B and gospel music. Remember, there were literally maybe 3 black families in my town. When I first heard the "Young Americans" album, I thought, maybe it's OK to like black music even when you have no roots and no claim to it. Maybe it's ok to like it just because something in it moves you.

So many albums and songs of his have moved up and down on my "favorites" list through life. When my dad walked out on us. When I was so depressed in college that I didn't want to kill myself, but thought maybe I could just stop existing. The first times I got to go to Europe, to see that the world had so much more than my tiny town and it was possible for me to get there.

At my wedding, I played a song of his that nearly from the first time I heard it, I thought "I want this at my wedding someday".

Why do I love him so much? I don't think I can explain it. I am still pretty boring on the outside, no tattoos, no crazy hair colors, conventionally feminine. You would have picked a lot of people at my hippie liberal arts college that outwardly looked way more like they knew and worshipped everything about David Bowie. But I think you'd be wrong.

He made it okay to be a freak, to be different from everything else. He made it okay to not even stay the same kind of freak, where people always know you "That Guy With The ___". He was a lot more conventional in the 80s for awhile and you thought oh, maybe all the ziggy stardust was just a kid phase, and then BAM! Jim Henson asked him to be a baby-stealing fairy king and he was like "LOL K." I was a freak for being so obsessed with a freak, among other things, and I didn't care because I knew I wanted to grow up and find my other freaks, that got it.

I wouldn't say that he was the REASON I left my small town, that I became the opposite of my upbringing in so many ways, that I had the courage to realize that even plain, nice, femme Midwestern girls could be big lesbians. But I think loving him so much and so fiercely made me realize, from ten years old, that I was different in ways that I couldn't explain but I knew were central to me as I got older. Because you can't explain, even to yourself, how much you love this freak and every weird thing he ever did without saying it's because I'm a freak, too, but it's a little less scary knowing this guy is out there.
posted by nakedmolerats at 6:14 AM on January 11 [88 favorites]


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fuck.
posted by Theta States at 6:15 AM on January 11


It's funny, I'm not feeling all that sad. I think it's because he never felt real to me.
posted by zzazazz at 6:15 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


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posted by Lutoslawski at 6:16 AM on January 11


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posted by drezdn at 6:16 AM on January 11


Wasn't ready for this one. Damn.

Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy 1977
posted by gwint at 6:19 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Kevin, call me. I miss you so fucking much right now. Love, Jim.
posted by Kinbote at 6:19 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


There have been so many times throughout my life when Bowie kept the world from falling in and crushing me. He brought sanity to some dark times. Now, it appears, I've finally reached the age where all my heroes are dying. Goodbye, David, and thank you.
posted by Lighthammer at 6:20 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]




Aw, hell.

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posted by teferi at 6:22 AM on January 11


I can not. A world without Bowie... Ugh. No.
posted by Capybara at 6:28 AM on January 11


I woke up to this. Ugh.

In 1978, I moved into an apartment in Kreuzberg with a Brit pal from work named Mickey. Our neighbors-down-the-hall were Iggy Pop & David Bowie. At that time in my life, I wasn't following much rock music, being deeply into classical and opera at the time, and so I wasn't too star-struck in that sense. They were just people I saw from time to time, as in any neighborhood. Really, just almost ordinary neighbors. Except, you knew after a minute or two, that they weren't, by any definition, ordinary. There was just an air about them, that seemed a little like they were on another planet entirely, even if you were standing next to them at the food stand on the corner.

I had scored some tickets to a Queen concert at the Deutschlandhalle (if memory serves, it was early in 1979), and was kind of excited, because Queen was one of the few bands I liked, mostly for the complex harmonies in their music. I think Mick mentioned to David that I was going to the concert with a date, because David stopped by the apartment and left couple of passes for backstage. At the concert, we used the passes, and found David who introduced me to Freddie Mercury & a few of the other people in the band.

That may have been about the last time I saw David. Life happened, and that wasn't really my crowd to begin with. I eventually had a row with Mick about his drug usage, and I moved out that summer. Still, it was perhaps my closest brush with a musical deity, even if I wasn't that into his music at the time. I knew some of his 70's stuff, of course, but it's hard, in a way, to associate someone you know in a mundane fashion to his being a superstar.

Of course, over the years, I would buy his albums and see news bits or spot him in a movie, and have a sort of nice warm feeling that "Hey, David's still out there doing his thing!"

It crushes me that I'll never have that feeling again.
posted by pjern at 6:29 AM on January 11 [202 favorites]


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David Bowie was the first musician that I ever got into. I was a thirteen year old oddball that the other kids steered well clear of. Listening to his music opened my eyes to the fact that being weird could be something extraordinary and transcendent rather than a curse.

I think that he saved a lot of people's lives.
posted by batbat at 6:29 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


Rather than reading what celebrities are tweeting, which has become standard post-death lazy journalism, spend the day listening to his music.
posted by davebush at 6:30 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


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posted by marimeko at 6:30 AM on January 11


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I once referred to Blackstar in a post as "... a bit too self-referential, Bowie is fluffing his feathers." Jesus, I feel like a huge jackass.
posted by Sphinx at 6:30 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


I got to see him in 2004 as part of the Reality tour, and I am sososo thankful for it. Reality is a severely underrated album and I'll be listening to it today and remembering.

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posted by skycrashesdown at 6:32 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


What an amazing world wide wake. My feelings of sadness are swamped by his awesomeness and the joy he brought and the lives he saved and the work he left etc etc
posted by whuppy at 6:32 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Significant presence in my life in high school, just got more important and poignant over the years.

Thru These Architect's Eyes from Outside is the single Bowie tune I will play today. Difficult, you see, to give up.

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posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:32 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


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posted by ZeusHumms at 6:33 AM on January 11




Rather than reading what celebrities are tweeting, which has become standard post-death lazy journalism, spend the day listening to his music.

Or just hang out here in this thread and read the stories, share in the laughter, tears, love, & joy of his life. MetaFilter is making it easier to deal with. It really is.
posted by Fizz at 6:35 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


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I hadn't even heard that he released his final album last Friday. The man was a legend.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:36 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


This is an excellent link to people remembering David Bowie, Fizz.
posted by h00py at 6:39 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


He once came into my store. He was dressed very nondescriptly, but it was definitely him. I cought his eye, and he gave me a look that said 'yeah, it's me, just let me shop.' So I did.

RIP, great one.
posted by jonmc at 6:40 AM on January 11 [41 favorites]


Sometimes I think that Bowie was the closest thing many of us have to a religious figure. He certainly reflected a certain confusion and longing for something deeper that I think many on the edge of faith can relate to.
posted by khaibit at 6:41 AM on January 11 [17 favorites]


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posted by SNACKeR at 6:41 AM on January 11


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posted by DrLickies at 6:41 AM on January 11


More and more I've been getting this feeling that I want to thank people for making my life a little less ... less, that something they did mattered, except I can't never bring myself to find a way to contact them directly to tell them that. So it will probably always be a little late.

Thank you.
posted by squeak at 6:42 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I turned the corner and....
This one time...
When I first heard.....
Backstage we saw....
David once....
You have to listen to.....
Did you know that he.....
This is my favourite.....
I love this one....

So many memories....
posted by Fizz at 6:42 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


.

Guess I'll be listening to Blackstar today.
posted by grubby at 6:43 AM on January 11


*
posted by foxhat10 at 6:44 AM on January 11


Many years ago, I met Bowie. (Sort of.)
posted by pxe2000 at 6:44 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Guess I'll be listening weeping to Blackstar today.

Fixed.
posted by Fizz at 6:44 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


It's just been announced that there will be a tribute concert at Carnegie Hall on March 31st.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:45 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Favorite Bowiie song? Can't pick one.

Favorite Bowie album? Can't pick one.

Favorite Bowie web page? That one is easy.

Peter-R Koenig's David Bowie The Laughing Gnostic.

My favorite Bowie anecdote is the one where Gary Lachman got thrown out of David Bowie's apartment by two bodyguards.

(I had some trouble loading the Laughing Gnostic web page but google has a cache of it here. It is not just a great Bowie web page but a great web page period.)
posted by bukvich at 6:45 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


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posted by Elly Vortex at 6:45 AM on January 11


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posted by shakespeherian at 6:46 AM on January 11


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posted by dismas at 6:47 AM on January 11


god i listened to ziggy stardust so many times in high school.
posted by dismas at 6:47 AM on January 11


If we're picking favourite Bowie songs, I'm going with Moonage Daydream. Or Heroes. Or Fame. Or if we can count duets, Under Pressure.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:50 AM on January 11


If we're picking favourite Bowie songs: “Slow Burn” with Pete Townshend on guitar. That song will stop me in my tracks.
posted by Fizz at 6:52 AM on January 11


I'd go with Oh, You Pretty Things, featuring a young Rick Wakeman of all people, on piano.
posted by jonmc at 6:52 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


💫
posted by fremen at 6:53 AM on January 11


Labyrinth and chill

There will be no chilling during Labyrinth.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:54 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


.

African Night Flight was years ahead of it's time.
posted by cmfletcher at 6:54 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Or if we can count duets, Under Pressure.

Even if you only give him half-credit, it's still in Bowie's top 10.
posted by Etrigan at 6:54 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by MythMaker at 6:55 AM on January 11


It has changed so many times. My latest sudden obsession was Station to Station. Word on a Wing is transcendent.
posted by nakedmolerats at 6:55 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


For those looking to go diving, "Hours" is a lovely, under appreciated album.
posted by davebush at 6:56 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


You know, he's always been so….ethereal and beautiful, and his music just the way that he wanted it, that I realize I am sad (for the art that will be forever undone) -- but not grief-struck that way I have been at other artists' deaths. Maybe because he was just in headlines like last week? Still processing this news, really. (Not to make light of anyone's grief.)

Thanks, Mr. Bowie.

If you say run, I'll run with you
If you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall
Into my arms
And tremble like a flower

posted by wenestvedt at 6:59 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


Look Back In Anger was my morning commute.
posted by ian1977 at 6:59 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I just can't pick one favorite David Bowie song. Too many choices.
I bought a copy of Changesbowie when I was in high school. I played it so often that I wore out that cassette.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:00 AM on January 11


I won't make claims to being the biggest Bowie fan, but Stardust is an oft-played album.

Reading up on him this morning, I've also discovered he cloud be fantastically funny. This bit from Ricky Gervais' Extra got belly laughs!

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posted by Frayed Knot at 7:01 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


The first line of Pitchfork's review of Blackstar: "David Bowie has died many deaths yet he is still with us."
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:01 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


In college I used to DJ the "Bad Bowie Half Hour" where the tagline was, "Because bad Bowie is better than no Bowie." I would play the worst of Bowie music. So a lot of "Never Let Me Down" and "Let's Dance," but a bunch of early stuff from when he was "Davy Jones and the Lower Third" and bootlegs as well.

Most people are too young to remember a time when Bowie music just wasn't available in the states. You had the choice of two discs or used music. Those dark times didn't last forever. Ryko fixed that.

I used to be a near completist when it came to Bowie. He was probably one of the first musicians I loved. I had some others I liked, but those guys sucked and didn't survive the test of time.

My first cassette tape was "Ziggy Stardust."

I won't miss Bowie at all because for me he'll never be gone.

When I am 5

or

The Laughing Gnome
posted by cjorgensen at 7:04 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


The Celebrity Big Brother producers are not total pricks and did tell Angie the news. She opted to stay in the house, which I think David would approve of.
posted by Etrigan at 7:04 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I remembered this morning a memory I'd forgotten of seeing Bowie perform on the Sound+Vision tour (the farewell to the past tour) at the old Sullivan Stadium (now gone) with a good friend from high school who I've lost close contact with over the years. Life is too short, too damned short.
posted by kokaku at 7:04 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


A 26 year old in my office doesn't know Bowie, doesn't see the big deal. "Is he as big as Eminem?"

Girl. Don't. Even.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:04 AM on January 11 [23 favorites]


The song "Five Years" formed the core of Starglass and is worked through the prologue. I feel so gutted by this news, but grateful that he was ever alive.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:05 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Ziggy plaaaaaaaaayed! Guitaaaaah-aaaaar!

(I'm picturing him and Lemmy having one helluva jam session in the rock'n'roll afterlife)
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posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 7:06 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Bowie Bonds Drove Changes in Markets Leading to Esoteric Finance

The musician, who died on Sunday, was the first to securitize royalty streams,
selling $55 million of Bowie Bonds in 1997 that were tied to future earnings
from hits including “Space Oddity” and “Changes.” Securities backed by royalties allow artists to raise money without selling off their works completely or waiting years for payments to come in.... “Bowie’s bonds were as groundbreaking as his music,” said Rob Ford, a London-based money manager at TwentyFour Asset Management, which oversees 5.3 billion pounds ($7.7 billion). “Not only were they followed by a number of other artists, but they set the template for deals backed by a whole range of assets.”

posted by Brian B. at 7:08 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


It's no understatement for me to say that I can still sit and watch the video for "Ashes to Ashes" over and over and get chills from it, both from the connection to the way it woke me up out of a dull slumber of boredom and monotony as a gay teenager trying to discover who he was in the early 80s and to the simple fact of its technical and conceptual brilliance all these years later. There's not a single wasted lyric, not a single unnecessary shot. And that's just one of almost countless examples in a life full of them.

Even his supposedly "bad" efforts, or his throwaways, took chances and made risks in ways that few pop artists ever did then or certainly ever do anymore. He had very little fear of what would happen to him if he stopped "appealing to the masses," and he always followed his own star. He surely always in mind had the long view of what artistry means.

If anyone can be said to have adhered to the cliche of living life to its fullest, it would have been him.

RIP ......
posted by blucevalo at 7:09 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


French station FIP has a tribute (likely to be heavy on music, light on talk and big on on the less obvious) streaming from 20H CET.
posted by rongorongo at 7:10 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


David Bowie channelled by Mott the Hoople: All The Young Dudes
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:10 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I know exactly why I love Bowie. All his music, even his most accessible work, has a sense of mystery to it.
posted by davebush at 7:13 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]




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posted by shoepal at 7:15 AM on January 11


Wow. Godspeed you transhuman genius.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:15 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


You know, the problem with Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth (and you are all going to agree with me as soon as I say it) is that he made the Goblin King so magnetic and charismatic that everyone I've ever showed that movie to, at some point while watching it says, "What are you doing, Sarah? Forget the kid, Marry Jareth and become the Goblin Queen!"


posted by Rock Steady at 7:22 AM on January 11 [45 favorites]


"Bad Bowie Half Hour" where the tagline was, "Because bad Bowie is better than no Bowie."

Ah-choo! Excuse me. . . . bloody obscene, catch pneumonia or something in this rain . . .
 
posted by Herodios at 7:24 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by furtive at 7:26 AM on January 11


He will never die.
Thank you all for the remembrances.

⚡️
posted by blurker at 7:29 AM on January 11


So comforting to read these reminiscences.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:30 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]




Bowie and I clicked for the most part, but never to the point where I was like HELLS YES I AM A BIG BOWIE FAN. I think part of it was that when I was a young man, I heard the singles from Let's Dance and Tonight and saw those videos and was like "nope" because that wasn't where I was musically at that time.

And then over time I listened to lots and lots of classic rock radio and thought to myself "Self, there are a hell of a lot of Bowie songs I've caught you singing along with."
posted by delfin at 7:31 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


not what i needed for this hangover

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posted by dragstroke at 7:32 AM on January 11


I've been listening to Kooks a lot. I sing it to my daughter a lot. This morning I put it on and sang it to her, tried to teach her to say "DAVID BOWIE!" like its a triumphant shout (which it is) (also she has Bowie hair which is so crazy to think that literally her hair just grows naturally like a Bowie).

Anyway the central question of that song is "Will you stay?"
And I realized just today for the first time that this is a song of fear. Every new parent is worried that their newborn will die. They're so delicate, so weak. But Bowie isn't worried about the kid being taken, only that he might depart of his own volition. One of the threads that runs through all of his work is that humans are just wandering spirits, fallen temporarily into bodies, messing around, messing up, destroying things, but at their best partaking in their true supernatural, alien elements. Kooks is Bowie pleading with his child to stay alive, but as sort of a salesman. "You'll like it here on earth kid, this family is really chill, though not very tough. We'll have a lot of fun while we can, though fair warning it can be hard to exist as a weirdo in this world, but we will support you, we believe in you." Today it feels like Bowie is singing this to everyone on earth.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:34 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


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posted by slipthought at 7:37 AM on January 11


I went to sleep crying and I woke up crying. This can't be real. It just can't.
posted by item at 7:38 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I've been listening to Kooks a lot. I sing it to my daughter a lot.

I love that song. It's even better because it's about film director Duncan Jones
posted by Artw at 7:41 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


I loved that he was also such a fan, helped a lot of my heroes produce some of their best work. He got that feeling of wanting, desperately, to belong.
All the young dudes (hey you there with the glasses)
Carry the news (I want you)
Boogaloo dudes (I want you at the front)
Carry the news (now you all his friends)
All the young dudes (now you bring him down 'cause I want him)
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes (I want him right here bring him come on)
Carry the news (bring him here you go)
All the young dudes (I've wanted to do this for years)
Carry the news (there you go)
Boogaloo dudes (how do you feel)
Carry the news...
posted by Bron at 7:41 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


This is really hitting me pretty hard. I'm usually OK with celebrity deaths (except for Lennon). Bowie is really one of my big four favorite musical artists along with The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. And for me, Bowie is really tied up with a good friend of mine who died of cancer three years ago. I remember going to this friend's house after school and he played Future Legend / Diamond Dogs for me. That kind of blew by Beatles/Beach Boys/Billy Joel listening-to-mind. I think on that same visit I discovered Robert Crumb, Vaughn Bode and EC Comics.

Every time a new music trend came along, I thought to myself "Bowie already did it" and I was usually right.

I'm grateful I got to live in the same world as him for awhile.
posted by marxchivist at 7:42 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I've said for a long time that the only two celebrity deaths that really deeply affected me were Jim Henson (I was so distraught I was sent home from work) and Fred Rogers (whose interview with Diane Rehm mentioned he was having a little tummy ache -- he died of stomach cancer soon after, and it still tears me up that he was still being Mr Rogers even during that adult conversation)...

But shit. This news has me really shocked and stunned and I'm actually crying over the death of someone I never met.

Once again....

.
posted by hippybear at 7:43 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


David Bowie is also so much more than his music, which is what makes him so fascinating.

75 of David Bowie’s favorite books. [Death and Taxes]
posted by Fizz at 7:44 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


One of the great core questions of my life, one I go back to again and again, and which is likely irresolvable, is "Which is greater: Bowie's China Girl, or Iggy's China Girl?"

I say this in all seriousness. For me, it is a fundamental question of Art, and of Life itself. The more I examine it, for all its simplicity, the deeper the mystery becomes. The pendulum goes Bowie, the pendulum goes Iggy, and today goes Bowie again. Bowie's sophistication, or Iggy's anger? Certainty, or desperation? Self-assuredness, or self-loathing? How is this the same song? Is it the same song? What fault is there in language itself that allows this dichotomy? Who are these guys?

For all of his great, magnificent, strange body of work, I love Bowie for that one song. I love Bowie for this one question. He and Iggy gave me this gift, the delight and revelation of just a search within Art. So simple. Yet not at all. Not at all.

My gratitude is as great as the search itself.

And then:

My little China Girl says
Oh baby, just you shut your mouth.
She goes... Shhhhhh...

posted by Capt. Renault at 7:44 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


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posted by cazoo at 7:45 AM on January 11


2015 is turning into the September That Never Ended. :-(
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:45 AM on January 11


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posted by Sys Rq at 7:48 AM on January 11


Some of you may be aware of the Metafilter subsite called Metafilter Music. There was a David Bowie Challenge there (I used to love those Challenges!) back in 2013, and here's the one I was assigned, Suffragette City. Only one of the many, many terrific songs the man wrote.

So long, David Bowie. You've left us, but your music's gonna be around, listened to and loved, for a long, long time.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:50 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


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posted by dlugoczaj at 7:51 AM on January 11


Some random memories:
• I was trying to recall my first awareness of the thing called Bowie. I think I can pinpoint it to being 10 years old and seeing this new song on TV late at night around 1979 (music video? what's that?) It was Look Back in Anger, the sort of Dorian Gray thing where he's painting a self-portrait in a loft and turning into the painting and then smearing paint all over himself. It was like, "what the fuck is this" but I couldn't look away.
• The Ashes to Ashes video was all over TV the next year and I loved it, couldn't get enough of it. Again, it sort of scared me but I couldn't look away.
• My best friend in junior high was obsessed with Bowie and we spent countless hours in his basement listening to albums. The image is burned into my mind: stereo system sitting on top of the orange-carpeted risers with a window looking out at ground-level, stacks of vinyl on the floor, the David Live album cover at the front of the pile while the music blasts, again. My friend's dad made wine in that basement, and I remember getting hammered down there the first time I slept over, flipping Bowie album sides, laughing about our dark purple teeth and making countless trips upstairs to the bathroom, (trying to be quiet because his parents' room was right beside the bathroom.) At breakfast his mom remarked that never before had she encountered someone who had to pee so much.
• When junior high ended, in the summer after grade 9, most of my friends stayed in the city and went to summer school. We have a summer cottage, which is all kinds of awesome but when you are 14 and all of your friends are starting to hang out downtown in Toronto and do cool stuff, spending 2 months in the middle of nowhere with your parents is not the thing you want. It was the summer of Let's Dance and absolutely everyone in the world was going to see the Toronto concert at the CNE and I was stranded up north. When I started high school in grade 10, it seemed like everyone already knew each other and had cool stories and Serious Moonlight t-shirts. I still feel out-of-the-loop for missing that concert.
• I attempted to cover Star a while ago.

I'm still kind of sitting here going "what?" Currently listening to the Bowie-devoted Q show on CBC.
posted by chococat at 7:52 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


It's been tremendously comforting that folks are sharing Bowie stories like critiquing MTV for not showing black artists, donating to the defense fund for the Jena 6, and speaking out about his discomfort with the treatment of Aboriginal Australians.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:56 AM on January 11 [21 favorites]


This is one of those "I remember where I was when first I heard the news" moments. Last one was when MJ died. I was just playing some Bowie for my five-month-old son the other day.

⚡️
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:56 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I keep seeing people say his death is hard to believe. it's unpleasant to believe, but if anyone on this planet knew he was going to die, it was David Bowie because he lived the everloving shit out of his life.

David Bowie, thanks for spending 69 years preparing for this moment. Not a minute wasted.
posted by GuyZero at 8:01 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


His music will always make me feel like a child -- not just because I was young & a blank slate who was hugely impacted by his music in the 70's, but also because it was so full of hope & vitality - everything was new again every time I listened to him - so much exuberance, so much excitement. To be alive when he was alive has been a privilege which I shall always be grateful for, & I hope I never lose the childlike wonder I feel when I experience his art. Not just a legend -- a piece of history, a game-changer, a backdrop for so many of the important parts of my life, of our lives, our humanity.

Even through the most fucked-up parts of my misguided youth, he was such a brilliant guidepost. The day we bought Let's Dance, it was an absolutely stunning spring day, I was newly in love, & we threw the doors open wide & planted a garden outside the kitchen door while that played, and for a moment every single thing was right in the world in ways that really, it has never been more right, ever.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:03 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Lot of folks referencing lots of albums, but for me, Bowie was all about The Man Who Sold The World. Holy crap is it good.
posted by NedKoppel at 8:03 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


I have a pen that was last used by David Bowie. It's one of my most prized possessions. I've been sick with the flu, and Friday, Bowie's birthday, the mister came into the bedroom and turned the tv on to the Ziggy Stardust movie for me. Palladia was showing nothing but Bowie that night. I'm just gutted right now.
posted by Ruki at 8:08 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


75 of David Bowie’s favorite books

Previously on Bowie's books ...
posted by octobersurprise at 8:09 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Well crap.
.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:09 AM on January 11


David Bowie did not die, Ziggy Stardust just went home.

I do not feel I have adequate words for the loss to the world right now. We owe more to Bowie then we could ever give. I hope to actually have something to say a fraction of a percent worthy of The Sovereign but right now it's just sadness.

Ziggy Stardust has gone home.

I do not have the processing power for the amount of . I need.
posted by Twain Device at 8:10 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


FUCK

.
posted by tarnish at 8:10 AM on January 11


Also, I had forgotten - Bowie started his own ISP in the 90's and then securitized his back catalogue - that is goddamn vision.
posted by GuyZero at 8:10 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


I've always felt bemused at being called the chameleon of rock. Doesn't a chameleon exert tremendous energy to become indistinguishable from its environment?

David Bowie: What I've Learned
(Esquire article from 2004 but still very much worth reading.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:11 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Hard to believe I woke up this morning to a world without David Bowie in it.

Feels wrong.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:12 AM on January 11


Ah well. I'd rather live in the the Twilight of the Gods than to have never known them at all.

but seriously, when Leonard Cohen dies, I'm going to be drunk for a month
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:15 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Side note: the Blackstar CD packaging is beautiful. I'm thankful he cared about that as well.
posted by davebush at 8:15 AM on January 11



"I had a curious dream," the goblin king said. "I was a mortal man."

"Only a man?"

"Not only a man. A magnificent man."

.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:16 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:20 AM on January 11


my comment way, way up thread omitted alexandria, and for that i'm sorry. may peace be with her today.


everyone I've ever showed that movie to, at some point while watching it says, "What are you doing, Sarah? Forget the kid, Marry Jareth and become the Goblin Queen!"

i think it's actually very fitting that jareth the goblin king was so alluring - i loved that movie instantly when it first came out and i've watched it probably more than a 100 times - as i've aged i've realized that (for me) it's a perfect movie about an abusive relationship - you do at one point just want to stay with him, to forget the awful things he's done, he's just so damn amazing and fun and, yes, cruel, but in a way that you can see being with, and his cruel attentions are better than the lack of love sarah is feeling at home. i don't think they messed up there at all, i think they got it exactly right.


The Celebrity Big Brother producers are not total pricks and did tell Angie the news. She opted to stay in the house, which I think David would approve of.

i'm embarrassingly a frequent watcher of uk big brother, and it seems from her telling that david wouldn't approve of anything she's doing or has done for quite some time. she's been very willing to air exactly what she thinks of him up until now. i hope she continues on more respectfully from here on out. everyone has a right to tell their own history and grieve in their own way, but reality tv isn't the place for it. i hope duncan has been shielded from what she's been saying.
posted by nadawi at 8:21 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


David Bowie's Secrets: "I hate dancing."
posted by hwyengr at 8:21 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


New intern at work today: "Who was David Bowie?"

Had to resort to "He was the Walk-Off judge in Zoolander."

I just can't even
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:22 AM on January 11 [25 favorites]


I emerged into music consciousness at a tough time to onboard Bowie. He was one of the faces of the "I want my MTV" campaign, and he was the idol of every one of my idols, but I wasn't sure what to think of "Modern Love" or "Let's Dance" and "China Girl" was worrisome. As was the Coffee Achievers commercial. MTV made a huge deal of the "Jazzin' for Blue Jean" short that was not as monumental as the endless lead-in to the premiere. And then there was "Dancin' In The Streets". He seemed really old to me. (This is ridiculous, he was 38, but to be fair that video is a very short film tribute to cringing.)

I got there in my own way, though not until adulthood. I saw him on the Outside tour because of Nine Inch Nails (who did not benefit from the juxtaposition), and I'm glad that happened. I was almost always years if not decades behind "getting" Bowie, but you can't not get it, at least in the moment, when you're watching him do it.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:24 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


but seriously, when Leonard Cohen dies, I'm going to be drunk for a month

Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox...

I'm in my mid-30s and icons that I grew up with who influenced and shaped my life are already starting to go. I'm not ready for this.
posted by Fizz at 8:24 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


(⚡️.-)
posted by JohnFromGR at 8:25 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


MTV: David Bowie’s Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star Was Glowing Last Night a shockingly touching tribute article that is worth clicking to read.
posted by hippybear at 8:25 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Tom Verlaine is getting up there in years, too.

I don't think my liver will be able to handle that loss.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:26 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I hope Freddie Mercury welcomed him with open arms.

I don't really believe in heaven, but on days like today, I so desperately, painfully hope that I'm wrong. Please let there be another plane of existence, where the greatest among us and the humblest of us can outshine the stars in equal measure.

Godspeed, David, and may your family find peace and comfort in one another and the many memories you made together.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:30 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


Verlaine is by my store all the time, pxe.

Losing Lemmy and Bowie (not to mention Trapper John and Schneider) is the space of a month....rough,man, rough.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


.
posted by domo at 8:33 AM on January 11


Prithee Peace;
I dare do all that may become a man;
He who does more is none.
-Macbeth, pretending to be David Bowie
posted by Navelgazer at 8:35 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


.
posted by pt68 at 8:35 AM on January 11


.
posted by eckeric at 8:37 AM on January 11


Hunky Dory is one of the very few albums I've owned in every possible format from my first vinyl version when I was 15 through cassette and CD and MP3 and I don't think a whole week has gone by in those 35ish years that I haven't listened to at least some of it. I don't cry at celebrity deaths but I wept this morning. I am one of the girls with the mousy hair and I would not be who I am or maybe even be here without the tremendous gift of Bowie.

.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:40 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Pale blinds, drawn all day. Nothing to do, nothing to say. Blue, blue.

.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 8:41 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Oh, Labyrinth - just rotten gender ideology, but I remember when I was little and saw the preview in the movie theater when I was at the movies with a friend and her mom, and I went right home and told my parents about it and said that we had got to see that movie as soon as it came out. And then I waited and waited and then I got to see it, and except for the whole "Sarah is selfish because she doesn't want to take care of her dad's new kid, who is a boy, incidentally, like almost literally every other character in the film except for her absent, implicitly selfish birth mother" part, and except for the fact that I even then thought it better to stay with the goblins [how could you not?] that movie sure lived up to its promise.

You just get old, and the people who were steady stars in the firmament and whose existence organized your mental world die off, and then one day it's your turn, I guess. Neither David Bowie nor Joanna Russ were actually supposed to die.
posted by Frowner at 8:44 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Growing up other kids wanted to be cowboys or firefighters or astronauts. I only ever wanted to be David Bowie...
posted by downtohisturtles at 8:44 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]




.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 8:48 AM on January 11


I was showering this morning when news of Bowie's death came across the radio, which I first interpreted as "[BIG NAME = DAVID BOWIE] passed away after an 18-month-long battle with cancer"

The past few years out of college I've been busy trying to catch up on pop culture and whatnot to try and get current. Bowie and Labyrinth and etc. seemed to have been buried. My big sister was into his music, we played the Labyrinth soundtrack at a seasonal campground up in Northern Michigan while just sitting around, chilling, snacking on the nearest snack. I loved it.

So, for the moment, a prompt "fuck you" to pop culture for burying this treasure in my head. Evidently I have some vinyl searching/purchases to do soon as well

.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:51 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.
posted by chinesefood at 8:52 AM on January 11


So strange that someone so immortal was actually... mortal.


posted by Mchelly at 8:52 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


.
posted by k_nemesis at 8:53 AM on January 11


David Bowie's last release, Lazarus, was 'parting gift' for fans in carefully planned finale

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:54 AM on January 11 [16 favorites]


Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox...

... Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Ray Davies, Willie Nelson, Ringo Star, Robbie Robertson, Joan Baez, Loretta Lynn, Little Richard, Yoko Ono, Merle Haggard ...
posted by octothorpe at 8:55 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


As a man in his early 50s, I'd like to say a special thank you to all the cool older-sisters-of-best-friends everywhere who had all the David Bowie records.


Also babysitters who were actually probably pretty bad babysitters but they let you stay up late and you watched Saturday Night Live when you were 4 years old and you saw Bowie and Klaus Nomi and were forever marked by what you saw and that doesn't seem possible but you have such a memory of it that when you see the video of it in the David Bowie Is exhibit 35 years later that you physically shiver remembering it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:58 AM on January 11 [31 favorites]


.
posted by hollyholly at 8:59 AM on January 11


I picked up the absolute beginners soundtrack in Tacoma in 2013 from the Goodwill "Blue Hangar" bin store with a bunch of other records for about a buck fifty. At that time I was living in Tacoma with son, my ex-wife having taken off with my 2 daughters about 4 months earlier. I was in the process of coming out to myself as a trans woman, having the most unbelievable slow motion trainwreck of a breakdown in the process. I came home, put that album on and couldn't process how badass the title track was. I danced in the living room with my son and put aside a lifetime of wariness of David Bowie in that cold, rainy afternoon. You see, when I was a kid, I secretly wore women's clothes under my boy clothes to school and David Bowie was so out and fearless with himself and I knew I could never be as brave and true to myself as he was, and so he made feel a necessary embarrassment that I needed, but was reluctant to face for decades, but I knew what he meant to me even if I had a hard time sharing that with people.

But that day in Tacoma, "Absolute Beginners" was exactly what I was, and David Bowie was there, celebrating with me having found my truest self and stepping out into the world, no matter how scary it felt.

Rest in peace Bowie, I am gutted.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:59 AM on January 11 [34 favorites]


If a little musical analysis is what you need right now: Queen & David Bowie: "Under Pressure" - 1LIVE Chilly Gonzales Pop Music Masterclass | 1LIVE
posted by maudlin at 8:59 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


We saw Patti Smith last month for her New Year's/birthday shows (she also just turned 69). Michale Stipe opened, sang a few covers, including All the Young Dudes. Such a singalong it was.
posted by rtha at 9:00 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]




Annika, I am so glad someone else has such strong memories for "Absolute Beginners", which I feel like is lesser known / lesser appreciated among Bowie hits. That's the song that I always said I would play at my wedding. something about it is so timelessly, open and free and big and hopeful. I didn't even know I was gay all the times I said "this will play on my wedding someday", but I didn't know if I would ever find someone actually worthy of how much honest, scary, big emotion is on that record. I did. That song was the feeling of my wife, before I ever found her.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:07 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


i found a cassette copy of Changesonebowie in my cousin's room in my aunt's vacation home at the lake. i was probably twelve? i listened to it, totally devoid of any context, and…
i have no words
fuckin' david bowie, man
.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:10 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


It's just been announced that there will be a tribute concert at Carnegie Hall on March 31st.

according to john darnielle, this was planned months ago and the participants had no advanced knowledge of his health while planning it. it seems the announcement was always planned for last night.
posted by nadawi at 9:13 AM on January 11


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posted by Logophiliac at 9:14 AM on January 11


Boys Keep Swinging is my favorite Bowie and the song that I associate most with him, maybe because it's a song I stumbled across on my own, so it feels like "my" Bowie rather than David Bowie that I already knew was serious business.
posted by Frowner at 9:14 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


⚡️

I will miss one of my creative heroes. Peace to him and his family.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:15 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


My second thought after "Oh no." was, "I can't believe Iggy Pop is still alive. WTF Universe?"
posted by Sophie1 at 9:20 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


.
posted by nubs at 9:22 AM on January 11


Coming to separately love the music of David Bowie, Robert Fripp, and Brian Eno in my youth, it tickled my fancy in my twenties when I learned that Fripp and Eno had laid down the sound textures defining some of my favorite Bowie songs.

I feel sometimes that my local radio stations of childhood did me a disservice by not playing a wider variety of his songs, I shouldn't have had to wait until I bought Hunky Dory to hear Life on Mars or the Bewlay Brothers.
Sons of the silent age make love only once but dream and dream
They don't walk, they just glide in and out of life
They never die, they just go to sleep one day.

posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 9:24 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


so so sad.
.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:29 AM on January 11


One of my favorite Bowie memories is not about his music, but when he was standing on stage next to Jerry Seinfeld and some other people at the end of an SNL anniversary show. Seinfeld made a weirdly racist joke about interracial couples, and Bowie just barely opened one quizzical eye to look at him, as if he couldn't have believed that someone would say this in the 2000s, let alone on-air.

He was such a worldly gentleman and old soul; it seemed he was always decades ahead of the dumb, backwards culture he sang about being free of, but even then I imagined him saddened a little that we all still had to deal with the same garbage, even with all the progress he'd witnessed over the years.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:29 AM on January 11 [21 favorites]


brian eno :
David's death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now.

We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of Pete and Dud. Over the last few years - with him living in New York and me in London - our connection was by email. We signed off with invented names: some of his were mr showbiz, milton keynes, rhoda borrocks and the duke of ear.

About a year ago we started talking about Outside - the last album we worked on together. We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that.

I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: 'Thank you for our good times, brian. they will never rot'. And it was signed 'Dawn'.

I realise now he was saying goodbye.
posted by nadawi at 9:29 AM on January 11 [70 favorites]


I can't believe this, but it's good to see everyone else feels the same about him.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:30 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


.
posted by faethverity at 9:32 AM on January 11


I was so sad to hear the news this morning.

A couple of years ago there was a Metafilter Meetup at the Bowie Exhibition at the V&A. It sold out pretty quickly, so we could only get late-ish tickets, but it was great because for about the last hour and a half the place was emptying as the early ticket holders left and so we had plenty of space to enjoy the exhibits.

It's one of the best MeFi meetups I've ever been to - we all had an appreciation and/or love of Bowie to varying degrees, and the opportunity to see such a fantastic representation of his vast body of work was wonderful.
posted by essexjan at 9:33 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


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posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:33 AM on January 11


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posted by jabo at 9:34 AM on January 11


Boys Keep Swinging is my favorite Bowie and the song that I associate most with him, maybe because it's a song I stumbled across on my own, so it feels like "my" Bowie rather than David Bowie that I already knew was serious business.
posted by Frowner


I think you've encapsulated why I like the first Tin Machine album so much, despite it being what it is.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 9:34 AM on January 11


Bowie and Eno were talking about revisiting 1.Outside!? Did we almost finally see number 2? What could have been...
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:39 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I read this interview with Lori Mattix, and even though I love Bowie -- and even though Mattix doesn't identify as a victim and sees her experiences as a fond memory -- I do struggle with this aspect of his life.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:40 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


My sister sent me this tweet from a cardinal at the Vatican:

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown,
engines on
Check ignition
and may God's love be with you (David Bowie)
posted by readery at 9:40 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


I hadn't realised just how important he was in our family, but I just told my son, almost thirteen, and he was devastated. For a kid who wants to go to space one day, losing the Starman is probably pretty tremendous. He reminded me that Major Tom is playing in The Martian in the final scene. I think to him, Bowie is Everything Space.

And always will be.
posted by tracicle at 9:43 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


[Comment removed, maybe skip the "is this terrible rumor I can't source true?" thing.]
posted by cortex at 9:43 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


this gif from the man who fell to earth is what really pushed me over the edge into full-on crying last night
posted by burgerrr at 9:44 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


Somewhere, earlier today, a child was born to happy, expecting parents. The baby was completely healthy but had a harmless condition known as Heterochromia Iridis. The parents had not yet picked a name as the child was born slightly premature. It was a boy. They somehow knew to name the baby David. It seemed like the perfect name.

A man fell to earth and landed in that new life. The circle completes. Life moves on and we are all, even if we don't know it, immortal.
posted by extraheavymarcellus at 9:45 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 AM on January 11


Apparently, Peter Jackson confirmed that during the casting for LOTR, Bowie reached out to him and lobbied hard to play Elrond.

And I mean, Hugo Weaving was great and all, but can you imagine.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:51 AM on January 11 [92 favorites]


This was the first piece of news I saw on a harsh Monday morning... But after some thought I'm happy. By all accounts he led a good life, his artistic output was fantastic and his personas just as much. I'd rather he stayed for one more song, but I won't be sad for a life well lived.

I'll try to...
posted by ersatz at 9:53 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Apparently, Peter Jackson confirmed that during the casting for LOTR, Bowie reached out to him and lobbied hard to play Elrond.

I find it amazing that someone can possess the level of self-control necessary to say No to David Bowie, and yet make three movies out of The Hobbit.
posted by Etrigan at 9:54 AM on January 11 [92 favorites]


Bowie was a foodie. A bit satirical, but meant with love, I'm certain, was Chris Morris' Blue Jam sketch where David Bowie conducts Romantic Dinners as a side business.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:54 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


As a teen in a tiny town in northern Sweden, I was assigned to write a school paper about "an artist." Because it was 1983 and Let's Dance was dominating the radio, I chose Bowie. What a revelation. He blew my mind! I became obsessed with trying to listen to his back catalogue (not an easy task, involving begging the library to send for vinyl records), painstakingly translating his lyrics to Swedish to try to understand them, and looking at pictures of Ziggy/The Thin White Duke and feeling like it was OK to be weird like me. I tried to tell my classmates how awesome he was, but they were all dismissive (at the height of their Kiss-worshiping phase at the time). So David Bowie and his music were mine, all mine. My enjoyment was made all the more joyful because I didn't have to share him with anyone...

I've been busy and had been holding off on listening to the new album; guess it's time now... Goodbye, secret crush, we'll miss you.

posted by gemmy at 9:54 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


Apparently, Peter Jackson confirmed that during the casting for LOTR, Bowie reached out to him and lobbied hard to play Elrond.
And I mean, Hugo Weaving was great and all, but can you imagine.


Well but Elrond was half human, so not really.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:55 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Yeah, but so was Tesla, and that worked.
posted by Etrigan at 9:58 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


I saw the news alert of his passing last night before I fell asleep. It wasn’t until the drive to work this morning, when I was singing along to “Under Pressure” and got to the line where Bowie sings “’Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word,” that I started to cry.

I remember my happy surprise when, as a young kid in the early eighties, I realized that the “Space Oddity” and “Young Americans” singer I listened to on the radio with my dad was also the “Let’s Dance” and “Modern Love” artist from the videos I watched on MTV with my sister. I loved it all. His music continues to mean more and greater things to me as the years pass and time grows shorter.
posted by vespertine at 10:02 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Somewhere, earlier today, a child was born to happy, expecting parents. The baby was completely healthy but had a harmless condition known as Heterochromia Iridis.

David Bowie didn't actually have that. What he had was a permanently dilated pupil in one eye that made it look a lot less blue than the other one. Both blue, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:02 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Somewhere, earlier today, a child was born to happy, expecting parents. The baby was completely healthy but had a harmless condition known as Heterochromia Iridis.

David Bowie didn't actually have that. What he had was a permanently dilated pupil in one eye that made it look a lot less blue than the other one. Both blue, though.


It wasn't genetic, either -- he got punched at school.
posted by Etrigan at 10:05 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I'm deliberately not listening to him today, because I was just listening to him on Thurs/Fri at work last week and I can't quite catch up that today it would have a totally different meaning. Perhaps in another few days.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:06 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]




.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:08 AM on January 11


Hello. This is David Bowie. It's a bit grey out today, but I've got some Perrier water and I've got a bunch of records. I think if I was walking outside at the moment, I'd like to be walking on this street. It's Love Street by The Doors.
http://www.metafilter.com/151413/BBC-Radio-One-Star-Special: In May of 1979 Bowie sat down at BBC Radio One and played two hours of his favourite music.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:08 AM on January 11 [24 favorites]


Bowie was a foodie. A bit satirical, but meant with love, I'm certain, was Chris Morris' Blue Jam sketch where David Bowie conducts Romantic Dinners as a side business.

The Onion, a while back: “David Asks Iman If They Should Just Do Lasagna Again”
posted by Going To Maine at 10:09 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Brian Eno : "We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of Pete and Dud."

Bowie : Eno :: Pete : Dud?

Now there's a connection I wouldn't have made on my own.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:09 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Damn, I'm surprised at how much this hurts. He was the first person to give me an inkling that you didn't have to be conventional to be awesome, and later on, that you didn't have to be young to be impossibly cool.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:11 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


⚡️
posted by Gotanda at 10:13 AM on January 11


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posted by TrialByMedia at 10:13 AM on January 11


Sys Rq and Etrigan, I knew that. I just didn't want a newborn punched in the narrative. I thought a genetic condition might be better suited for a baby. I can amend it to a punched baby if you would like.
posted by extraheavymarcellus at 10:14 AM on January 11 [17 favorites]


.
I have to stop crying and get on with my day.
Slip Away 2002 Paris
posted by dougzilla at 10:14 AM on January 11


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posted by Ber at 10:15 AM on January 11


Fuck. Some deaths are more shocking than others and I'm having a hard time processing this. Somehow I just assumed Bowie was not subject to mortality.

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posted by homunculus at 10:16 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


I can amend it to a punched baby if you would like.

Well, we are talking about the heir to the Goblin Throne, after all...
posted by Etrigan at 10:18 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]




Apparently, Peter Jackson confirmed that during the casting for LOTR, Bowie reached out to him and lobbied hard to play Elrond.

And I mean, Hugo Weaving was great and all, but can you imagine.


Goblin-King not Elf-Lord.
posted by Fizz at 10:23 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by dr. moot at 10:23 AM on January 11


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posted by maggiemaggie at 10:25 AM on January 11


I was never really more than a greatest hits fan, but this still hits hard; Sound and Vision, that jaunty song of alienation, saved my life a couple of times in my miserable twenties. Thank you for everything, Mr. Bowie.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:26 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I never imagined he'd be mortal.
posted by merelyglib at 10:26 AM on January 11


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posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:27 AM on January 11


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posted by Neronomius at 10:28 AM on January 11


Another parent who proudly held his newborn son singing Kooks a thousand times here. Life is so sweet and tragic and beautiful.

We have a children's book called The Robot and the Bluebird. It's a strange and touching story about an old broken robot with a broken heart who is thrown into the junk yard to rust. One day, with winter approaching a baby bluebird takes up residence where the robot's heart used to be and the robot is filled with happiness at the warmth and fluttering he feels in his chest where his heart used to be. But the little bird is still cold and dying so the robot decides to muster all of his remaining strength to carry the bird in his chest through the frozen wastes and across mountains arriving just as his old body gives out.
And when at last the sun shone,
He opened the door to his heart
and out flew the Bluebird,
singing and twittering thank-yous.

The Robot lifted his arms toward her
but he couldn't take another step.
His strength had failed at last.
"Make your home in my heart,"
He said in the faintest whisper,
And he hung his head.

And the Bluebird lived in his heart
always.

And the Robot stands there still,
his arms outstretched
like an old, hollow tree,
home every year
to singing birds.
I just watched Lazarus for the first time and the final lines of Bowie's farewell to humanity are:
Oh I'll be free
Just like that Bluebird
Oh I'll be free
Ain't that just like me?


Both are referencing the same Bukowski poem, I think.

In my job I've watched many people on their death beds and have had the incredible privilege of witnessing their final thoughts. I don't know anything about heaven or an afterlife, but the sense you make of the life you've lived and things you've come to understand in your final assessment as you make peace with your mortality seem to be supremely important. Bowie is telling us he was a fluttering heart that gave life and love and meaning to a cold mechanical world and now he is free like the Bluebird and I think that's just about as fine a sentiment as can be.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:28 AM on January 11 [36 favorites]


You only get to be weird because people like him made it ok to be weird.
We like to think that stuff happens over time, but it doesn't happen *because* of time.
It's still work. It's work of individuals. Taking a lot of hell. At street level.
He was weird when weird could put you in the hospital.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:28 AM on January 11 [50 favorites]




I've been trying to work, because the day requires things of me -- people count on me to not fall to pieces and I owe them a modicum of my attention, but dammit. I just fucking went home when SRV died, & I cannot today because of life. Maybe I should resolve to live it to its fullest because this goddam tragedy shows just how fleeting & transient the whole thing is.

Also, I absolutely adore Tin Machine & will be blasting it in the privacy of my car on the way home this evening. I don't want to pick fights with Bowie fans because we're all suffering today, but I don't understand why people don't get what he was doing there. Again, it's so raw & powerful & vital & alive & of the moment, like all of his music.

Now playing: Looking For Satellites...
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:30 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


Radio presenter announces David Cameron's death instead of David Bowie

Somewhere there is a much happier alternate universe.
posted by Frowner at 10:31 AM on January 11 [28 favorites]


"The planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do...."

Always loved, never forgotten. RIP, great one. ♥
posted by Lynsey at 10:34 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


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posted by dogheart at 10:39 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]




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posted by alby at 10:42 AM on January 11


I'm just going to go with, "David has returned to his home planet. The people of Earth thank him."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:42 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


From an interview last year with Tony Visconti: At the time, in the late 60s, your two main projects were David Bowie and Marc Bolan. Were they very different to work with?

David was more of a “good guy”. He felt he was part of a movement. He had the Arts Lab at the Three Tuns down in Beckenham, where he would give his contemporaries a break in front of the microphone, like Keith Christmas or Ralph McTell. Marc felt like he was in competition with everyone, and he felt in competition with David. David thought there was room for everybody. They’d be together at my place quite often, it was neutral ground and we all just got on great. We’d have maybe one bottle of wine between 10 people as it’s all we could afford, and copious amounts of tea. We’d just jam and listen to records. It was a great time. They were younger than me and still living with their mums, I was their big American cousin in Earls Court.


If I only had a time machine and a bottle of wine.
posted by Catblack at 10:43 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


I was just listening to Queen's Innuendo last night. I'll always tie Bowie and Freddie Mercury together in my memory thanks to Under Pressure. Innuendo is a quite poignant meditation on life and mortality, and it's always been a healing piece for me.

Ride the Wild Wind, Mr. Bowie.

.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:43 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


The husband messaged me this morning, just as I was getting ready for work.

I changed jobs a couple months ago - I work for HSN now, and Iman is one of our partners. We carry her fashion and wig lines. So of course, this is a major topic of conversation at work, and we are all a hot mess.

This man was absolutely amazing, and I cannot believe we have lost him so soon.
posted by MissySedai at 10:46 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


When John Lennon and Kurt Cobain died, their deaths were tragic, but I did not feel the impact. This is different. David Bowie was the first rock star I really thought was transcendently cool. I was introduced to his music (beyond the occasional tune I'd heard on the radio) by the same girl who introduced me to pot and sex. So, just the good associations alone would earn him fond memories. But I dove into his catalogue and got his albums from Man Who Sold... to Station to Station into my bloodstream. Later, I grew to appreciate his Berlin albums. All so great. So smart and soulful and vital. David Live became one of my favorite live albums ever.

I only ever saw him live once, on the Glass Spider tour. Which, by most accounts, was not his best tour or music. The time I could've seen him was on his Station to Station tour, when he came to NYC, and the aforementioned woman had tickets and invited me to go. Me, being heavy into Bowie's David Live Earl Slick-fueled hard-rocking edge, said, no, I wasn't into his new "disco" thing, i.e., Young Americans and S2S. How many times have I wished I could reach back in time and slap the stupid out of my mouth. Minor redemption when that show was released as a bonus disc when S2S was re-released.

Which all goes a very long way to say that David Bowie has been in my life since high school, and, the aforementioned lapse aside, I have always thought he was the ultimate rock Renaissance man. Brilliant taste, brilliant songs, brilliant stagecraft. I have been so sad since a friend sent me the news this morning that I'm mentioning his death to people at work, where I don't usually let the mask slip.

Thank you, sir, from all the way back in her basement, listening to Hunky Dory for the very first time.

aav.
posted by the sobsister at 10:47 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


I heard it last night, in bed, on KCRW. Dan Wilcox broke in on his usual programming, announced Bowie's death, and then played Bowie songs for hours (as did subsequent deejays).

I'm amazed at the outpouring of love and nostalgia and pride. I also love that so theatrical was his public narrative that I fully expected this to be a heavy-handed hoax (parody of 'Velvet Goldmine' maybe?). I love that the hoax turned out to be an almost unacheivable end in our saturated media universe: an album, freshly and not posthumously released, that will never, ever, ever be tainted by journalistic badgering about meaning and word choice and timing and inspiration. It will rest as a singular statement, no questions asked because none can be asked. Here it is, I am dead now and you are alive now.

I'm lifted by the thought that this man could possibly be truly thrilled to have achieved it.

.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:48 AM on January 11 [14 favorites]


I just read the quote from Tony Visconti in this report. Bowie really did plan the timing of the album release and the content of the videos because he knew. Remarkable.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:48 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Here's my offering: my very favourite song to play on handbells is "Under Pressure" (I think it sounds pretty awesome, transcending genre). It was also my wedding recessional, a nice reminder to be with who you love and live life the way you want. RIP sir. You gave much joy.
posted by ilana at 10:49 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


For all of you wondering how and why and where David Bowie passed to.... cue to synchronicity possibly answering the question.....

Just now cleaning, listening to an old interview with this new cat I've come across recently, he's talking about enlightenment and spirituality is a groovy way I have not really heard before (here is a link, I was at about the 1hr38-39min mark when this happened) and the guy is talking about beings/souls learning from earth and moving on, and what it takes to be the sort who truly moves on and I'm wondering about David Bowie and where he went, and look down to see the title of an article in an open copy of Entertainment Weekly, the title is...

The Free State of Jones

I guess this is a new movie coming up, but I'm going to go on thinking that is a clue and an inspiration and something worth sharing with all of you. Starman, indeed.
posted by jbenben at 10:52 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


It's probably good that we can't post pictures on Mefi, because you all would be inundated with photos of my eight year old son dressed as the Goblin King for Halloween, his choice. He also has a Labyrinth movie poster in his bedroom, also his choice. When he hears a Bowie tune on the radio, he starts singing. Not quite sure how I'll tell him later why Dad is so sad. Love for Bowie spanned generations while he was alive, and I don't see that changing now that he is gone.
posted by vverse23 at 10:54 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


I find myself wondering how many more videos we're going to get from Blackstar over the next while, or whether, even if he made more, they are just done now.
posted by hippybear at 10:58 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


photos of my eight year old son dressed as the Goblin King for Halloween, his choice. He also has a Labyrinth movie poster in his bedroom, also his choice. When he hears a Bowie tune on the radio, he starts singing. Not quite sure how I'll tell him later why Dad is so sad.

I have a nine year old Freddie Mercury fan, and we sing Under Pressure in the car a lot - he takes Freddie's part and I sing Bowie's lines. At the end, we often talk about Freddie, and how sad it is that he died so young but that it is good that we have the music to remember him and remind us.

And then, he often says "but David Bowie is still alive, right?"

then, I would say "Yes, David Bowie is still alive."
posted by anastasiav at 11:03 AM on January 11 [58 favorites]


.
you will be missed, Ziggy
posted by dawkins_7 at 11:05 AM on January 11


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posted by antinomia at 11:07 AM on January 11


.

Heard the news this morning and have since spent my morning in and out of crying. I have never cried so hard for someone I didn't personally know. I'm so glad for this thread - it made me feel less alone in my strange and unpredicted grief. David Bowie just felt like a part of my life, always somewhere in the world doing great things. Grew up listening to him, and watching Labyrinth. I'm so incredibly sad. It's going to be hard to get through work today. David Bowie - you will be missed.
posted by FireFountain at 11:08 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Does anyone have any links to radio stations doing talk and tribute today?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:11 AM on January 11


David Bowie's commencement address at Berklee.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:11 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


One Second Before Awakening: Bowie and Eno were talking about revisiting 1.Outside!? Did we almost finally see number 2?

Look, Bowie was an iconoclast and all, but surely the sequel to 1.Outside would have to be 1.Outside.1, not 2.Outside.

posted by wenestvedt at 11:12 AM on January 11


I don't want to talk too much about this one today, but I seriously CANNOT BELIEVE that he dropped a legit album, a creepy intentionally-final video, and then vanished.

There is NO SAFE WAY for any artist to ever top that!
posted by SharkParty at 11:12 AM on January 11 [21 favorites]


Not gone, and he will not be forgotten.

A lesson in how to live. Right up until the minute you fucking die.
posted by howfar at 11:14 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Dear God, in the track I'm listening to right now he's chanting "where the fuck did Monday go?"

Where the fuck did Monday go, Love you till Tuesday, Wednesday born I was, Thursday's Child, Friday on My Mind, Drive-in Saturday, Sunday.

(via)
posted by effbot at 11:15 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he shall make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
posted by chicainthecity at 11:16 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Heres a live station tribute going on now that I found
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:17 AM on January 11


We all have stories about Bowie & our lives. Those stories will live on. That's how it works. Because, damn, that is how it works. Thank you, David Jones.

"The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history." - Oscar Wilde.
posted by kariebookish at 11:20 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


You only get to be weird because people like him made it ok to be weird.
We like to think that stuff happens over time, but it doesn't happen *because* of time.
It's still work. It's work of individuals. Taking a lot of hell. At street level.
He was weird when weird could put you in the hospital.


i want to print this out and put it up on my wall
posted by murphy slaw at 11:21 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


i want to print this out and put it up on my wall


Hah, yeah. I wrote that offhand at 2 in the morning after a couple of cocktails and posted it to my FB and woke up to see that I guess it really struck a nerve because everyone was sharing it.
So go nuts, I say. Im glad Drunk Me write something that resonated with people.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:23 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Only had time to leave a . earlier, but just coming back to say how much I enjoyed his music. "Under Pressure" remains one of my all time favourites, along with Space Oddity.

I'm sure David's spaceship knows which way to go.
posted by nubs at 11:24 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I don't want to talk too much about this one today, but I seriously CANNOT BELIEVE that he dropped a legit album, a creepy intentionally-final video, and then vanished.

There is NO SAFE WAY for any artist to ever top that!


Yes. As sad as I am, I am so impressed with just how goddamn Old Testament awesome this is. It is a nothing-but-net exit if I ever saw one.
posted by invitapriore at 11:24 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


as someone mentioned upthread, KEXP is doing another all-day tribute
they'd just done one on Friday for his birthday (which you can find in their archives)
posted by kokaku at 11:26 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Roddy Doyle's (awesome) faceBook page has a bit about Bowie today. I can't figure out how to post a link other than this weird-o pop-up thing, but here goes anyway: FB.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:26 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


The first cassette tape I ever owned was David Bowie's Golden Years, a compilation from 1983, which showed up in my Christmas stocking around 84 or 85. When we got a VHS recorder mom recorded all the David Bowie videos from Stu Jeffrie's Good Rockin' Tonite (she also did the same for Genesis, mom your rock cred is solid). I could go on, but I've got some music to listen to...
posted by furtive at 11:26 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


And my House Fire Three would be Scary Monsters, Aladdin Sane and Hunky Dory in roughly that order, but then I'd feel bad for leaving Outside in there for as much as I try to talk it up to people, and then it seems kind of silly to bring the album that's kind of the Berlin trilogy apotheosis without actually bringing the Berlin trilogy itself, and then you know I really do love "Miracle Goodnight" enough to bring all of Black Tie White Noise with me, and then...
posted by invitapriore at 11:28 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


This makes me so goddamned sad.
posted by sarcasticah at 11:31 AM on January 11


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posted by playeren at 11:32 AM on January 11


Man Who Sold the World is my favorite Bowie. My older brother introduced me to it, and it quickly became a favorite. Just going through this thread has reminded me of so many good songs, and even introduced me to new ones. I'll miss him quite a bit, especially since it seems like he wasn't even slowing own creatively.
posted by codacorolla at 11:34 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]




There goes my 'try not to drink during the week' New Years thing, 11 days in.
Tonight's plan:
Headphones
Ale
Bowie
posted by chococat at 11:46 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


The current is doing a tribute until 10pm CST tonight.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:48 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by inconsequentialist at 11:49 AM on January 11


In Defence of Bowie, from the International Marxist Group in 1977.
posted by colie at 11:53 AM on January 11 [22 favorites]


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posted by me3dia at 11:53 AM on January 11


"where the fuck did Monday go?"

I've been wondering all day if his death was planned (with him knowing it was coming soon), down to the day. Is it possible euthanasia was an element to the art of all this? The timing just seems amazingly perfect.
posted by davebush at 11:56 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Goddammit, more little pieces of my heart keep just falling off as the day wears on. I have no idea how to live in a world without Bowie. Also I had no idea that I'd have no idea. I'm lost. Grown-ass man, crying at his desk. I feel reduced to nothing.

*deep breath* trudging on.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:01 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


In Defence of Bowie, from the International Marxist Group in 1977.

AMAZING. One favourite is not enough.
posted by GuyZero at 12:01 PM on January 11


Rather than reading what celebrities are tweeting, which has become standard post-death lazy journalism, spend the day listening to his music.

While I agree in all the particulars (it is effort- and thought-free journalism product, and I am listening to Lazarus right now), I confess that I did go and read one celebrity tweet on the subject. I hope that as the celebrity in question is a friend of mine and she has directed four Bowie videos, I can be excused.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:02 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I'm listening to Shaun Keaveny's breakfast show from this morning on BBC 6music. I couldn't listen when it was going out live, but someone tweeted how good it was, and good it is. The show starts just as the announcement was released, and it sounds like the presenters were close to tears, and then the team just threw their playlist in the bin and turned it into a wonderful heartfelt retrospective, discussing and playing his music and music he inspired.

I don't normally post in obit threads, because its not about me, y'know? But David Bowie had my heart and he was the one person I've wanted to see live and never managed to.

.
posted by Helga-woo at 12:07 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do.

*
posted by seyirci at 12:08 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


KEXP today is really good.

Amazon is totally out of David Bowie CDs.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:08 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


The timing just seems amazingly perfect.

Oh, idunno about that. I can see that he planned the release for his birthday, his birthday came, he saw that his work was done, and he let himself expire.

I'm sure there have been studies done on this, where people who know their death to be likely or inevitable have a certain date in mind, like an anniversary or a holiday, and once that day comes and goes, they've reached their goal and accomplished what they had wanted to do, and pass soon after. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this were true for David as well.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:09 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


I'm sure there have been studies done on this, where people who know their death to be likely or inevitable have a certain date in mind, like an anniversary or a holiday, and once that day comes and goes, they've reached their goal and accomplished what they had wanted to do, and pass soon after.

c.f. Charles Schultz
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:10 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


Slight derail: goblin king is a straight up forehead smacker of an askme if I ever saw one. I saw some GK fetishizing going on upthread and I have to smack it down.

He's so controlling and older than me and makes me run in mazes to get to him. Should I dump him? But he has the sexiest crotch pants... Girl DTMFA.

I love that movie, it's a coming of age where a young woman faces the archetypical Bad Relationship, literally realizes "you have no power over me!" and saves the day. Bowie is excellent in that role but dude is no prince. I don't care how high that hair is teased. Or how awesome the soundtrack, which yes I also own.

That is all.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:10 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


I keep coming back to this memory from high school of this shy, quiet girl whose name I forget now, up on stage during the school talent show singing Rebel Rebel, with her starter electric guitar and small practice amp, to the glazed over looks of my fellow classmates. It felt so out of place in suburban/rural Indiana, and it was. And that was powerful, and that was David Bowie to me.

.
posted by Sreiny at 12:11 PM on January 11 [24 favorites]


In Defence of Bowie, from the International Marxist Group in 1977 ... AMAZING. One favourite is not enough.

I'm not surprised to learn that one of the Coasters was a Bowie fan, tho.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:13 PM on January 11


This morning as I blearily stared at my computer screen, these are the first two pieces of information I got today:

1. David Bowie had died.

2. Today Henry Rollins bought a 7" single of Ashes to Ashes from me on eBay.
posted by marxchivist at 12:16 PM on January 11 [81 favorites]


Like MCMikeNamara, my first encounter with Bowie was his appearance on Saturday Night Live, accompanied by Klaus Nomi. The link tells me that was Dec 15, 1979, so I would have been 11 years old. I had a tendency to fall asleep when attempting to stay up for SNL back then, and while I remember Bowie's performance vividly, I cannot remember now what preceded it, nor what followed it in the broadcast. The whole thing seemed entirely dream-like. And also: aggressively weird, in a way that no prior experience had prepared me for.

Part of me was freaked out, but a larger part was intrigued. My social standing at school was abyssmal: I was a terribly awkward nerd, and although later I would come to recognize that I was a nerd for almost entirely the standard reasons that anybody gets categorized that way, the narrative about myself that I'd received from school was that I was not just a dork, but a weird dork. Aberrant in some undefined way. Freakish.

Seeing David Bowie was the first time I saw someone successfully exaggerating their own freakishness as a means of self-expression, and coming off not like a dork, but like a fucking mutant alien. I resolved from that day to Pay Attention to David Bowie.

Five or six years later, after I'd changed schools and peer group, and managed to transform myself into what (in my cultural backwater) passed for a punk, Bowie was still a favorite. I think I was a junior in high school when one of the local punk bands, aggrieved by Bowie's turn towards straight-up pop with "Let's Dance", started performing a dis song about him in their regular playlist. Now, those guys were friends of mine, and I understood the rationale for their contempt, but they were, in the context of that song specifically, a bunch of yokel poseur crybabies unable to grasp any concept of a creative arc that didn't ultimately end at "selling out". It was irritating at the time, and embarrassing to look back on now.

"Blackstar" is an amazing piece of work. Not just a Bowie album, but Bowie in full-on Weird Experimentalist Mode. Knowing that he knew he was dying even as he recorded it, and that he was using the music to express his view of the oncoming end of his life, is astonishing, a committment to art that I don't think will be equalled any time soon.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:17 PM on January 11 [19 favorites]


Goddammit, more little pieces of my heart keep just falling off as the day wears on. I have no idea how to live in a world without Bowie. Also I had no idea that I'd have no idea. I'm lost. Grown-ass man, crying at his desk. I feel reduced to nothing.

You also learned that you have the capacity to be touched this deeply - that's really something. I can tell you how to call me if you need to talk.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:18 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


This has hit me pretty hard. Unexpectedly so. I just never imagined having to live in a world without Bowie. The man was a hard working musical genius who made it look so easy. He was always there, being Bowie. It was impossible to hear him and not recognize him.

I saw Bowie twice, once on the Outside tour w/NIN and on the Area 2 tour at The Gorge in Washington. That show at The Gorge was the best live concert I have ever been too. I knew Bowie was great before that, but I had never understood what an amazing performer the man was until then. We were standing right in front, maybe 25 feet from the man. He wore a suit, but when he played Ziggy Stardust, he became Ziggy Stardust. I swear he became the devil himself when he played I'm Afraid of Americans. It was the anniversary of the death of Elvis, so he did an Elvis song during the encore and he did it better than Elvis did. He held the audience completely in his palm, bringing out emotions at will. It was a powerful experience, one that I will never forget and one that will likely never be matched by any concert I will ever see again. I would give anything to see Bowie again, one last time.

Listening to KEXP, everything seems so sad. I have no idea how to say goodbye, but he did. Blackstar is amazing.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:21 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


I'm not really a Bowie fan, however: My first exposure was hearing Let's Dance on the radio when I was 9 or 10 and thinking it sounded kind of loud and moderately annoying and from then on, wondering what the big deal was about him. 20 years later I heard a remake of Let's Dance which forced me to really listen to the lyrics and realize exactly how excellent they truly were.

Under the moonlight, this serious moonlight.
posted by A dead Quaker at 12:23 PM on January 11


marxchivist: it'll probably wind up on his show this Sunday. He's a huge fan of that period Bowie.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:24 PM on January 11


where people who know their death to be likely or inevitable have a certain date in mind, like an anniversary or a holiday, and once that day comes and goes, they've reached their goal and accomplished what they had wanted to do, and pass soon after

which reminds me of my wild red-haired grandmother, who passed not too long after her 80th, having been in pain for a while. She was just done, even tho I was just devastated when she died. That was when I was at the height of my college Bowie obsession. I went to the Outside tour later that year; my boyfriend, sister, and I got all glammed out at the MAC counter then took the bus to the Tacoma Dome. Self-same boyfriend (now ex-) posted the Tilda/David cross-dressing photo on my Facebook timeline on my last birthday. My other sister, in her posts today, credits me (of all people!) for getting her into Bowie in the first place when she was a little kid. I'm a messy jangle of feelings -- woke in the wee hours with a bad headache, and mr. e said "did David Bowie die?!" since he was already up & on Twitter. I thought, that can't be true? But just googled "David Bowie" and the first link was a NYT obit. I wrote (probably terrible) short story titled Life On Mars when I was 18 and listening to Hunky Dory on cassette tape damn near continuously. There's no tears right now, just a tremendous jumble of feeling.

⚡️
posted by epersonae at 12:26 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Another one here with a mid-20s social media kid in the office (god, I'm old) to whom I have to actually EXPLAIN David Bowie. "I mean, I know who he is and all, but I never really got him. I don't get why everyone is so broken up about it."

I explained about 15 different aspects, concluding with, "I mean, I liked him and all, but I wasn't actually a huge fan..."

The guy laughed. "From everything you pulled up just now, you sound like a pretty big fan to me."
posted by St. Hubbins at 12:27 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Like MCMikeNamara, my first encounter with Bowie was his appearance on Saturday Night Live, accompanied by Klaus Nomi.

There must be an entire generation of us whose first encounter with David Bowie was a couple of really weird minutes of SNL.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:28 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, I'm 28 and basically everyone I know in my age cohort is reacting to this, including a huge chunk of people I'd have never guessed were familiar with his music beyond "Space Oddity". I'm sure there's a rough inverse correlation between an individual's age and knowing about the guy, but I doubt the dropoff is all that steep.
posted by invitapriore at 12:33 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by zuhl at 12:36 PM on January 11


For what it's worth, I'm 28 and basically everyone I know in my age cohort is reacting to this, including a huge chunk of people I'd have never guessed were familiar with his music beyond "Space Oddity". I'm sure there's a rough inverse correlation between an individual's age and knowing about the guy, but I doubt the dropoff is all that steep.

Also, as an alternate example - the people in my office who are having issues remembering who David Bowie is are all in their late thirties to mid-forties.

It's probably less about age and more about never interacting with/needing the right subculture.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:39 PM on January 11 [18 favorites]


The closest I ever came to punching a total stranger was at a David Bowie show years ago, when he toured with Nine Inch Nails. The show had been spectacular, just stunning, and when the opening notes of Man Who Sold the World started, the crowd went nuts--including the guy in front of me, who started yelling at the top of his lungs about how awesome it was that this old guy was going to do a Nirvana cover.

The fury I felt was positively Biblical.
posted by jesourie at 12:40 PM on January 11 [27 favorites]


And The Man Who Sold The World, Lodger, Scary Monsters, and Blackstar just arrived from Amazon. Figured I'd fill out the vital missing bits I couldn't get from the NYC Public Library while I was getting the new album.
posted by kokaku at 12:40 PM on January 11


No jury would have ever convicted you.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:41 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


I'm seconding the 28 and my FB wall is a wall of mourning. (in a fantastic bittersweet type of way, seriously touched by the outpouring).

I'm also leaning toward "exposure to the right subculture"
posted by Twain Device at 12:41 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


January, 1978, corner of 9th avenue & Judah, 2 secret lovers together on the street. Street car wires overhead, the sidewalks bustling, the city glowed like a jewel in the light fog. It was unseasonably warm, the night was young. No one else knew, but we knew, & we were in love. A car drives slowly by, blaring Heroes at full volume. I was alive, electric.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:43 PM on January 11 [19 favorites]


And the last words of his valedictory album are "I can't give everything / I can't give everything away."

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posted by fedward at 12:43 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Farewell, sweet Duke.

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posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 12:43 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by Token Meme at 12:43 PM on January 11


'Member when that one astronaut sang Space Oddity in the International Space Station?

Thank you David Bowie
posted by Golem XIV at 12:44 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


"We live for just these twenty years
Do we have to die for the fifty more?"

He lived all of them, as full as anyone possibly could.
posted by The Deej at 12:45 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


The top note of "Life on Mars" is juuust out of my range and I am now ever more determined to fix it for proper karaoke tributes.

I think a lot of folk think Bowie was mostly flash but only a middling singer. They have not tried to sing Life on Mars or Heroes.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:47 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]




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posted by Soulfather at 12:49 PM on January 11


Bowie as Warhol in Basquiat.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:49 PM on January 11 [9 favorites]


In 1973, when I was an odd boring nearly-friendless pubescent brat in a beige midwestern nowheresville suburb, one night The Midnight Special showed this completely fucking insane thing called "The 1980 Floor Show."

Now I was a pretty big music nerd for a 12 year old, but as you can imagine, I had NEVER seen or even contemplated ANYTHING remotely like the grand strange gobsmacking wondrous slinky androgynous riveting bizarre hardcore shimmering badass ROCKSTAR that was Bowie. I stared and listened and recognized that he was the epitome of everything that rock-n-roll, art, sex, entertainment, style, and life itself were always meant to be. Eternally technicolor and never beige. Moreover, he was clearly a giant freak-flag-flying oddball like me. In any era, in any performance or interview, you only ever had to see or hear him for 10 seconds to know that he was one of Our Kind of People, the misfit toys. How I loved him then, 42 years ago, and every moment since.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:51 PM on January 11 [20 favorites]


I am certain that I first became aware of Bowie because of "Fame." That was 1975 so I must have been all of 7 years old. Everything else about how I became of aware of him is sort of a jumble. I know I saw the Nomi/Arias/Bowie performance on SNL. I know by the early 80's I had a cassette of ChangesOneBowie. No - I had a recording of ChangesOneBowie that my friends had made for me with a bunch of other songs on side B. I used to play it in my old car on a battery powered boom box since my car only had AM radio. I remember our cool bus driver used to play the local rock station and so did my visual arts teacher in high school so I heard a lot of "Suffragette City" and "John I'm Only Dancing." Maybe "Changes" too. When Let's Dance came out, I remember hearing that he had a new song out and thought that The Talking Head's cover of "Take Me To The River" might be the new Bowie song.

Anyhow, my friend was sick of listening to ChangesOneBowie every time she rode with me (and now, in retrospect, I hear the voice of 21 from Venture Bros saying "Poseur" every time I think of this) so she gave me a cassette copy of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Marts. Life changed.

I got to see him finally during the Sound + Vision tour when he was in Foxborough. My friends and I might have made this up, but we've retold it so much that its become real to us and we all believe its true. Adrian Belew was his guitarist on this tour (that is verifiablly true). When Bowie came out, we believe he said "Good evening Philadelphia... Foxborough... Oh, Adrian, play me out of this." The last part was laughed off. The concert was, of course, superb. He used a massive scrim so a giant Bowie head could sing to little tiny onstage Bowie during "Space Oddity" (which I'd never especially liked before that moment and still only enjoy when I hear live recordings) When he reached the "ain't there one damn song that can make me..." part of "Young Americans," rather than hitting the falsetto notes (he'd been having some vocal problems at the time and had had to cancel an earlier Hartford concert as a result), he took a knee and everyone in the audience sang it for him. It was, of course, transcendent.

While I acknowledge that topping his 70's work was an impossible feat, Bowie continued to be a vital artist right up to the end. I'll even be happy to defend his 80's output (except for "Dancing in the Streets" - I realize it was a charity single, but jeez).

I was really impressed with how supportive he's been of new artists in the last decade (Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio and LCD Soundsystem for three).

I was really sad last night and I'm still getting hit by waves of sadness, but the more I look at all he accomplished in his life and the remarkable way he chose to leave us (now that Visconti has confirmed that the timing of the last album and video were deliberate), the more I'm just in awe of how well he lived his life. What an amazing person and how fortunate we all were to get to watch and listen. Vision and Sound. Sound and Vision.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:55 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


I didn't realize how great Bowie was until I saw him live. It was around the time of Let's Dance, and I was too cool to like "pop music." Then I saw him at close range and was just mesmerized. He was a million times more beautiful in person.
posted by theredpen at 12:56 PM on January 11


That's what I love about him too. So many boring, weird kids in boring suburbs, who never knew what they wanted or needed that was different, and this alien freakball wonder just made you feel like there were universes out there you never even knew but they were out there. You could find them someday.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:58 PM on January 11 [16 favorites]


My 1st encounter was hearing Fame on the radio when I was 7, but I didn't become a fan until I was 15 and Let's Dance led me to his other work (and I learned about the Velvet Underground through the cover of White Light, White Heat on the Ziggy concert album).

Two of my most favorite Capricorns dead in the same week. :-(
posted by brujita at 1:01 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Man, I got up, poked around on the internet a bit, saw some stuff about Bowie. I figured it was because of his birthday/album release on Friday. Then I saw an article saying he'd died. I thought it was some weird shit related to that, I am stunned. I have loved him and his music sooo much!

.

Dammit
posted by annsunny at 1:01 PM on January 11


Back in the 90's as a kid without a CD player I listened to that 15 second clip of 'Changes' on the Encarta '95 CD-ROM a whole damn lot.
posted by PenDevil at 1:03 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]




I can't get over it. He gave us new ways to think and feel, to imagine our ways and means - us oddballs, all of us. Showed what it is to live in joyful, generous exploration, invention, to make life of art and art of life. He lived at the highest level, in the most beautiful, most hopeful expression of human potential. (I'm doing the opposite; stuck on cliches because I'm crying, sorry.)

Thank you, David Bowie.

Thanks, everyone, for your stories and links.
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:08 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Will Self nails it for me - a never-to-be-repeated life of genius.
posted by aeshnid at 1:15 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


and now having slept on it and awakened to CBC's Q trying and failing to do justice -- it occurs to me that, unless you were a certain age in the 1970s (when everything that Bowie did wasn't just brilliant, it was profoundly relevant), you probably just can't get the gravity of this man's passing. We've lost a fucking superhero and I don't even believe in superheroes.
posted by philip-random at 1:16 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Also, as an alternate example - the people in my office who are having issues remembering who David Bowie is are all in their late thirties to mid-forties.


Its not a problem of age its a problem of cultural literacy. For old and young.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:18 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


So, the Twitter account "Jim'll Paint It" belongs to a guy who makes pictures of random stuff based on people's suggestions (tell him what random weirdness to paint and he will). Today he announced that he would only be taking requests involving David Bowie, and just a little while ago he posted this synthesis of several of the suggestions he received.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:18 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


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posted by timnyc at 1:20 PM on January 11



⚡️
posted by getawaysticks at 1:25 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


If you had any doubts about the man's incredible smarts, watch Bowie predict the enormous disruptive impact of the internet 15 years ago. It's incredibly interesting. He runs rings around Jeremy Paxman, who is no slouch himself.

I never thought I was a massive, proper Bowie fan, but I spent all morning thinking "*This* is my favourite Bowie song" ... and then I would think of another one I loved, and think "No, *that* is my favourite Bowie song" ... and then I would think of another one ...

Right now it's that sublime guitar break in Starman. But on the bus earlier, it was Station to Station. And before that the baseline of Sound and Vision. This morning it was Heroes. Tomorrow it will be something else, until this feeling of sorrow subsides a bit.
posted by finisterre at 1:25 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]




⚡️
posted by ged at 1:27 PM on January 11


Devastating. Stunning. I thought Lemmy would never die, but I honestly never even considered Bowie dying.
There just aren’t that many left for me at that level. Prince needs to take care.

I grew up with country music and never heard pop music until I was 10, so there are specific indelible moments when I became aware of something. Seeing the Rolling Stones "It’s only Rock and Roll" video with the bubbles and just being dumbfounded, and asking my parents what in the world I just saw (the answer was something like "a bunch of stupid druggy degenerates", YES, I need to be a stupid druggy degenerate!).

Listening to the rock station on my portable radio, thinking I was getting a handle on this Rock stuff and in love with it all when suddenly this song came on, this thing I didn’t even understand. I ran inside and called the radio station and waited forever to talk to the DJ (this is what you did back then, it was like talking to OZ) and asking what that was. "David Bowie, Suffragette City" he said trying not to laugh at the dumb kid and not totally succeeding. Wait, this was out there and people weren’t talking about it all the time? Who were these so called music fans I was hanging out with? There was a whole ‘nother world out there.

Part of me is amazed at the reaction to his death. I know he was one of the biggest stars ever, but somehow he seemed apart, the world’s biggest underground secret, music for oddballs only.
posted by bongo_x at 1:28 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


Commander Chris Hadfield's cover seems extra poignant now, and I'm glad Bowie got to see it.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 1:28 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Bored in junior high and having just seen David Bowie in The Man Who Fell To Earth, I told a few kids that I'd come to their planet to find water because mine was dying. Somehow, over a few days gossip, this was interpreted as planet Earth was on the verge of destruction, and it was my fault. Mass terror swept the campus, and next thing I knew I was hiding with a classmate in a freestanding bathroom in the middle of the school playing fields as a riot swirled, comprised of kids who apparently wanted to kill me to save the world.

Rescued by teachers, crowd dispersed, I was marched to the principal's office and suspended for several days. I didn't really understand why--because I said I was from another planet?--but a few days out of school was a treat, not a punishment.

This happened in Hollywood, California, which is a hick town, whatever you may have heard. But I love it, and Bowie, too. Thanks for showing me the power of storytelling, Starman. It's no game.
posted by Scram at 1:33 PM on January 11 [20 favorites]


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posted by stanf at 1:36 PM on January 11


(except for "Dancing in the Streets" - I realize it was a charity single, but jeez).

It'd never make my top 20, maybe not my top 50, but I still like it. Partly because the video could not be more '80s, partly because I've always found the way Bowie says "on the streets of Brazil!" to be hilariously, adorably, goofy.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:38 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by drnick at 1:42 PM on January 11


⚡️
posted by Spumante at 1:43 PM on January 11


my Bowie story. when i was 16, an older lady took an unseemly interest in me. Though Fran looked and acted like a whackjob, her seemingly magnetic attraction to me was nothing to do with the baser impulses. rather, Fran would often look at me with starry eyes and proclaim "i know who you are! i have always known you!" Fran was heavily into theosophy and esotericism, Madam Blavatsky, Godfre Ray King (Guy Ballard) and his Unveiled Mysteries and such. she saw auras. i was 16, she was in her 50's. she frequently insisted that "you are an old soul". she sat me down one day and told me in dead earnest that she and I had been siblings in past lives, once recounting a chilling story of the two of us traveling to North America on a slave ship and dying enroute. she channeled her Ascended Master St. Germain, filling volumes of notepaper with his teachings. And one day me and a buddy were visiting with her when she picked up a Bowie album we had and just went over the moon. "This man is at the threshold of Mastery! This man will one day make his Ascension in public!" we never forgot that.

in the mid 70's i think it was, Bowie appeared at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, and me and my buddy were in the front, about 20 yards from the stage. we had these big ass binoculars. and when David took the stage i lifted them and had a good look at his face. now maybe it was the binoculars, but he looked down right at me with his brilliant eyes (one blue and one green) and it was as if i had touched a live wire.

so the years passed. i have never forgotten what she said about him, and i've never forgotten that moment in Kazoo. one day i was driving by her house and on impulse i stopped unannounced. Frannie's ties to this earthly plane had by then become so tenuous as to be troubling to her family as well as to those practitioners of psychiatry to whom the family had turned for help. i found her frail and befuddled, but she lit up immediately upon my arrival. Seated at the kitchen table, a table containing a veritable pharmacopeia, i soon gleaned that these endless bottles represented what she was consuming on daily basis. to 'help' her stay sane. Frannie was a mess. it was perhaps the most disturbing scene i had experienced up to that point in my life.

that was the last time i ever saw her. i saw her obit in the paper a few months after. so when i heard about David's passing, i immediately thought about Frannie, and how disappointed she would have been to know he hadn't made his Ascension. or maybe he has.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:43 PM on January 11 [57 favorites]



posted by germdisco at 1:44 PM on January 11


it's not right
posted by Legomancer at 1:52 PM on January 11


A lot of this is remembering what he meant to me. I first got the point of music when I was 12 and rifled through my parents' cassettes and picked out the one with the best title. This was "Ziggy" and it made me the least cool person in the 7th grade and it was worth it. About a year later, my mother made me a dinner of my choice (tomato soup, buttered toast, and napa cabbage leaves-- I don't know, man) and surprised me by saying I could stay up late and watch the David Bowie 50th Birthday Concert. Which we taped and which I watched when I couldn't sleep until I went to college. I know he's not singing directly to me. But it's hard not to feel that way.

I lost two stepfathers in two years and now Bowie? I lost my whole old life through growing up and circumstances and aging and death, and my mom is fading, and I have a life I didn't imagine (I didn't really plan to live this long or to get a shred of what I wanted) and I went into Blackstar knowing that my perfect day of getting the new Bowie album and puttering around the house and listening to it was probably not going to happen again. Life's not fair but I'm so lucky. So lucky to be now.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:55 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]




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posted by Small Dollar at 2:07 PM on January 11


⚡️
posted by gamera at 2:09 PM on January 11


[ '.' * $numberOfBowiesHairdos]

(The fact that Bowie has died at age 69 seems like a sublime parting gesture on his part. That cheeky weirdo…)
posted by LMGM at 2:12 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


⚡️
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 2:15 PM on January 11


Lamest album promotion ever.
posted by sourwookie at 2:16 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


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posted by jlbartosa at 2:18 PM on January 11


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posted by MelanieL at 2:18 PM on January 11


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posted by Miko at 2:23 PM on January 11


Lazarus was risen from the dead 4 days after he died. Did Bowie plan one more surprise for us later this week?
posted by ian1977 at 2:25 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


Where Bowie and Iggy used to live in Berlin there were about a hundred people gathered tonight, listening to his music and lighting candles. (Bad pictures here.) The city owes him a lot.
posted by runincircles at 2:39 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


It made me think even more highly of him when I heard that his most recent album was heavily influenced by the new Kendrick Lamar album and LCD Soundsystem (both of which are genre-pushing themselves). How many people who were making great stuff in the 60s and 70s spend their time lamenting that there is no good music anymore? Not Bowie.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:44 PM on January 11 [16 favorites]


Where Bowie and Iggy used to live in Berlin there were about a hundred people gathered tonight, listening to his music and lighting candles.

Same in Brixton, at the theatre where his mother was an usher when he was six.
posted by Mezentian at 2:47 PM on January 11


His Drum'n'Bass inspired album is more often interesting than good, but by gosh he made a Drum'n'Bass album, and it wasn't just a copy of Goldie or whatever with some warbling on top, he took the tools and techniques available through D'n'B to him and made something new with them.
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Through a bizarre chain of events, I got to meet David Bowie, in about 1980, back stage after a performance of The Elephant Man. He was incredibly charming and utterly arresting. Those eyes! He bummed a cigarette from me and I was so happy that I had Balkan Sobranies in the cool tin to offer him. And I asked him to sign my program, which he did with his non-dominant hand because he had injured the one he favored by getting it caught in a car door; he said he was trying to catch the door so it didn't close on someone's coat. It was a wonderful encounter. I still have the program somewhere, but I failed to take good care of it. Rest in peace.
posted by carmicha at 2:50 PM on January 11 [15 favorites]


Listening to "Girl Loves Me" from Blackstar and the lyric "Where the fuck did Monday go?" repeats over and over.

Where did it go indeed.....
posted by Fizz at 2:51 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Bowie at Live Aid. 17 minutes of pure genius, played on two week's notice with a pickup band led by Thomas Dolby in front of a sold out Wembley Stadium and about 1 billion people watching on TV.
posted by vibrotronica at 2:51 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Artw, are you talking about Earthling?
posted by invitapriore at 2:54 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I love the video to "Little Wonder" from that album because it's so maximally 90s, especially with the goatie and spiky hair that has him looking like he could be the lead singer from 3 Doors Down or something.
posted by invitapriore at 2:55 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]





posted by pandalicious at 3:05 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by feral_goldfish at 3:07 PM on January 11


He was the first rock star who didn't remind me of someone else.

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posted by 4ster at 3:09 PM on January 11 [19 favorites]


This news took over my day from first thing this morning. I was in a pub here in Brighton this afternoon, which (like many others in the UK and all over the world, I'm sure) was just playing Bowie all day. It was lovely. Then "Heroes" came up and I got a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

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posted by ob at 3:26 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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Thanks for the Live Aid link, vibrotronica. I am a huge T. Dolby fan as well, and had forgotten he led the band for Bowie's set. Not that you could tell from the video--one quick shot of Dolby, endless shots of everyone else. Ah well! Bowie was amazing, of course.

That just doesn't seem that long ago.
posted by clone boulevard at 3:28 PM on January 11


Keep the video links coming, people. This is what I'm doing tonight.
posted by chococat at 3:34 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


bowie + mick [Ronson, that is]
posted by philip-random at 3:40 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


"Blackstar" is an amazing piece of work. Not just a Bowie album, but Bowie in full-on Weird Experimentalist Mode.

I used to love him, still do, but this was the only new thing of his in years and years that made me take notice. Holy shit, he is still creating visionary and good stuff is what I thought to myself. Now the idea that this was all quite well planned as his death work, it kind of freaks me out. The "I'm a black star" wispy chant is stuck as an earworm on repeat in the back of my head, visions of the bejewelled temple skull of Major Tom... he made this to say goodbye, really disconcerting.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:41 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]




You can have the video for Jump They Say.

The early 1990s were a dark time. Bowie was getting ripped endlessly in NME for Tin Machine (I never listened, so I can't say why), and to me Bowie was never a freak, but part of the music establishment. He did songs with Queen and Mick Jagger, and dated supermodels.

He was The Man (and not the righteous man, but The Man).

I heard that song and, for some reason, it spoke to me, sax and all. I thought I may have written off Bowie too soon. That maybe such an old man might have somefink to say to the yoof, something relevant.

And now, here I am 20 years later listening to Blackstar, recorded when he was 69, thinking I was a young punk.
posted by Mezentian at 3:45 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


iviken: "On his last concert tour in 2004, during a concert i Oslo someone in the audience threw a lollipop towards the stage. The lollipop stick hit Bowie in the corner of his eye, and got stuck there (photo).

"Bowie stopped the show and shouted, “You f—ing wanker! You little f—er!,” as the crowd booed, according to the Norwegian press. A panicked member of his entourage rushed onstage and helped him remove the lollipop, after which Bowie continued the show. His camp later downplayed the incident on his official Web site, where it was noted Bowie then threw a guitar pick in the crowd and joked that he’d better hide because it might have gotten stuck in someone’s eye."
"

Norwegian press today interviews the woman who threw the lollipop, who's coming out publicly for the first time.

Key points: She didn't throw it, someone bumped into her while she was holding it up to cheer, it didn't get stuck in his eye, it just hit him there and the photo was taken at the exact time of impact, in fact, it fell to the stage immediately, and, most incredibly, she was the person who caught the guitar pick Bowie threw into the audience later on, which is very weird coincidence.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:47 PM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Artw links to a good Tilda Swinton speech about Bowie: "All the nicest possible freaks are here".

And over on the BBC's 6 Music there's Jarvis Cocker paying tribute too: “He was like an umbrella for people who felt a bit different".

I'll always be grateful to Bowie for being a gateway to counter-cultures and interesting ideas.

Pre-easily accessible internet, his work, and interviews, pointed me (and many other people I knew) in all kinds of interesting directions... to Iggy, Rimbaud, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin and so many others.

Thank you Mr Bowie. I miss you.
posted by Speculatist at 3:48 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Keep the video links coming, people. This is what I'm doing tonight.

All righty. One of my most fave latterday live clips: Bring Me the Disco King in 2003. What I wouldn't have given to be in that audience.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:51 PM on January 11


I saw this posted linked somewhere today (now I'm blanking on where) as a tribute to Bowie, but I'm afraid I don't fully understand it, partially because I've come to Bowie's music and alter ego's late. Could someone please explain if it's referencing things in his work?

Immortality, Of A Kind. by Kieron Gillen
posted by bluecore at 3:51 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


From the Guardian liveblog:
A tribute too far?
— Crocs Shoes (@Crocs) January 11, 2016
Your magic will be missed, but your inspiration lives on forever. #DavidBowie pic.twitter.com/M9SdeGynvO


The tweet has been deleted, but the Internet remembers.
posted by Mezentian at 3:52 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


At a guess, Kieron's referencing Luci from the Wicked & the Divine as the character dresses like Thin White Duke Bowie.
posted by Kitteh at 3:53 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "So, the Twitter account "Jim'll Paint It" belongs to a guy who makes pictures of random stuff based on people's suggestions (tell him what random weirdness to paint and he will). Today he announced that he would only be taking requests involving David Bowie, and just a little while ago he posted this synthesis of several of the suggestions he received."

That's pretty great, but I think you're underselling the genius of Jim'll Paint It a bit. It's what you say it is, but also in MS Paint, and, you know, fantastic.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:54 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by Canageek at 3:55 PM on January 11


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posted by Michele in California at 4:00 PM on January 11


I wish we could just post thoughts and remembrances and songs and videos here for the rest of the damn year. I don't think I'm ready to return to the world-without-Bowie.
posted by vverse23 at 4:00 PM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Reflecting some more on this, I think a big part of why this hits so hard for me is that David Bowie is a big component of my relationship with one of my very best friends. He's a super fan and, as far as I can tell, his knowledge of the man's work is damn near comprehensive, to the extent that I feel like I know almost nothing by comparison. I liked Bowie before, but it was pretty much impossible to be friends with Nick and not become a huge fan myself, and so many of my good memories with him involve Bowie in some way: like when we lived together in this shitty house in St. Louis which for some reason had a video projector in the basement, and my mind was blown when we watched the Miracle Goodnight video on a whole damn wall while tripping our faces off (and I laughed maniacally for a good five minutes when -- and you'll know the scene I'm talking about if you watch the video -- he said "King Shit of Fuck Mountain" during a particular part), or when we went on a road trip to Colorado and my voice was hoarse by the end of the trip from all the singing along we'd done on the way to Hunky Dory, or when we'd go to karaoke at Talayna's and they had two mics and, being a tenor, he'd sing harmony on Space Oddity. I loved too how I could explore Bowie's stuff on my own and then come back to him like, "you know, I'd never really given The Bewlay Brothers a good listen, but that's a great little song," and of course he already had a lot of feelings about it and we'd talk for a while about whatever new little gem I'd come across, or, both of us being Lou Reed fans, he'd tell me about how awesome the I'm Waiting for the Man cover he did on the Sound & Vision tour was... Naturally, he was the first person I texted when I read the news last night.

It's just amazing to me to think that the landscape of his work is vast enough to house entire friendships. That has to be towards the top of the list of great things that art can accomplish. I have a lot to thank him for.
posted by invitapriore at 4:01 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Holy fuck of all celebrity deaths this was the one I was most scared of. I just found out and am still processing it- dude was so critical to my and a million other people's youths and entire aesthetic outlooks. Like many kids, I was a total Bowie worshipper, first in the closet as my hippie friends disapproved, and then well, he was the gateway drug of 1980s music.

I remember in college playing Ziggy Stardust in a friend's beat up VW and him good naturedly yelling that we needed to sing along or get out of the car. We were yelling the words of "Five Years...my brain hurts a lot" and "I love you you're beautiful, I kiss you you're beautiful" and Matt screaming "SING! Dammit! SING OR GET OUT OF THE CAR!"

That's how mandatory Bowie is :)
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 4:05 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]




Correction, the Station to Station tour, not Sound & Vision. Bad fan!
posted by invitapriore at 4:13 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Gonna peruse all these great links.

But for now,

.
posted by Artful Codger at 4:15 PM on January 11


How heartbroken do you have to be to not be able to leave even a single


.


all day in order to keep it together at work?
posted by vers at 4:15 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


After looking at images of Bowie for a while, I turned to Mr. Universe. On seeing my expression his black stache curled and he gave me a knowing wink.

"Still think," said Universe, "that you have *any* idea of what's behind all of this?"
posted by Twang at 4:20 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


overheard on Facebook:

The thing about Bowie was, he was never afraid to stand out, never afraid to do something strange or whimsical, was always wholly himself, even when he was playing a character. Beauty, for him, was not a weapon, not a needy monster, not a pandering thing, but a staircase to divinity. He was an aesthetic with a deep deep soul. He was a shy boy and an over-the-top queen. People didn't always understand what he was doing, but he kept doing it until everyone not only got it, but loved it, needed it. He inspired this weird little girl to be more brave and more beautiful and more strange and for that I will always be grateful.
posted by philip-random at 4:31 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]




“Something Happened on the Day He Died: A Tribute to David Bowie,” Lou Anders, io9, 11 January 2016

Good stuff.
posted by bongo_x at 4:36 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


They cut it off, but Lester Holt had tears in his eyes after the obituary they ran on the NBC Nightly News. It made me tear up all over again. NBC News also has a really nice round-up of quotes from the great and the good and other coverage.

The World News Tonight obituary wasn't anywhere near as good and I can't find a link for it, but it was the second story in the broadcast. They do have a live stream from Bowie's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:42 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


.
posted by diggerroo at 4:43 PM on January 11


⚡️
posted by immlass at 4:48 PM on January 11


I feel more hurt by this news than I would ever have expected to feel. And it's not so much that I was his biggest fan ever, but that his music, his artistry, is woven into my life, like, well, like breathing. He always just was, until today, when he wasn't. Like breathing.

He was everywhere, and never in a bad way. There was never a moment in my life where I thought, "Is that Bowie guy plugging something else? Goddamn it, man, back off!" And it occurred to me that, yes, I have every single one of his albums. I got Blackstar on Friday.

Learning the news this morning hit me like I'd been slammed in the gut with the sort of hammer one uses to drive in rail spikes.

It hurt to read also that he collapsed backstage at the premiere of his play here in NYC just a month ago. I wonder if he thought of this poem as he went about his last months, before he had to just stop.

I think all of us who have seen loved ones succumb know a little bit of what his family feels today; even when you all can see the end is coming, it's still just searing pain inside when they finally do slip away.
posted by droplet at 4:50 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


His last photo, taken by his wife, Iman on his birthday, the 8th.

Leather shoes without socks?
He pushed against convention, right until the end.
posted by Mezentian at 4:50 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


From his "newer" stuff, my favorites were always

Strangers when we meet, from the critically-ignored album Outside. The song always sounded to me like a companion piece to "Heroes" - what does it feel like 20 years later when all the passion is gone and you run into them again on the street? A relationship so meaningful reduced to what? he captures it perfectly

All my violence
Raining tears upon the sheet
I'm bewildered
For we're strangers when we meet


Slow burn From the album Heathen - awesome guitar, stellar vocals

Conversation Piece which technically yes is a demo from his earlier years but this updated recording surpasses the original in vocal expression and arrangement. It's a song about a lonely bookish chap who is awkward in conversation even though he has a lot to say.

There are more I would link to... Heathen is a fabulous album!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:51 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


What also got me about him was that a man so cool could also be so unabashedly gushy and genuine. Read any interview about his early days with Iman - the man is capital-H Hooked! Or look at pictures of him with his kids when they were young. It's embarrassingly mushy for anyone let alone David Bowie but fuck it why not. I loved that aspect of him.

Yeah this news is hitting me pretty deeply. David fucking Bowie died.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:59 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Some things I learned from David Bowie, in no particular order:

1) You don't have to be one thing. You can be a lot of things.

2) You can be as weird as you want to be. It's okay to be intensely, aggressively weird. At the same time, if you're kind of tired of being weird, you can give it a rest for a while.

3) You don't have to be perfect. You can even have an off decade or two. Just keep doing stuff and you'll eventually find another vein.

4) You can be a private person and still be an artist. You can be vulnerable in hints and glimpses, and in some ways that's more powerful than just laying it all out there.

.


posted by speicus at 5:02 PM on January 11 [56 favorites]


Lorde's Facebook post is especially moving. If the mods allow, I quote in full below.
When a hero dies, everyone wants a quote. I woke up this morning with a tender head from tears and that big red cup of Japanese whiskey, gulped last night just after the news came. People were already asking me what I thought. It feels kind of garish to talk about oneself at a time like this, when the thing that has happened is so distinctly world-sized. But everything I’ve read or seen since the news has been deeply intrinsic in tone, almost selfish, like therapy. That’s who he was to all of us. He was a piece of bright pleated silk we could stretch out or fold up small inside ourselves when we needed to.
Mr. Bowie, I guess right now we have to hang this thing up for a minute.
The night I met him I played at an expensive Vogue benefit with a lot of fresh flowers, honouring Tilda. I was not quite seventeen, America was very new to me, and I was distinctly uneasy and distrustful toward everything happening in my life that was putting me in these flat-voiced, narrow-eyed, champagneish rooms. I played my three songs, thrashing and twitching in platform boots. Afterward, Anna clasped my hand and said “David wants to meet you,” and led me through people and round tables with candles and glasses and louder and louder talk, and he was there.
I've never met a hero of mine and liked it. It just sucks, the pressure is too huge, you can't enjoy it. David was different. I'll never forget the caressing of our hands as we spoke, or the light in his eyes. That night something changed in me - i felt a calmness grow, a sureness. I think in those brief moments, he heralded me into my next new life, an old rock and roll alien angel in a perfect grey suit. I realized everything I’d ever done, or would do from then on, would be done like maybe he was watching. I realized I was proud of my spiky strangeness because he had been proud of his. And I know I'm never going to stop learning dances, brand new dances.
It's not going to change, how we feel about him. For the rest of our lives, we'll always be crashing in that same car.
Thankyou, David Bowie.
posted by vac2003 at 5:03 PM on January 11 [53 favorites]


His last photo, taken by his wife, Iman on his birthday, the 8th.
No.
The pictures were taken by Jimmy King on or before Bowie's birthday. Posted on his website on his birthday. Someone 'shopped out Jimmy's photo credit and stuck it on Twitter.
posted by chococat at 5:07 PM on January 11 [22 favorites]


Hey, cosmos? I ask and beg you for a bargain.

I'll trade you a thousand crooked politicians, tens of thousands of corporate board members, a million shitty cops, every last artist that ever made it to the Billboard top 40 or sold more than a million records (except for Kate Bush), one Iggy Pop, one Keith Richards and two dozen Paul McCartney's - all delivered on my own knife - for one David Bowie.

Yeah, I know. I know it's not enough. I did ask for a bargain. I'd consider offering Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson, but you already took them.
posted by loquacious at 5:09 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


In the early 2000s, one of my favorite revival theaters in Los Angeles played a 35mm print (I think) of Ziggy Stardust. I went to see it and it felt like we were THERE. That film has some of the best enraptured fan footage of all time, I thought. Then I looked back at the audience and they had the exact same looks on their faces—jaws dropped, sparkle wonder recognition awe glory adoration. And so did I.

***

Once I was in a motel with my boyfriend laying in postcoital bliss in a cheapo bed and we turned on the TV. David Bowie on Soul Train, blasé and in control, and the Soul Train dancers interpreting the HELL out of "Golden Years."

***

I happened to talk to my dad on the phone today. He's a classic rock dude who plays in what I fondly call "My Middle-Aged Dad Band" and who has some truly surprising musical proclivities. We had roughly this exchange:

Me: Dad, I'm really bummed that David Bowie is dead. Like...more sad than I realized I would be.

Dad: You're wrong, kiddo. David Bowie will never die. He's alive all over the world. Anyone who has ever listened to him or loved him will keep him alive forever.

A bit of immortality, thanks to the unexpected combination of my dad and the Starman.

Thank you, Mr. Jones.
posted by mynameisluka at 5:10 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


.
posted by buzzv at 5:16 PM on January 11


So many great songs over so many years. And his new album was still bringing it.

.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 5:17 PM on January 11


one Iggy Pop [...] all delivered on my own knife - for one David Bowie.

Whoawhoawhoa -- let's not go nuts..!
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:20 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


I'm not exactly sure when I really started listening to his music, but I spent most of my last year of high school doing so, feeling really depressed. I thought about dying a lot. I remember playing "Space Oddity" over and over again and wondering what that point of losing contact with the world would be like as Bowie wailed "this is ground control to Major Tom." I also listened to "Golden Years" a lot, not being sure if I just liked the song or felt like the protagonist, everyone around me ready to go to college and me feeling much older and more tired than my years. By that time, I tried to avoid people for the most part and didn't show up for school much. I felt really outside of myself a lot, too. Spacey and just alien to myself, no matter what kind of drugs I was or was not doing. And his music was just the perfect soundtrack for that. I had major feelings of discomfort with my body and gender presentation ever since puberty happened and no matter how much I looked like a normal girl on the outside, it all just felt really wrong and fake and futile. I did my best to compartmentalize it, knowing how weird this made me, and then I'd stay up at night listening to his music and flipping through pictures of his androgynous self in various concerts and music videos and I felt a little less ashamed and a little less alone. I didn't know anyone in real life, or even any other celebrities, who publicly felt or presented at odds with whatever gender society wanted them to be. I didn't really have anyone to talk about my feelings to, either, so David Bowie was my one kindred spirit in all of this.

Later, when I got my license, I drove around for fun a lot and listened to his music again, but this time the more upbeat, rock-n-roll type stuff, like "Panic in Detroit" and "Rebel Rebel". I liked yelling out the lines "you got your mother in a whirl cause she's not sure if you're a boy or a girl!" I'd end up smiling through the whole song most of the time; it was ironic because my own mother was always the strongest enforcer of gender roles I knew. I think listening to his music was one of the only times I ever felt anything positive about the way I felt inside. It made me feel like "maybe the problem is them, not me."

Years after that, when I finally decided it was time for me to start looking more like how I feel inside, I thought of him again. I bought that T-Shirt of him smoking that just says "BOWIE" at the top and mixed it into my newly androgynous wardrobe.

And today, the world feels emptier with him gone.

.
posted by sevenofspades at 5:21 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]




Thanks, Mezentian. I thought I had cried enough over this, but that was incredibly moving. Truly, thank you for posting. I wish I lived someplace that had a Bowie mass sing-along. I'd be there.
posted by hippybear at 5:30 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


.
posted by annieb at 5:39 PM on January 11


"Surviorman" Les Stroud's eulogy on Facebook is really touching. "I’m hovering between two thoughts now while i turn the loss of this great artist to my own self pity[.]"
posted by ob1quixote at 5:45 PM on January 11


The world is less good-way weird and more bad-way weird today and that sucks.
posted by tzikeh at 5:45 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


.
posted by disso at 5:54 PM on January 11


The message I keep hearing is largely the same, a refrain, a chorus picked up and echoed from voice to voice, among all the misfits, the lost, the alien, all of us changeling children who fell to Earth and never felt like we fit inside our skin –

He told us we weren’t alone. He told us we were magical and beautiful and amazing, just as we were, and if we were ever unsatisfied with ourselves, we were free to reinvent ourselves, endlessly, dazzlingly.
His music will outlive him always, and that message will outlive him as well – but only if we carry it. Turn to each other, turn to the children, lift each other up. Make sure everyone around you, no matter how lost they feel, knows that their eyes are made of glittering diamonds, their bones of moonlight.

And if you don’t have the strength to do that right now, if you feel like you’re the one who’s lost and alone –

Just gimme your hands.

‘Cause you’re wonderful.
posted by webmutant at 6:03 PM on January 11 [36 favorites]


I am late to this wake.

One day in May 2002 I had a day off and I'd had a few nasty months. I was living two blocks south of ground zero near the Pussy Cat. Greenwich and Rector. So this warm spring day, I decided to smoke some grass grab a coffee and explore.

I got down into the battery and heard a band tuning up, followed the sound and came upon David Bowie and his band doing three songs, and some tourists started dancing, and I began to dance, and one of those lady liberty mimes started dancing, and I had a perfect New York moment. Slamdance Cosmopolis!

He was more than any number of things.
posted by vrakatar at 6:03 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


I was close to crying after I heard the news but when I finally got a look at the "Lazarus" video, I lost it. He had always been almost impossibly thin, but this was the only time I ever saw him as gaunt and frail. He certainly knew what he was doing with the timing of its release. The thing about "knowing your time had come" and applying it to Bowie and Charles Schulz is something I know very personally; both of my parents, over 25 years apart, suffered a health crisis that they were told would impact their quality of life severely, and within 48 hours of getting that news, suffered complications that killed them; my father's doctor told me, in a state of befuddlement, that he hadn't suffered a 'normal' cardiac arrest, it was like his heart just slowed to a stop; my mother's fatal complication came the morning of election day 1984, and I still suspect that longtime Republican's Womens Group official timed it so I wouldn't get a chance to vote against Reagan.

There are many weird was to look upon a death - the idea suggested upthread of a newborn child being Bowie's reincarnation I must seriously advise against. I was born on September 30, 1955... the famous date that James Dean died... and the pressure to become the reincarnation of the Rebel Without a Cause was a genuine burden, even though I frequently pointed out that I was brought into the world 14 hours before Dean left it.

It has been a surreal day... the radio tributes have been numerous, even K-PIG, the California station with the 'eclectic' format mixing Traditional County and Psychedelic Rock put his music into heavy rotation, including some songs I'm positive they didn't usually play ... hearing "Suffragette City" between two Country ballads was, well, just plain weird.

I mentioned the "What did David Bowie do at your age?" site upthread... after being overwhelmed and inaccessible most of the day, it came back with the following revised message for Age: 69... "On his 69th birthday he released his 25th studio album, "★". Three days later he died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones. We'll miss you. May you live forever through the music." But every age over 69 still says "He's probably an astronaut. Or an extraterrestrial being. Or something we can't comprehend." Which is feeling even more true.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:11 PM on January 11 [13 favorites]


If you had any doubts about the man's incredible smarts, watch Bowie predict the enormous disruptive impact of the internet 15 years ago. It's incredibly interesting. He runs rings around Jeremy Paxman, who is no slouch himself.

Jeremy Paxman is out of his depth with Bowie's tour de force dervish twirl through 20th century shifts in textual theory towards Postmodern pastiche and fragmentation.

Fucking nails it:

There's no grand narratives Establishment!
All art is agreements to co-create!
Your walls between the Inspired and receiver are blurring!
We are talking about Relationships, not your fucking Authority.

I crowed about his DB Book Club, and the breadth of his curiousity, but the intellectual precision of a phenomenal social reader is profound. Bowie's influence on the culture as a producer is truly marvellous, but he was also a Seer about our postmodern culture's writhing knots.
posted by honey-barbara at 6:15 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


.
posted by Karmadillo at 6:16 PM on January 11


I can't stop listening to Blackstar. Leave it to Bowie to write his own eulogy.

It's lush and gorgeous and very sad and I am crying inside. Send help. Or a copy of Diamond Dogs.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:17 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


I knew Bowie's death would hit me hard, but I was surprised by just how hard. I didn't clock it, but I think I cried for about an hour and a half solid last night. Even when I felt like I was past the worst of it, and I tried to go online and do other things, my eyes would still be weepy. The only other time I've wept uncontrollably like that was the death of my cat, and that was like losing my child.

I'm OK now, I haven't spent all day crying or dwelling on it. But this didn't feel like a celebrity death to me. Bowie has been such a transformative and influential figure in my life, it almost felt like losing a blood relation. If he was diagnosed 18 months ago, that means we were both being told we had cancer right around the same time. I know cancer, and I wish he hadn't had to suffer like that. (Nobody should have to suffer like that.) But he packed a hell of a lot of living into the years he had on this planet, and people are gonna be listening to his music for centuries to come. I can't say that with confidence about a lot of pop music, I don't know if people will still care about Sinatra or Beyonce or even Elvis in 300 years. (I love Elvis, but who knows?) But with Bowie, I'm sure. They'll be listening to Life on Mars, on Mars.

Isn't it strange, that so much of his fame was about being glamorous and cool and strange, but he made so many of us feel so much for him? I suppose he was a bit like a cat, in that way. He was beautiful and remote and it seemed like we could never fully know him, but somehow we loved him and it was just so neat that he was there. And as cool as he was, there were those moments when he didn't quite pull off an outfit or he smiled and his teeth looked big or we saw that funky profile, and we realized that he was a geeky misfit kid who made himself a superstar and changed the world. All those personas and looks and sounds, they were all expressions of one complicated, restless and amazing person. We all may contain multitudes, but Bowie let his multitudes out to play. And at the core of it all, somewhere in there, he was one of us too.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:19 PM on January 11 [38 favorites]


this is the global frequency

ave atque vale

BOWIE, YOU FREAKY OLD BASTARD, YOU
posted by Sebmojo at 6:24 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Heard this news right before having to go to work this morning and it took a few hours of dealing with the kick in my gut and the lump in my throat to say "fuck working today" (though Bowie managed to work up to nearly his dying day, my goodness) before leaving early to get home online to "see" fellow members of a Bowie forum I started almost exactly three years ago, when he made "Where are we now?"

Driving to work and driving home today I kept thinking, "Why hasn't the world stopped?" I'm an adult who deals very well with life but today it felt that everything should stop.

Why, my partner asked a few minutes ago, hadn't I played a single moment of Bowie since I got home? Because it's all in my head. Look back in anger. Wild is the wind. Sweet thing. Soul love. Rebel rebel. Can you hear me. BOYS. Blackstar. DJ. Station to station. TVC15. Candidate. Fashion. Queen Bitch. Heroes.
posted by goofyfoot at 6:27 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Two Bowie quotes stand out in my mind: First in the early 80s when he said "I'm afraid I've opened the door to entire schools of pretension" and recently when he said "For every time I've made myself look like a pranny (a twat- I had to look that one up) I know that I've created solid work". Or words to that effect.

I love those comments because they reflect his humor--- "Spandau Ballet? Sorry, guys, my fault" but also his genius in taking huge gigantic artistic risks that many people wouldn't dream of. Massive risk involves the potential for failure and embarrassment (Like the Laughing Gnome!! Like the Goblin King! The guy would do ANYTHING!) but they mean potentially sublime peaks in experience that are unprecedented.

And when he wasn't taking huge leaps himself, he seemed to be involved in other's work and was the conduit/support of so much (Krautrock, Transformer, Lust for Life). Not to be too hacky, but for all we talk about "innovation", the guy lived and breathed it and supported it.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:34 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


Here's something a friend wrote that I thought captured the fact that he made his death a performance piece very well.

"Before anything, art was his language. To say anything in any other way wouldn't have been as complete."

Thank you invitapriore and I Love you. Now start listening to me about Outside. :-)
posted by HotPants at 6:42 PM on January 11


I've been thinking about this on and off all day, and been watching not just all the 'tributes,' but so many reactions from ordinary people - that Brixton singalong was wonderful - and now it is getting into the night here, and you see what's going on, and it feels like to me like he somehow managed to turn his death into his last performance.

Not just the timing of the album and music and so on, but the fact that we are somehow all participating in it and reacting to it in ways that are so meaningful to so many of us. And creating that sort of reaction, and space for people to pause and reflect, including on their own lives, really is the mark of artistic genius.
posted by carter at 6:44 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Hah, jinx HotPants!
posted by carter at 6:46 PM on January 11


A 26 year old in my office doesn't know Bowie, doesn't see the big deal.

New intern at work today: "Who was David Bowie?"

Another one here with a mid-20s social media kid in the office (god, I'm old) to whom I have to actually EXPLAIN David Bowie.

And these children that you spit upon
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're going through
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:47 PM on January 11 [25 favorites]


.
posted by moira at 6:48 PM on January 11


His lyrics talked about star men and journeys through space, but he was the most human of stars, full of life and and music. So cool, a visionary. Better and more important than the Beatles, Stones and Elvis. Right there with Hendrix, changing music forever.

Do you ever think about sound and vision?

.
posted by thebestusernameever at 6:49 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I had some unforgiving work deadlines all day and had to somehow work with this terrible weight of sadness and grief stuffed in my pocket. Beyond a passing "yeah, a shock, right?" from the folks I interacted with, this terrible event didn't seem to be shaking anyone's world but my own. I couldn't wait to get here to mefi, where you all didn't disappoint. Thank you for the remembrances, the thoughts and the stories. Bowie has been the soundtrack to my life.

As so many here have said, I was astonished by how much this shook me, I guess because it came out of the blue. When I think of other public deaths that shook my world - Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Robin Williams - these were all violent, wrenching deaths. Bowie at least lived fully to the last, even sharing the intimacy of his death with us in his last works. What an incredible human and an artist to the last.

I found this photo on Twitter - it's lovely: Iman, Miriam Makeba and David Bowie in South Africa, 1995.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:52 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


“RIP David Bowie – we’re remembering his genius version of Peter and the Wolf,” Elizabeth Davis, Classic FM, 11 January 2016

Peter and the Wolf Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
posted by ob1quixote at 6:57 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


In the space of 24 hours, the Blackstar CD on my shelf has gone from something I love to something I now fear. God damn, that man was an artist.
posted by davebush at 7:03 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


.

Stayed home sick and am just finding out. I just went as Sarah from Labyrinth for Halloween, and as a kid used to sing Magic Dance while dancing around on top of my parents' coffee table.

I can't even find any words, other than to say how comforted I am by all the love in this thread.
posted by Sayuri. at 7:04 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Just saw this on my social media feed: From CBC music a couple years ago - David Bowie Paper Cutout Doll nicely illustrated and complete with several costume changes. Now you can play along as you listen to Bowie all week!
posted by p3t3 at 7:04 PM on January 11


.

Though it seems kind of dopey to make the comparison, I listened to "Sound and Vision" a lot when I was writing my dissertation, trying to wrest out some creativity while battling depression and anxiety.

Today, my first day teaching at a new university, I saw a young student wearing a Bowie T-shirt. The kids are all right.
posted by dhens at 7:06 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


They are going to make a movie of his life someday. And someone, somewhere will complain that Hollywood has once again taken too many liberties with the truth, because no one's life could have wrapped up with such thematic consistency.

*
posted by joelhunt at 7:08 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I've been enjoying these acoustic covers in Portugese by Brazilian singer Seu Jorge, mostly from the Life Aquatic...

The Lazarus video -- what a way to go out. RIP.
posted by Rumple at 7:20 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


“‘The Venture Bros.’ Creators Beautifully Eulogize David Bowie,” Kristy Puchko, Comic Book Resources SpinOff Online, 11 January 2016
posted by ob1quixote at 7:21 PM on January 11 [11 favorites]


The Lazarus video -- what a way to go out.

The Lazarus video is really overwhelming. I mean, it's a great video anyway, but knowing that Bowie knew that this would be his last video - it's just overwhelming to think about. What an amazing character, putting on such a vibrant show for us even as he was dying.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:24 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


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posted by cwill at 7:31 PM on January 11


The Lazarus video is really overwhelming. I mean, it's a great video anyway, but knowing that Bowie knew that this would be his last video - it's just overwhelming to think about.

"One could only dream about collaborating with a mind like that; let alone twice. Intuitive, playful, mysterious and profound... I have no desire to do any more videos knowing the process never ever gets as formidable and fulfilling as this was. I’ve basically touched the sun."
posted by effbot at 7:32 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


A friend who's an acquisitions librarian at a public library just asked a group I'm part for recommendations to fill in the hole of the Bowie collection. "We've only been seriously collecting music CDs at my library for a few years, so we don't have much Bowie in the collection, and should probably do some retrospective collecting in honor of his death."

He thought maybe David Bowie, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Young Americans, Let's Dance.

I suggested ChangesOneBowie, because that's a good starting point; Station to Station, because that's peak Bowie, and leads to other musicians; Young Americans because my friend's is a U.S. library in a multicultural city; Let's Dance for pop lovers and '80s enthusiasts; and Blackstar for completists.

If you don't really know Bowie, would that do for a start?
posted by goofyfoot at 7:34 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


That link from ob1quixote nails it for me:

Doc Hammer: He’s more than a human being; he’s this thing that we’ve all had since childhood. None of us got to call him up and have lunch with him and stuff. And that hasn’t changed. That will never change. The music and what he did to style and our hearts is untouchable. There’s so much of David Bowie that lives in us that never goes away. I think his influence that is immortality. He lives in anybody who has a fucking idea about culture. At least we have that, and we always have that. He gave that to all of us.
posted by Mezentian at 7:38 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision.
posted by synapse at 7:41 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by skye.dancer at 7:49 PM on January 11


That quote rings true to me in the sense that I’m not a particularly big fan of Bowie’s music - less related to strong dislike (save a few tracks) and more just unfamiliarity. But I found myself deeply affected by his passing in part because (as I commented waaaaay earlier) he had seemed so alive and present these days, and because, as I’ve grown older, he’s changed in my own mind from being that act that that one kid liked while I was listening to Crystal Method to being this surreal figure whose stylings and artiness have seemingly influenced so many other pop music figures that I had liked both then and now. Without even realizing it, Bowie had crept into my hindbrain.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:50 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Unlike the gay reference, the cock flaunting was not censored.

Found via Gawker. NSFW, or so they say.
posted by Mezentian at 7:54 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by lester at 7:54 PM on January 11


If you don't really know Bowie, would that do for a start?

I think they'd need at least one of the Berlin albums, probably Heroes.
posted by Rumple at 7:57 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


The 20 year olds at my work filled the team Message of the Day with Bowie gifs. They were very respectful of people of my generation's emotional state.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:58 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


18 years old, living away from home for the first time, walking alone at night with Bowie on headphones just to get some space and think about troubles in life and love (well, looking back, I was trying really hard not to think about the things I should have done)... It still sticks out, this whole night of teenage angst and Station to Station. I don't have the best long term memory, but that night is clear as a bell. Same for the terrible cover of "We Are the Dead" I did in secret, just for myself in my dorm. Voice just completely shaky because I was afraid someone might hear me, because I'm the furthest thing from a performer, but it still felt like something I had to do. Same for the memory of my ex wife - married far too young and not as sure of my feelings as I thought, see above re: thinking about troubles in life and love - choosing "As the World Falls Down" for our first wedding dance. Same for countless other times both ordinary and profound - moments with Bowie playing just seem to stick hard in the mind.

I haven't listened to Blackstar yet, beyond the title track. And I'm not ready, not at all.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:04 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


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posted by freelanceastro at 8:10 PM on January 11


I kept together throughout work today, and let out one solitary sob tonight, but, oh, oh, my 14 year old daughter used the last of her favorite red lipstick to recreate the Aladdin Sane cover and posted it to Instagram with her gazillion followers because she's kinda internet famous and she did this for me and oh, I'm a mess. My FB feed was full of beautiful posts, but this, here, with all the lovely links and stories, thank you. Thank you.
posted by Ruki at 8:15 PM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Space Oddity aboard the ISS by astronaut Chris Hatfield
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:15 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


David Bowie sings "America" by Simon and Garfunkel at the Concert for New York City, October 20, 2001.

(P.S. Paul and Art, hope you are both well.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:17 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Ok, that link did it, brought on the tears that have been threatening all day. Bowie and Paul Simon do not seem to have much in common as songwriters to my ears, but he sang that like it was one of his own.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:27 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


When I was younger I dabbled in the occult like a lot of Reconstructionist generation Americans. During that time I developed a special affection for the constellation Orion, as you do. I gave up the occult, but not Orion.

So when I went out a few minutes ago into the freezing, dark night in my shirtsleeves to take out the trash, I wound up standing and looking at the stars for a couple of minutes. I didn't even feel cold. Our Starman will always be with us. All we have to do is look up.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:38 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


“Rick Wakeman's Tribute To David Bowie - Life On Mars”—BBC Radio 2, 11 January 2016
posted by ob1quixote at 8:40 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


I can run hot and cold on Ricky Gervais, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story of his correspondences with the Rock God himself. The man had a hell of a sense of humor (Gervais can be funny, too).
posted by Edgewise at 8:40 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I've had the new album on repeat for hours and it is a hell of a thing. One amazing parting gift for us.
posted by rtha at 8:42 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


It just occurred to me that he may have pulled off the greatest celebrity death of all time.
posted by rhizome at 8:43 PM on January 11 [12 favorites]


Look out my window and what do I see
A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me

.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:44 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


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posted by dreaming in stereo at 8:46 PM on January 11


This thread is a rock thrown into a deep pool, links and stories rippling from the point of impact. Metafilter, I am grateful for the opportunity to mourn in your company the death of a much-loved member of m-m-my generation.

I took my mum to Melbourne's gigantic VFL Park stadium to see Bowie in concert in 1983. She was already a fan, owned a bunch of albums I'd recommended to her. Our seats were waaay up the back but she, always the practical one, had thought to bring binoculars.

Last night, instead of listening to recorded Bowie, I listened to remembered fragments in my mind's ear, occasionally breaking into song over the keyboard or the kitchen sink. Love the Brixton singalong Mezentian posted above.

Today I'm hearing a Dylan Thomas line from "Under Milk Wood", when the dead Rosie Probert calls to the Captain:
Remember me. I have forgotten you.
posted by valetta at 8:52 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Just got a text from my ex - we saw him twelve years ago tonight. He was right in front of us, he was right there.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:01 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


A 26 year old in my office doesn't know Bowie, doesn't see the big deal.

New intern at work today: "Who was David Bowie?"

Another one here with a mid-20s social media kid in the office (god, I'm old) to whom I have to actually EXPLAIN David Bowie.


An 18-year old undergraduate who came by the front desk at the School of Music office today with the Aladdin Sane lightning blaze painted on her cheek. It's not just my generation, who can't remember popular music without Bowie, that is mourning today.

Oh no love, you're not alone.

.
posted by jokeefe at 9:23 PM on January 11 [13 favorites]


Joey Arias talks about that SNL performance with Klaus Nomi and Bowie.

"I saw David years and years later in Paris. He was with Iman and I was in full drag. He kept saying "God, I wish you'd dressed like this when I first met you!" We walked arm-in-arm through Paris and people on the street were going nuts. He was just so much fun. David inspired. He was an alien -- his mind was so open. He was like this force, this sponge, that absorbed it all. He was just like a child in that sense, just like a little boy. And he was just full of love."
posted by gingerbeer at 9:43 PM on January 11 [22 favorites]


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posted by dougfelt at 9:49 PM on January 11


my (very Bengali) dad and mom really liked "let's dance," so they bought tickets to see bowie and took me with them.

....as he opened for nine inch nails. they had no idea about NIN or any of that.

they were so confused by Bowie's set and wanted to leave almost as soon as NIN started... but they stayed because someone (jk! it was nine-year old me) was really into it.

thanks mom and dad <3
posted by raihan_ at 9:52 PM on January 11 [15 favorites]


I've had the new album on repeat for hours and it is a hell of a thing. One amazing parting gift for us.

I finally put it on the headphones after everyone else went to bed, and it is indeed a hell of a thing. It is starkly beautiful, complicated work, and I felt my soul heal just a little bit.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:00 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]


I DEMAND A BETTER FUTURE.

One where David Bowie lives to 100.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:01 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


If you haven't already had enough of Bowie in awkward non-singing appearances: when Dinah Shore did a talk show in 1976 and her guests were David Bowie and Henry 'Fonz' Winkler.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:07 PM on January 11 [8 favorites]


I will say that, while he didn't quite manage literal immortality, he did get to dictate the terms of his death to the universe and the universe had to just shut up and take it.
posted by invitapriore at 10:10 PM on January 11 [29 favorites]


what I loved about the film Velvet Goldmine is how the Christian Bale character captured the emotional and (I'll say it) existential significance of Bowie to not only gay kids but outsiders everywhere. Where in the end, his sexual orientation didn't matter because he opened a big door. And he opened that same door for weirdos and misfits everywhere, some of whom went on to become great musicians themselves.

I know it's been said, but I don't think that can be said enough. I listened to "Rock and Roll Suicide" walking down the street, cryin' my eyes out and wondering how many lives his music and art saved. "You're not alone", indeed.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:26 PM on January 11 [10 favorites]


I'm also regretting not flying to Chicago to see "Bowie Is" exhibit. Damn! I hope it comes back.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:28 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I've had the new album on repeat for hours and it is a hell of a thing. One amazing parting gift for us.

Yeah, the only similar situation I can think of are the final Johnny Cash albums. But whereas those are totally dark in mood and feeling, yet while avoiding connecting the dots too literally to his own situation, Bowie on the other hand references his fate head-on and repeatedly but with such energy and interwoven with humor, style, and artistic curiosity that it ends up really giving you so many emotions at once in the best possible way. I hadn't paid much attention to post 90's Bowie to be honest, but Blackstar really is a gem of an album, and moreover such a freaking amazing way to go out.
posted by p3t3 at 10:30 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I think a lot of folk think Bowie was mostly flash but only a middling singer. They have not tried to sing Life on Mars or Heroes.

I feel like that criticism is really beside the point. You can find a half-decent vocal technician in any karaoke bar. David Bowie wasn't a crooner (except when he was). He was an actor, an interpreter - a creator of totally new aesthetics of identity and feeling. (But even on the vocal front, yeah, go ahead and try to do a Bowie yelp.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:38 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


File 770 - David Bowie Passes Away - many links, in case we are lacking them.
posted by Artw at 10:49 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


(apologies in advance for thread sitting...)

The very talented, very amazing brothers in Soulwax put together an audiovisual mix (SLVimeo) of Bowie tracks and edits a few years ago as well. A friend reminded me of it earlier tonight, so figured I'd share here... it's very great:
Our homage to the man whose ability to change whilst remaining himself has been a massive influence on us. There are many legends in the music industry but for us, there is no greater than the mighty Dave. We've included all things Bowie, whether that is original songs, covers, backing vocals, production work or reworks we made, to attempt to give you the full scope of the man's genius.
posted by raihan_ at 10:55 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]






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posted by On the Corner at 1:29 AM on January 12


goofyfoot: "If you don't really know Bowie, would that do for a start?"

That's tricky, because it varies so much by period, and it depends on what kind of music you're into in general, but I think you can do a lot worse than starting out with Hunky Dory.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:24 AM on January 12


If you don't really know Bowie, would that do for a start?

I think they'd need at least one of the Berlin albums, probably Heroes.


Seconded, and Scary Monsters is essential. I think it's his best album, maybe his most alienating, with the richest metacommentary on his other works and image. I'd easily drop David Bowie or Let's Dance for it, '80s pop lovers be damned.

Having a memorial Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence rewatch, because the only thing as good as Bowie, Nic Roeg, and '70s SF is Bowie, Oshima, and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
posted by thetortoise at 2:34 AM on January 12


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posted by klausness at 3:28 AM on January 12




.

I'm not ready for this.
posted by raena at 3:39 AM on January 12


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posted by one teak forest at 4:01 AM on January 12


Also, Henry Kissinger is still alive, so there's no God.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:29 AM on January 12 [9 favorites]




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posted by nonspecialist at 4:39 AM on January 12


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posted by Anhedonic Donkey at 4:43 AM on January 12


I have a nine year old Freddie Mercury fan, and we sing Under Pressure in the car a lot - he takes Freddie's part and I sing Bowie's lines. At the end, we often talk about Freddie, and how sad it is that he died so young but that it is good that we have the music to remember him and remind us.

And then, he often says "but David Bowie is still alive, right?"

then, I would say "Yes, David Bowie is still alive."
I got 2/3 of the way through the thread and then that.
posted by iffthen at 5:24 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]


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posted by peacay at 5:24 AM on January 12


vverse23: "you all would be inundated with photos of my eight year old son dressed as the Goblin King for Halloween, his choice."

If an 8-year-old showed up at my house on Halloween as the Goblin King, I would literally give him all the candy I had left, if he wanted it.

hippybear: "I find myself wondering how many more videos we're going to get from Blackstar over the next while, or whether, even if he made more, they are just done now."

I hope at some point down the road, someone is able to write a book or (dream of dreams) put together a documentary about the making of ★ and the absolutely singular creative and emotional journey David must have been going on during that time. I know it's insanely personal and maybe unseemly of me to even ask for it, but knowing what we know now, I think ★ is a fascinating artistic statement about mortality and sickness and cancer and saying goodbye, and I really crave a little more insight into his process of creating it.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:54 AM on January 12 [18 favorites]


I don't think this has been posted yet- Beck going full out on Sound and Vision. (Nigh on 10 minutes, but worth it.)
posted by Gratishades at 6:22 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


I know it's insanely personal and maybe unseemly of me to even ask for it, but knowing what we know now, I think ★ is a fascinating artistic statement about mortality and sickness and cancer and saying goodbye, and I really crave a little more insight into his process of creating it.
I keep wondering about this too; Other musicians have made farewell albums (Warren Zevon, John Hartford) but their declining health was already publicly known. By contrast, Blackstar seems like such a lonely undertaking, intended as a farewell but only to be revealed as such after the fact. The shots of him frantically writing in the Lazarus video are heartbreaking, the implied desperation of not having time to finish everything.

Blackstar feels so generous, recorded while ill with only a handful of people knowing, its full context only revealed when it's too late to experience the incredible outpouring of love and support from fans. It's a dramatic, masterful exit and he must have known the effect it would have... and that makes me so interested to know more about his creative process and decision to do it this way. If it's this hard for me to process as a fan, I can't imagine what it was like as the creator.
posted by usonian at 7:00 AM on January 12 [26 favorites]


Scary Monsters is essential. I think it's his best album, maybe his most alienating, with the richest metacommentary on his other works and image. I'd easily drop David Bowie or Let's Dance for it, '80s pop lovers be damned.

Oh god yes. I can't speak for others, but in my circle, back in 1983, a lot of us stopped listening to Bowie after Let's Dance was released. To follow the brilliance of Scary Monsters with a light-hearted disco album, with the awful China Girl as lead single? After the string of albums that came before? I can still feel the sense of petulant betrayal; we had the earlier work, obviously, but Let's Dance signalled, to me, the end of a hard-headed artistic clarity I loved.

I haven't been able to listen to Blackstar yet, let alone watch the videos. 2015 was a bad year for death and losing friends and acquaintances-- the middle-aged cancer years-- including one, the same age as Bowie, who made her death into a "legalize assisted suicide now" kind of art performance. I'll wait a bit, I think.
posted by jokeefe at 7:12 AM on January 12 [7 favorites]


Maybe someday we'll learn the secret behind Milky Edwards.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:35 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


When does it start feeling real?
posted by chonus at 7:37 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]




.
Never again, and always.
Thanks, David.
posted by killy willy at 7:50 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Listening to the full album for the first time now and wow, this is a serious and complicated work. His backing band is astounding and his voice is heartbreaking. This is going to take quite a few listens to take in.
posted by octothorpe at 7:55 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]


See you later, Starman. Thanks for everything.
posted by phoebus at 8:15 AM on January 12


Under Pressure and the original version of Cat People came out between Scary Monsters and Let's Dance.

I did like Tin Machine and was able to see them at the Orpheum in Boston.
posted by brujita at 8:19 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Welp, I just picked up Rebel Rebel, the book version of the Bowie Songs blog, so I guess I'm embarking on the comprehensive and systematic listen through I've been meaning to do for a while.
posted by Artw at 8:24 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


I'm not ready for this thread to end. I'm not ready for this to be old news.

:(
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:37 AM on January 12 [8 favorites]


The New York Times piece Rory linked above seems to indicate that the Lazarus original cast album was recorded yesterday. How is that possible? I can't even imagine.
posted by Mothlight at 8:53 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm embarking on the comprehensive and systematic listen through I've been meaning to do for a while.

For a long time I've wanted someone to do an album-by-album review/bio podcast of Bowie (CorpusCast? OuevreCast? Surely there's some cutesy name for that genre); that looks to be a great substitution.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:55 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


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posted by glhaynes at 9:08 AM on January 12


Toronto folks - I have an extra ticket to TONIGHT'S previously planned tribute show with Holy Holy - Bowie's producer Tony Visconti, Woody Woodmansey, and an bunch of other british rockers doing The Man Who Sold the World in full plus a whole bunch of other stuff. Free to a good home if you're able to grab it from me near Queen and Sumach anytime after 3. MeMail me.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:14 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


I can't remember the last time a musician's passing caused this kind of outpouring, and from all kinds of people with a huge range of musical tastes. The loss feels more profound than I would've expected, partly because it feels so universal.
posted by treachery, faith, and the great river at 9:21 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


yellowbinder, I'm sorely tempted to start driving from Pittsburgh right now :) alas
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:23 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


The loss feels more profound than I would've expected, partly because it feels so universal.

I think I am blown away with both how utterly universal his work is, and how deeply personal it is with the individuals who loved his songs. Every Bowie song is somehow bound to a feeling I have, or a place in time -- they evoke strong memories & reactions in ways that a lot of music just does not. I can't put a finger on it, but it's like how a smell of perfume will remind you of a person you haven't seen in 20 years. They trigger something in my subconscious. I stand in awe of that.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:38 AM on January 12 [10 favorites]


Dart Adams looks back at Bowie's influence on rap and hip-hop.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:43 AM on January 12




18 years old, living away from home for the first time, walking alone at night with Bowie on headphones just to get some space and think about troubles in life and love (well, looking back, I was trying really hard not to think about the things I should have done) -- This, but with Hunky Dory instead of Station to Station.
posted by epersonae at 9:52 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]




, a lot of us stopped listening to Bowie after Let's Dance was released. To follow the brilliance of Scary Monsters with a light-hearted disco album, with the awful China Girl as lead single?

yup. If you were halfway cool in 83, you had to have serious issues with the whole big deal Let's Dance hype.

Come summer, the Serious Moonlight tour came to Vancouver for the first time, a show which was easy to justify attending because Peter Gabriel was also on the on the bill (his first ever Vancouver solo appearance), and he at least was still cool at the time (pre-Sledgehammer etc).

Needless to say, a little of the ole lysergic got dropped and I did my part in the crush up near the stage for Gabriel's set, but come Bowie's band taking the main stage, I was happy to fall back, wander the floor. Call me ambivalent at first. The band was great, obviously, but the overall sound was lacking something (too smooth, too commercial, too 80s).

Maybe halfway through the set, it was time for a visit to the porto-potties which were way at the back, a football field away from the main stage. And then right in the middle of it, enclosed in that stinky, plastic cubicle, the band kicked into the big deal opening of Let's Dance. I'm sure I laughed. Yup, that about sums it up, this album goes straight down the drain ...

Except as I exited back into the massive room (BC Place being an enclosed stadium), I spotted something I hadn't noticed before. Just to my right, there was a section for disabled folks -- people on crutches, in wheelchairs, their attendants. And they were all moving, grooving, dancing anyway they could.

I laughed again, this time at my self-important self, then headed back into the density of the crowd with all my prejudices annihilated, now committed to enjoying what was one hell of a rock show ... particularly once they got into Station to Station.
posted by philip-random at 10:30 AM on January 12 [13 favorites]


I wish we could just post thoughts and remembrances and songs and videos here for the rest of the damn year. I don't think I'm ready to return to the world-without-Bowie.

I propose Bowienalia, a celebration of all things Bowie, starting (in the fashion of Zappadan) on January 10, the date of his death, and continuing through to the following January 8, the date of his birth (traditional Bowiemas).

And what of January 9? Will that be a dark, empty, Bowieless day? Of course not. January 9 is Bowienalia Eve, a cause for celebration in its own right.

Keep the faith. Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.
posted by Devoidoid at 10:49 AM on January 12 [32 favorites]


Peter Gabriel was not considered cool due to "Sledgehammer?" Alrighty.
posted by raysmj at 11:03 AM on January 12


I said, pre-Sledgehammer
posted by philip-random at 11:23 AM on January 12


Peter Gabriel was not considered cool due to "Sledgehammer?" Alrighty.

Pre-"hipster" hipsters: Gabriel was still cool until he went platinum with So.
posted by Etrigan at 11:36 AM on January 12 [3 favorites]


, a lot of us stopped listening to Bowie after Let's Dance was released. To follow the brilliance of Scary Monsters with a light-hearted disco album, with the awful China Girl as lead single?

It did seem like a blatant attempt to jump on the '80s MTV bandwagon and I wasn't much of a fan at the time but I've softened to it in later years.
posted by octothorpe at 11:37 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


80's Bowie need to pay the bills people.
posted by GuyZero at 12:18 PM on January 12 [6 favorites]


Anyone around Pittsburgh, the Ace Hotel is doing a Bowie dance party tomorrow night.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:20 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


I loved Let's Dance, unrepentantly and unironically, from the very first guitar strike of Modern Love. It's happy music & the world needs happy music, too. Listening to it in the wee hours last night though, I picked up on an undercurrent of anger in the lyrics. That's Bowie for ya. Ricochet isn't exactly an undercurrent though -- it's straight up angry.

It was also one of the best recordings of its era, a thing that was a constant for Bowie. One must assume that Bowie was also pretty concerned with the fidelity of the recordings. All his albums from Young Americans forward, certainly, stand up to the best sounding records of their time. Let's Dance is sonically pure ear candy.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:34 PM on January 12 [17 favorites]


Pre-"hipster" hipsters

We didn't have hipsters then, but many of those kids did have the cool shoes. Yes.
posted by bonehead at 12:36 PM on January 12


I continue to be utterly mystified by the enduring, systemic scorn by fans and critics for Tin Machine, even in obituary pieces. Is it just one of those things where it's the mutually agreed upon Bowie Project That's Cool to Hate? I get the impression that a lot of people who write Tin Machine off have never even listened to them. (To each his own and all that, but I just don't understand what specific problem people had/have with that project compared to any of Bowie's other output.) I'm quite partial to the work that Bowie did with Reeves Gabrels in Tin Machine and his own albums in the 90's. Reeves' guitar playing on Looking for Satellites kills me every time I listen to it.

(Bonus: David Bowie and Gary Oldman singing on Reeves' solo recording of You've Been Around, a little different on the version that appeared on Black Tie White Noise.)
posted by usonian at 12:40 PM on January 12 [13 favorites]


Thank you. I love the shit out of that first Tin Machine album, and the 2nd one has a moments of sheer brilliance. I mean, fucking Hunt and Tony fucking Sales. What an insane rhythm section. Insult them at your peril because I'm up to here with the shitting on those albums too.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:45 PM on January 12 [5 favorites]


Re: Toronto show - my ticket is spoken for but I forgot to mention they added a second show tomorrow, looks like tickets are still available.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:22 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


My phone rang a bit after 230am. I woke up enough to wonder why my friend on the west coast was calling me so late when he knows my schedule, but I didn't answer. In the morning I listened to the message:

"I'm sorry to call so late, you need to check the BBC homepage as soon as you can."

I had to leave work early yesterday because I couldn't stop crying. I am still crying on and off today. I have never cried over a celebrity death before, but Bowie made it beautiful to be a freak and by doing so he made this planet a little bit safer for people like me to exist, and to create art.

I had wondered if something was going on when I first saw the Blackstar video. I've started playing what I have of his discography (which is almost all of it) in remembrance. It will take me a while.
posted by bile and syntax at 1:31 PM on January 12 [9 favorites]


Could a Fanfare thread be made for "Blackstar"?
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:32 PM on January 12 [14 favorites]


I paid my respects last night by listening to the two Tin Machine albums for the first time. They weren't bad at all! The first one grabbed my ear on at least half of the songs and the second one definitely has some high points and interesting, evolved production. It has a little bit too much of the "spraying molten guitar" thing, but that's what you get when it's a whole band. All in all, I'm with you on defending Tin Machine!
posted by rhizome at 1:36 PM on January 12 [4 favorites]


I bought the first Tin Machine album on cassette when it was released, enjoyed it superficially, but I didn't have the experience and ear to appreciate it until 20 years later.

My sore eyes look forward to the day that my tears of joy at listening to his music surpass my tears of grief at his passing.

For now I consider you who love his body of work to be my people as much as any member of a religion has kinship with fellow devotees.

But whatever lies behind the door
There is nothing much to do
Angel or devil, I don't care
For in front of that door
there is
you

posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 1:42 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Former music journalist Michael Olberman on the time Bowie spent his first night in America having dinner with Olberman's family and stayed at Olberman's house.
posted by larrybob at 2:20 PM on January 12 [4 favorites]


As far as I can tell, no one has mentioned Toy yet, which seems like an oversight, but I'll bet it'll get an official release swiftly enough, so there's at least one full unreleased Bowie album out there for your listening pleasure.

But he seems like the kind of guy who will have built in some sort of Anti-Tupacisation clauses in his legacy, so who can tell?
posted by Mezentian at 2:53 PM on January 12 [4 favorites]


One of the reasons Bowie touched so many I think is because he wasn't afraid of selling out, in the way that underground artists can be. That's why so many people say "I was out in the suburbs/some podunk town and discovered this rare thing, this weird guy". You didn't have to go to Max's Kansas City to get weirdness or coolness when he came out in the early 70s. The guy would duet with Cher or show up on Dinah Shore or just pop up all over the place. He didn't seem to worry about credibility, at least in that sense. I loved that he would just do practically anything, even a muppet-type movie.

There wasn't that punk affliction of handwringing over 'selling out' or at least reaching a mainstream audience. I remember him getting criticism for it later, of appropriating underground stuff like drag and selling it en masse. But that's what made him able to reach all these outliers in the boondocks, all of us stuck in cultural backwater with Donnie and Marie and whatnot.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 3:06 PM on January 12 [32 favorites]


Once I was in a motel with my boyfriend laying in postcoital bliss in a cheapo bed and we turned on the TV. David Bowie on Soul Train, blasé and in control, and the Soul Train dancers interpreting the HELL out of "Golden Years."
posted by mynameisluka at 8:10 PM on January 11


My introduction to David Bowie was Ziggy Stardust, and as a child I just regarded him as a cartoon character. Then later I saw this performance and this performance on Soul Train, and that's when I realized "Oh, he's a musician! And a good one!"

Eventually checked out the rest of his work, and have loved him ever since.

Rest in peace, Mr. Ziggy-Funk.
posted by magstheaxe at 3:45 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]




This is fantastic.

David Bowie Gets Annoyed.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:55 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]






“David Bowie's unaired 60 Minutes interviews,” 60 Minutes Overtime, 11 January 2016
The late pop icon was interviewed by 60 Minutes in 2003, but the story never ran. Overtime unearths the Bowie tapes.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:39 PM on January 12 [8 favorites]


Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords on making Bowie's in Space, We Idolised and Imitated Him, But Couldn’t Get Bowie on Our Show. And as so often is the case, a brilliant parodist is best at explaining what makes the original special:
In 1999 Bret McKenzie and I were sitting with our guitars in our dingy flat in Wellington trying to learn David Bowie songs. They were catchy, which usually translates to being easy to play. Not David Bowie. He’d taken Paul McCartney’s style of making an epic medley song and made it more subtle, parts seamlessly changing without you even realising it, you’d just feel the change like a change in your own mood.

He’d taken rock’n’roll and added parts of black soul music which somehow he’d made white without making it uncool. We couldn’t play these songs, they were too tricky to learn, too many parts, all those tricky chords, all those tempo changes, the changes in vocal range, sometimes a deep masculine growl, sometimes a high falsetto of some third alien gender.

We sat around defeated by our hero’s chord book but admiring him more. He’d made pop songs into mini operas but without showing off about it.
Here's another excerpt, for good measure:
After tragedy struck and one of us broke a guitar string, we drove around that day in 1999 in Bret’s mum’s car mimicking Bowie, asking him more questions from our Honda space capsule. Are you in Spaaaace Bow-eeeh? Is it freak-eh Bowie? The car stereo informed us that the student radio station was running a competition where you could win a bottle of wine. One of us had what was thought of as a novel instrument of space technology at the time, a cellphone. Still not breaking our twin Bowie characters we called the prize line. We weren’t two guys from Masterton and Wellington. We were calling from London 30 years in the past with that somehow posh, somehow common Bowie accent.

DJ: Hello, you’ve called Radio Active, who is on the line?

Bret Bowie: It’s Bowie!

Jemaine Bowie: And Bowie!

DJ: Bowie?… Oooooookay…..

Jemaine Bowie: Yeah, and Bowie!

DJ: Uh … right. So, our question is, “What is something you’d carry in a brown paper bag?”

Bret Bowie: that’s a hard one, man, but I think the answer is Bowie.

Jemaine Bowie: Yeah, it’s Bowie!

Bret Bowie: Yeah, I’ve got to go with Bowie.

DJ: What? Bowie?

Bret Bowie: Yeah, man. You’d carry David Bowie in a brown paper bag.

DJ: You mean like … a CD?

Jemaine: No, David Bowie could go in the bag! Bowie could do it!

Bret Bowie: You’d carry the actual David Bowie that had been shrunk down to miniature size in that bag.

DJ: Ahhh… yeah… nah… I don’t know if I can accept that. I didn’t think anyone would get this wrong.

Bret Bowie: It’s not wrong man, it’s Bowie.

Jemaine Bowie: He could do it, man! Bowie could fit in the bag!

DJ: Okay, let’s give someone else a try!

We didn’t win, but we’d been Bowie on the radio. It had been transmitted. Into space. We weren’t from London any more, we were from Mars, transmitted via radio like a slow voice on a wave of phay-hay-hase.
posted by Kattullus at 4:46 PM on January 12 [32 favorites]


But he seems like the kind of guy who will have built in some sort of Anti-Tupacisation clauses in his legacy, so who can tell?

I could see this happening, OR I could see it going completely the other way where he insisted on becoming some deathless virtual Max Headroom kind of pop star, an artificial being of pure fame.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:50 PM on January 12 [6 favorites]


My earliest memory of David Bowie's music ties into the 'weird way I broke into L.A. radio', because in late '69, I had little exposure to Rock Radio. Every morning my father drove me to the High School he paid to put me into only to keep me out of the "terrible L.A. public schools". And on the radio was KGIL in the Valley, the suburban L.A. station with a very generic "Middle of the Road" musical format, except the station was starting to experiment - with a 'wacky morning guy', "Sweet" Dick Whittington, who talked way too much for my dad's taste (but whom I would several years later end up working for as an administrative Assistant and on-air Sidekick) and with a few of the "don't sound like Rock and Roll" songs on the Top 40 added to the playlist, which, "Sweet" Dick usually played the most when he wasn't talking... and one of them was "Space Oddity". He had way too much fun with the "floating on my tin can" lyric.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:54 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


“David Bowie's unaired 60 Minutes interviews"

Ooooooooooooo, these are delightful!
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:00 PM on January 12


I'm also going to jump on the Tin Machine parade here. Heaven's in Here is a stone cold classic.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:38 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Day two in a post-Bowie world: deep wracking heaving sobs of yesterday have given way to muffled keening and intermittent weeping today.

I found a little clip that made me smile - an advert no less. Maybe you've seen it but if not, you might enjoy it too: Bowie meets Bowie.

Thank you all for being here these two days - this shared experience takes a bit of the edge off.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:59 PM on January 12 [12 favorites]


For the first time ever a FPP has become like a wake for me. I hang out in here, even at work, clicking on various links, favouriting like never before, laughing and crying, revealing in Bowie's music, including tracks I haven't heard before. I have never experienced this such online grieving before but it is wonderful. Thank you all.
posted by vac2003 at 6:04 PM on January 12 [18 favorites]


I'm lost. Completely and utterly lost. He was my hero. Capital-fucking-H. He saved my life. Changed the way I think about the world. Made me a more curious and compassionate person. To paraphrase an insightful comment from PAotD, he didn't give my life meaning, but he did help me find it. I hate this. I know it's irrational. In a few days I'll have the perspective to care.

Couldn't work yesterday; I tried but it wasn't happening. My boyfriend and I instead spent the day drinking gin, playing Bowie, and bawling our eyes out. Managed to work today. Managed to keep it together until I got home and saw a picture of him. Now I'm a wreck again.

Love and warmth to his family, friends, and fans. We'll never see another one like him again, but what a hell of a body of work, and what a hell of a final statement in Blackstar.

I love you, David.
posted by kryptondog at 6:15 PM on January 12 [16 favorites]


I saw the Lazarus play a few weeks ago. I was very disappointed, because I was looking forward to it SO MUCH and it just didn't click. Of course, now so many parts of the play make sense and I wish so badly I could go back and see it again. I can't imagine how hard it must be for the cast to perform now. I can barely think about his songs without tearing up.
posted by armacy at 6:46 PM on January 12


“Under Pressure” Is a Reminder That David Bowie Could Also Be Wonderfully, Powerfully Human

That read kind of weird to me in the part where they seemed to be saying that Bowie was doing Queen a favor and making it OK for Rockers to like them. Am I making that up? Because in my part of the world it was very much the other way around. Bowie was the weird one, Queen for all their pomp and circumstances was never viewed as weird or threatening for some reason. Is this an East Coast vs West Coast thing?
posted by bongo_x at 6:50 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Under Pressure, noted songwriter and thespian Vanilla Ice's thought on Mr Bowie:
Long live David Bowie. Rest in peace musical legend Ziggy Stardust

I think we can all recall when Vanilla Ice had to be sued for Ice Ice Baby:

"We sampled it from them but it's not the same bassline. It goes 'ding ding ding di di ding ding… ding ding ding di di ding ding.' That's the way theirs goes. Ours goes 'ding ding ding di di ding ding… DING… ding ding ding di di ding ding.' That little bitty change -- it's not the same."

I think many of us cringe when we hear Under Pressure on the radio, for fear it might morph into a less good song.
posted by Mezentian at 7:04 PM on January 12 [8 favorites]


ding ding ding di di ding ding

Which reminds me of this little gem from Wikipedia:

John Deacon said [...] that David Bowie had created [the bassline]. In more recent interviews, Brian May and Roger Taylor have credited the bass riff to Deacon. Bowie, on his website, said that the bassline was already written before he became involved. Roger Taylor [...] stated that Deacon had indeed created the bassline, stating that all through the sessions in the studio he had been playing the riff over and over; he also claims that when the band returned from dinner Deacon had, amusingly, forgotten the riff, but fortunately Taylor was still able to remember it.

Degree of creativity, etc.
posted by effbot at 7:15 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


How to talk to your kids about Bowie.

I actually kind of did this today! My 7yo only knows of Bowie because she loves Queen, so via Under Pressure. So we listened to a few songs, she really liked Kooks. We had a talk about always being yourself and doing what you love. What a good role model.
posted by gaspode at 7:26 PM on January 12 [8 favorites]


My 7yo only knows of Bowie because she loves Queen, so via Under Pressure.

gaspode, I feel like your kid and my kid would get along really well.

No, it hasn't come up yet, and I'm dreading it.
posted by anastasiav at 7:58 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


gaspode: “How to talk to your kids about Bowie. ”
One idea in that stood out to me, "Bowie wasn’t just a genius. He was the rarest of geniuses — a true polymath." I've been thinking about that since last night. Is there anything someone could tell you Bowie was good at that you wouldn't believe? I mean not even something like, "Oh, yeah, he was totally a world-class taxidermist, " or, "Bowie published under a pseudonym in The Quarterly Journal of Mathematics once or twice a year." Not even something really ridiculous like, "Bowie invented the Slap Chop," is entirely unbelievable.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:32 PM on January 12 [8 favorites]


I saw Lazarus on the 3rd. A scene with Newton and his daughter echoes Alice and the Fawn in Through the Looking Glass.
posted by brujita at 8:42 PM on January 12


Any other sadness, Diamond Dogs, Low, Ziggy, Sound and Vision, and Station to Station would set things level in my heart again. He's been a north star to me since I was thirteen or so. But right now I really can't bear songs or videos. Even Klaus Nomi, Lightning Strikes always makes me happy. But, too close. I just can't.

I feel like the best way to mourn magic is by making one's own, homemade. Try that brave thing you dream. That's a fair tribute, isn't it?
posted by Lou Stuells at 8:48 PM on January 12 [23 favorites]


Also, this.
posted by Lou Stuells at 8:51 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


You know who I am he said
The speaker was an angel
He coughed and shook his crumpled wings
Closed his eyes and moved his lips
"It's time we should be going."
Waiting so long, I've been waiting so waiting so
posted by jokeefe at 9:45 PM on January 12 [13 favorites]


David Bowie at the Rainbow... "Bowie used this concert to introduce theatre and multi-media to rock performances, something which was totally revolutionary for the time. The concert was a huge critical success and was later described as "the most extravagant rock show ever produced in Britain."

Ah, yes, those were the days.... Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London, 19th August 1972...

Theatre, multi-media, rock... part one

Theatre, multi-media, rock... part two

And that key figure in that show? And in Bowie's life? Lindsay Kemp?

Lindsay Kemp: Bowie’s dance teacher recalls their first meeting, their early collaborations, and their marriage of theatre and rock’n’roll in the Ziggy Stardust stage show
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:07 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


20 Bowie songs you don’t know – but should, according to the Guardian. Mostly B-sides and oddities.

Although it includes Little Wonder and I'm Afraid of Americans... so I am not sure at all how obscure they are to harder core fans than I.

Also, if you stopped crying: Bowie teamed up with NIN to cover Hurt once.

You are most welcome.
posted by Mezentian at 10:10 PM on January 12 [8 favorites]


“Bowie published under a pseudonym in The Quarterly Journal of Mathematics once or twice a year.”

I don’t like this image: mathematics and academics are very precise things, concerned with concrete discovery and definition. But Bowie seems like a particular kind of artistic genius interested in creating new things by breaking social taboos. An article in a journal of social inquiry about how the world should be or could be, maybe. But a detailed, thorough proof of how the world is rubs me the wrong way.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:14 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, I originally had Philosophy instead, but I felt like it wouldn't be a stretch.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:25 PM on January 12


The late Scott Miller (Game Theory, Loud Family) recommended this Bowie Playlist to his friend several years back.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:32 PM on January 12 [4 favorites]


“Why David Bowie’s Death Hurts So Damn Much,” Smells Like Infinite Sadness, 11 January 2016
posted by ob1quixote at 11:34 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


"Fuck this shit. Get me a space shuttle, a priest of every religion, a unicorn horn, and some duct tape. We're going to go fetch Bowie back." - Scott Lynch making me cry.
posted by raena at 1:00 AM on January 13 [10 favorites]


The late Scott Miller (Game Theory, Loud Family) recommended this Bowie Playlist to his friend several years back.

Nina Gordon is also the cofounder of Veruca Salt.
posted by rhizome at 1:41 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


I love Veruca Salt and am embarrassed I didn't notice it was her post.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:46 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


.
posted by jfwlucy at 2:37 AM on January 13


Reposting what i shared just now on Facebook, particularly with a link to "Dead Man Walking" from the album Eathling...
i truly love how everyone is mourning a different Bowie right now.... personally, I've given it some thought, I've listened to a lot of the back catalogue... and I'm prepared to say this is my personal favorite Bowie track. I'm 33 (34 in a few days), and like a lot of people my age, I got turned on to Bowie through the Trent Reznor connection. My brother brought home the "I'm Afraid of Americans" extended single, and it really captured my imagination. I checked out EARTHLING from my local library (the humble Roselle Public Library is to thank for SO MANY of my musical revelations!!!!) and it was a pure "holy shit, I get it" moment from the first track.

People are quick to dismiss EARTHLING as an attempt at an, i don't know, drum'n'bass trendy cash-in record? The secret truth is that it's more of a jazz fusion record with lots of electronic elements thrown in, and the drum 'n' bass stuff is more in line with the concept of it being a specifically BRITISH record than anything else.
the album itself is perfect - possibly the best he's ever recorded - and is still deeply devalued. CHECK THE ALBUM COVER WITH THAT STEVE MACQUEEN (!!!!!)

"Dead Man Walking" is the best track from it - how about that bassline, those jazzy chords, those GOSPEL SINGERS, that piano madness at the end, the joyous manic energy of it all.........

my love of Bowie is focused around a lot of albums - there was no weak Bowie period, at all - but EARTHLING is such a huge part of it. give it a few listens while you sort through his catalog. that's all i ask.
posted by naju at 2:55 AM on January 13 [5 favorites]


joyous manic energy

Earthling is great fun. So much energy and humour!

Battle for Britain
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:22 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


sorry a little bit more:
his final statement is so profound.. i'm still coming to terms with it.... assuming his death was by choice, a death by dignity.... the ramifications are something i'm truly grappling with... i think it's beautiful. that he decided to die on his own terms, by his own timeline.... as part of his final artistic statement. truly, i'm 100% on board with it.

there's been nothing like this before. it's something we all need to reflect on.
posted by naju at 3:25 AM on January 13 [3 favorites]


In 1971, after the arrival of the pyramid stage - but before the debut of fences, admission charges (or toilets), Bowie headlined The Glastonbury Fayre. If by "headlined" we can count an appearance at 5am that seems to have eluded Nick Roeg's filming.

He did not return until 2000 - when he performed this this version of Heroes. Way to go!
posted by rongorongo at 3:56 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


New intern at work today: "Who was David Bowie?" (etc.)

It can be kind of astonishing what young people don't know. But I remember when I was a kid, how pissed off I would get at those smug lists of things that the kids don't know today. They would say stuff about how people my age didn't know who Ringo Starr was, and I was like, fuck you, I totally know who the hell Ringo Starr is!

I'd talk to some of my peers, and yeah, they had no idea who Ringo was. But I didn't conclude that young people just didn't know this stuff, because I was young and I knew this stuff and I sure wasn't the only one.

So maybe a lot of kids don't know Bowie. But plenty of them do, he's not going away. There will always be the geeks to dig for the cool old stuff while their peers are grooving to this week's replicant diva. Right now some tween girl is falling in love with Ray Harryhausen and across town some boy is in his bedroom wailing along with Billie Holiday. There's a kid getting his mind blown by Little Nemo in Slumberland and a girl wishes she had somebody to watch Buster Keaton movies with her. As long as this world has misfits, the good stuff will survive.

Of course, it's up to us olds to pass along what we can. You folks playing Under Pressure for your kids are making a future worth living in.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:21 AM on January 13 [18 favorites]


SiriusXM has turned channel 30 into a career-spanning, all-Bowie tribute through Monday the 18th.
posted by usonian at 4:21 AM on January 13 [3 favorites]


“David Bowie died. It’s a sentence that feels like a contradiction somehow. As if silver died, or the rain. Bowie was once asked which historical figure ‘he most identified with.’ ‘Santa Claus,’ he answered.”

Sean Michaels (MeFi’s own Marquis) writes in The Globe & Mail.
posted by LeLiLo at 4:24 AM on January 13 [8 favorites]


Of course, it's up to us olds to pass along what we can.

Yesterday, Wil Wheaton wrote about being on the set of some movie he was making when he was about eleven, where Susan Sarandon played his mother, and one day when they were just sort of hanging out between takes she asked him "wanna hear some cool music my friend did?" and played him Space Oddity. And that is apparently the first time he heard David Bowie at all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:40 AM on January 13 [5 favorites]


> assuming his death was by choice

Pending assisted suicide legislation in NY notwithstanding, Bowie was more the type who would hang on by sheer willpower until the right time and then let nature take its course (c.f. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both dying on July 4 or Charles M. Schulz dying - also from cancer - on the eve of the last Peanuts strip's publication).
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:02 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing it was The Buddy System which Susan (who seems to be older than Bowie by one year) just after she did The Hunger, with Bowie.

It's a conspiracy!
posted by Mezentian at 5:05 AM on January 13


It's been posted around here previously, but Tony Visconti's telling of how they recorded Heroes is a pretty good read - a good mix of technical info with reminiscences about how the song got written.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:29 AM on January 13 [7 favorites]


He did not return until 2000 - when he performed this this version of Heroes.

Squints hard to try and find younger brilliantmistake in the crowd.
posted by brilliantmistake at 5:41 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


In terms of young people not knowing stuff - I have discovered that this is great, because then you can tell them, and dazzle them with the wonders of the past. Don't you want an opportunity to turn someone on to Bowie? Believe me, there is very little that is so fun as giving a presentation about the weirder aspects of cold war pop culture and seeing a roomful of millenials just gobsmacked, for instance. Also, think about the stuff you learned about the past that was just shocking - Harlan Ellison mentored Octavia Butler! WEB DuBois organized one of the first movements against the atomic bomb! There were novels by gay people about being gay which were mainstream in the fifties! - and how well you remember those things, and how much they can productively shake up your worldview.
posted by Frowner at 6:09 AM on January 13 [19 favorites]


Adam Buxton just tweeted a link to this extraordinary post from a Bowie fan who became more than just a fan.

Infographic on Bowie's genre-hopping career.
posted by rory at 6:14 AM on January 13 [24 favorites]


On the odd chance any Australians are up, ABC2 seems to be showing a crop of Bowie doccos right now.
posted by Mezentian at 6:18 AM on January 13




Friends, if you read nothing else linked here, read the Adam Buxton piece that rory linked above .
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:24 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Listening to the Berlin albums for the first time in eons and not only do they still hold up but still sound cutting edge today. Astounding stuff.
posted by octothorpe at 8:45 AM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Adam Buxton just tweeted a link to this extraordinary post from a Bowie fan who became more than just a fan.

maybe it's because i just woke up, but something about that page...small font, gray text on white, i dunno...hinders readability.
posted by rhizome at 9:34 AM on January 13


It's still a great story, and bumping your browser zoom up to 125% helps tremendously.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:37 AM on January 13




I can really recommend the Visconti show. I was lucky enough to hear about last night's show before it quickly sold out after the news. I've sort of been avoiding public displays and even reading this thread yet, I don't want it to be real. But mourning and celebrating the man with his friends and bandmates last night was an unforgettable privilege, and if it has to be real I'm glad I could be part of it with them. Singing and crying and shouting along to stuff like Five Years and Changes and Rock and Roll Suicide last night was so cathartic. You're not alone. You're wonderful.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:12 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Thank you all for this lovely thread, and thank you so much for all you gave the world Mr Bowie.
posted by goo at 10:21 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Tony Visconti's performance - anyone know of other performances or tribute events to go to? I feel like I need to get out there and pay tribute to Bowie somehow with people like all of you on this thread but don't know where to go. Anyone doing cool stuff in Portland, OR? Listening to every album has been slightly helpful but I still just feel so overwhelmingly sad and want to do something with that energy. Anyway, love you guys for this thread - it's been the most helpful thing so far for me.
posted by FireFountain at 11:35 AM on January 13


Mr. Pop on Mr. Bowie (NYT):*

“[T]his guy salvaged me from certain professional and maybe personal annihilation — simple as that . . . He resurrected me . . . He went a bit out of his way to bestow some good karma on me.”
[. . .]
He compared Mr. Bowie with [Professor Henry Higgins] in George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” and the musical “My Fair Lady.”

“I learned things that I still use today. . .”
[. . .]
Mr. Bowie made a point of visiting Mr. Pop’s parents in Detroit . . . “He came to my parents’ trailer . . .My father’s a very wonderful man, and he said, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing for my son.’ I thought: Shut up, Dad. You’re making me look uncool.”

---------------------------------------------------
* I love the way Pareles writes these pieces: "Mr. Pop said of Mr. Bowie . . .". I know, I know, it's the house style, but it looks particularly stiff and ludicrous in their pop music coverage. It cracks me up that they still write about people with silly stage names and sillier hair (Mr. Manson, Mr. Rotten, etc.) in such like.
posted by Herodios at 11:42 AM on January 13 [11 favorites]


i truly love how everyone is mourning a different Bowie right now.... personally, I've given it some thought, I've listened to a lot of the back catalogue... and I'm prepared to say this is my personal favorite Bowie track. I'm 33 (34 in a few days), and like a lot of people my age, I got turned on to Bowie through the Trent Reznor connection. My brother brought home the "I'm Afraid of Americans" extended single, and it really captured my imagination. I checked out EARTHLING from my local library (the humble Roselle Public Library is to thank for SO MANY of my musical revelations!!!!) and it was a pure "holy shit, I get it" moment from the first track.

DID YOU KNOW Bowie played 'I'm afraid of americans' with Sonic fucking Youth?
posted by Sebmojo at 11:50 AM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Infographic on Bowie's genre-hopping career.

Interesting.

Interesting that there was room under "Key Collaborators" for Bing Crosby (one Christmas song) and Mick Jagger (one Motown cover for charity) but not for Reeves Gabrels,Tony Sales, and Hunt Sales (two albums and tours plus a live album).
 
posted by Herodios at 11:54 AM on January 13 [4 favorites]


DID YOU KNOW Bowie played 'I'm afraid of americans' with Sonic fucking Youth?

Did you know that Bowie played "This is Not America" with Pat fucking Metheny? (Sha la la la la)
 
posted by Herodios at 12:05 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


Hey FireFountain, just found this coming up in PDX.
posted by vverse23 at 12:18 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


The Edmonds Theatre is doing a free showing of Labyrinth. Other events in Seattle.

I've been listening to Hours, Earthling, Ziggy and Blackstar. I can't listen to Heroes without crying.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:19 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


I can't listen to Heroes without crying.

I haven't been able to listen to Heroes yet. Working on it.
posted by jokeefe at 1:02 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


i truly love how everyone is mourning a different Bowie right now....

Yeah, the outpouring about "Under Pressure" is really surprising to me, a song I had always put above "Dancing in the Street" but well below "Modern Love". And the fact that Labyrinth was such a big deal to so many kids, I truly had no idea.

The fact that two things I thought of as minor footnotes are in the center of others perspective says a lot about his wide range and appeal. Having so many fans from so many different directions is not something a lot of people can hope to pull off.
posted by bongo_x at 1:10 PM on January 13 [12 favorites]


Yeah, the outpouring about "Under Pressure" is really surprising to me, a song I had always put above "Dancing in the Street" but well below "Modern Love".

And I am probably the only person sitting right here, waiting for the gift of sound and vision.
posted by GuyZero at 1:14 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]



I haven't been able to listen to Heroes yet. Working on it.


maybe if half of it was in German, and in league with the most uplifting movie ever made (about a thirteen year old heroin addict in a Cold War divided Berlin where the sun never f***ing shines)
posted by philip-random at 1:18 PM on January 13


Oh, god, I've been trying to avoid Chistiana F. through all this... too much bleakness. Too close to home. But all the German I know, I know because of translating the lyrics off the back of the 45. Not the most melodious of languages.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:28 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Under Pressure is something so purely perfect that I don't even have words.

Cause love's such an old fashioned word and love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night and love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves

This is our last dance


And philip-random:

in league with the most uplifting movie ever made (about a thirteen year old heroin addict in a Cold War divided Berlin where the sun never f***ing shines)

Ah, I remember seeing Christiane F! I went with a bunch of film students who were excited about something technical in the filmmaking; I left with the conviction that we should all avoid the coming nuclear bombardment by moving to Berlin and becoming heroin addicts. Ah youth.

I saw the other day a recent-ish (2013) interview with Christiane herself, from Vice; she recounts being disappointed when she met Bowie, because he seemed so thin and fragile.
posted by jokeefe at 1:44 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


I'm just catching up with this piece of news-- I'm trying to think of any other figure from popular culture who could elicit such recognition. (Did he actually help bring down the wall? Not really, but in the dreamworld version of 70s Berlin, which he did so much to articulate, yes.)

In addition to the messages of condolence from politicians and world leaders came this message, posted on Twitter by the German Foreign Office, “Good-bye, David Bowie. You are now among #Heroes. Thank you for helping to bring down the #wall.” It contained a link to his anthem “Heroes,” with its depiction of love in the shadow of the Berlin Wall.
posted by jokeefe at 2:14 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


I went to the College of Wooster in Ohio. When I was a senior, Duncan Jones started as a freshman, so that year there were a few breathless David Bowie/Iman sightings on campus. Even better, I went up to Oberlin one weekend to see the Pixies and Pere Ubu play in the gymnasium. Halfway through the show, there was this tangible electric current that ran through the audience, and everyone started turning around and looking furtively over their shoulders. There, next to the sound table, having a blast, were David Bowie and Reeves Gabrels, just hanging out. Tin Machine had apparently played in Cleveland the night before and Bowie and Gabrels really wanted to see this show so they came down. A month or so later, Bowie was on Letterman and Dave asked him what kind of music he liked to listen to. Bowie said "oh, I like old bands, like the Pixies and Pere Ubu!"
posted by gorbichov at 2:24 PM on January 13 [15 favorites]


I haven't been able to listen to Heroes yet. Working on it.
Heroes makes me feel sort of weepy even in the best of moods. I don't know when I'll be able to listen to it either.

I keep swinging back and forth between wanting to listen to his music, and not being able to. I'm surprised to realize that I'm actually least conflicted about listening to Blackstar, because its existence feels like a favor he's asked of us, like "Hey, I'm really tired and have to go back to my home planet now, but before I go will you listen to this one last thing I made?"

Billboard is saying that Blackstar is headed for #1 (Bowie's first ever in the US) on the charts.
posted by usonian at 2:35 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Anyone notice how the harmonica line in "I Can't Give Everything Away" on ★ seems to be a near-direct quote from the one in "A New Career in a New Town"?
posted by invitapriore at 3:02 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


New Yorker: David Bowie in the Movies
posted by hippybear at 3:03 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


So apparently Bowie was a big Uncle Floyd fan and wrote a song about the show.
posted by octothorpe at 3:23 PM on January 13


I've not listened to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust in a very long time and I'd forgotten that it ends with the whole "oh no love, you're not alone" sequence and now I'm bawling all over again.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:24 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Got my physical copy of ★ today as a lovely gift from wallabear... sounds much better than the "Optimized For iTunes" version I downloaded mere hours before his death was announced. It is the first time I've even been capable of approaching this work again since I learned about his death shortly after hearing the album.

Lord, what lovely packaging. A bit cruel, but it makes you work for its treasures, and that makes it even more special. I look forward to being able to dwell in this album now after a bit of a break for mourning.
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Here's David Bowie quoting [the hip-hop group] Blackstar in a great interview with Mos Def (who, of course, is half of Blackstar with Talib Kweli).
posted by raihan_ at 3:49 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


I'll only say one thing: I can sing "Let's Dance" at any karaoke bar anywhere and know with 100% confidence that when I bring a person up on stage to sing it with me, no matter what their age or singing ability or level of stagefright they'll feel like a rockstar for four minutes. It's an amazing song.
posted by eamondaly at 3:56 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


David Bowie's body cremated in New York, say reports

So, that's that then.

And, if you were curious about whether Angie would cry or not (on Celebrity Big Brother) the Guardian has a recap of that farce.
posted by Mezentian at 4:20 PM on January 13


maybe if half of it was in German,

When I was younger I only had that version for some reason that is lost to time, but surely had to do with finances and used record stores. I didn’t realize that wasn’t the only version until sometime in the 90’s. I played it so much that to this day I do a double take when the whole song is in English. I always start singing in phonetic German.

It was within the last 2 weeks that I was driving to the store when it came up on shuffle on my iPod and I parked and listened to the whole thing, amazed at how the power it holds never seems to decrease.
posted by bongo_x at 4:31 PM on January 13


KEXP played both the German and the French version on Monday. German was still hard. French was no problem, oddly. And I actually studied French. For 10yrs.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:33 PM on January 13


Fill My Heart.. an interesting story about that song... You'll need a facebook account to read this history by Biff Rose.
posted by HuronBob at 4:33 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Under Pressure. David Bowie - Annie Lennox - The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert - London - 1992

I had never seen this before. It's absolutely magnificent.
posted by jokeefe at 4:38 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


From the cremation link: and more than half of the UK’s top 40 chart has been taken up by albums from Bowie’s back catalogue.

-weeping again- I wish the US had as much love for stars like this as the UK has for their native children. (I know, size and scale matters, and the UK has always loved their stars more than the US, but damn!)
posted by hippybear at 4:44 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]




still can't bring myself to watching the Lazarus video, though. Maybe soon.
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


-weeping again- I wish the US had as much love for stars like this as the UK has for their native children.

On the marquee of the Brixton theatre where the Aladdin Sane mural is painted, it read (I just saw in passing on phone-recorded video, so the wording might not be perfect): "David Bowie, Brixton's son."
posted by jokeefe at 4:59 PM on January 13


naju: I'm with you on speculating whether he might have engineered his exit in exactly this way. It is basically the perfect thing for him to do, even if it has oddly broken my heart. So perfect a statement, so incredibly Bowie. If I were notorious enough to engineer such an exit and have it matter all around the globe, I would do exactly this.
posted by hippybear at 5:14 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


According to a new Rolling Stone interview with Tony Visconti, the end may actually have been sooner than expected.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:24 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


The lyrics of Where Are We Now? are.. as anguishing as they ever were but also making me wonder about timelines now. "The moment you know, you know."
posted by vers at 6:02 PM on January 13


The lyrics of Where Are We Now? are.. as anguishing as they ever were but also making me wonder about timelines now. "The moment you know, you know."

Yeah, I've been thinking a lot about the end of the video for "The Next Day" today.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:17 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


From the link FelliniBlank just shared:

In what turned out to have been the final weeks of his life, Bowie wrote and demo-ed five fresh songs, and was anxious to return to the studio one last time.

Those are going to be five very sought after demos.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:32 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


(also, fuck cancer)
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:38 PM on January 13


they could take his cremated remains around the globe and call it the ashes to ashes tour.

what.... too soon?
posted by hippybear at 6:56 PM on January 13 [10 favorites]


So, been listening to ★ on repeat from CD for a few hours now... "prog jazz" is exactly the right description for it. Brilliant, but very dense work. I haven't even dug into the lyrics yet -- I'm a bit afraid to... but the music and what is coming into my head via repeat exposure is pretty amazing.
posted by hippybear at 7:05 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


That new interview with Tony Visconti is really good. Lots of answers and additional heartbreaking details.
posted by naju at 7:27 PM on January 13


they could take his cremated remains around the globe and call it the ashes to ashes tour.

Well, The Ashes is coming up.
Did Bowie like cricket?
posted by Mezentian at 7:35 PM on January 13


In penance for that, Yoko Ono: David Bowie Was a 'Father Figure' to My Son

Was told about that last night, and hasn't been posted here, as far as I can see.
posted by Mezentian at 7:36 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


And in Austin some delightful vandal rechristened Bowie Street last night. The city is leaving it up for a week.
posted by mrcrow at 7:43 PM on January 13 [10 favorites]


So many confessions of love, from deep in the heart and some times dark places in our lives... thank you all for sharing. It's simultaneously hard to read and a great comfort.
I had just listened to everything I have (those old Ryko remasters from the 90s and forward) to celebrate Blackstar's release, then dove into that on compulsive repeat on Thursday night when it was streaming. Took a breather on Sunday to process it all... and now there's a past tense.

David Bowie was supposed to live to be over 100 and then ascend to the heavens in a ball of pure light. I guess it's fitting that he decided that wasn't the right thing and went for a black star & cremation instead.
posted by mrcrow at 8:05 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


"... and now there's a past tense."

Goodness. Summed it all up with that one phrase.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


still can't bring myself to watching the Lazarus video, though. Maybe soon.

What you will see, when the time is right for you, is a creative genius at work. It is stunning, full of utter intelligence and musicality, complex and subtle, rich and rewarding, time after time. And he did this when he was 68 years old and dying of cancer. Fuck.
posted by vac2003 at 10:01 PM on January 13 [16 favorites]


The stage play of Lazarus has also been undergoing a critical reassessment. I really like this re-review of production by Chicago Tribune.
posted by geryon at 10:37 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


what.... too soon?

Moon dust will cover you.
posted by Artw at 10:47 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


What you will see, when the time is right for you, is a creative genius at work. It is stunning, full of utter intelligence and musicality, complex and subtle, rich and rewarding, time after time. And he did this when he was 68 years old and dying of cancer. Fuck.

Oh. I've heard about people wanting to favorite a comment repeatedly, and until now never understood the feeling.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:59 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


this is still bumming me out. Has the world grown so damn toxic that even aliens get cancer?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:13 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Adrian Belew with a story to tell ... Berlin, Eno, Zappa, Captain Tom ...
posted by philip-random at 11:44 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Just leafing through Brian Eno's 1995 diary, A Year with Swollen Appendices, which covers some of the Outside sessions, and came across this gem of a recollection (19 January) about the writing and recording of 'I Have Not Been To Oxford Town':

"The thing I started last night really burst into life today when David heard it. Bizarre: he sat down and started writing the song on the first hearing, listened once more and said, 'I'll need five tracks.' Then he went into the vocal booth and sang the most obscure thing imaginable - long spaces; little, incomplete lines. On track 2 he sang a companion part to that, on track 3 a 'question' to which tracks 1 and 2 had been the 'answers', and then, on the other two tracks, the lead lines! So he unfolded the whole thing in reverse, keeping us in suspense for the main song. Within half an hour he'd substantially finished what may be the most infectious song we've ever written together - currently called 'Toll the Bell'. What's fascinating is that he has has glided over my careful structure, rambled around it in a fantastic way - so that you have two structures floating together, but not locked in an obvious way."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 12:27 AM on January 14 [12 favorites]


Geez. Outside was 21 years ago.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 12:31 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


That Chicago Tribune article is paywalled. Anyone have another source for that article?
posted by pxe2000 at 4:11 AM on January 14




Speaking of Bowie and Belew, here's a Pretty Pink Rose in memoriam.
posted by oakroom at 5:08 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


'The feelings David Bowie aroused will vanish along with the fashion built around him' Martin Amis on a 'mild fad' in 1973.
posted by brilliantmistake at 5:18 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:37 AM on January 14


'The feelings David Bowie aroused will vanish along with the fashion built around him' Martin Amis on a 'mild fad' in 1973.

When I saw this a couple of days ago, I was annoyed with the New Statesman for using that as the strapline, because by taking it out of context they made Amis say the exact opposite of what he seems to have meant (emphasis mine):

Bowie does appear to be a new focus for the vague, predatory, escapist reveries of the alienated young. Although Bowie himself is unlikely to last long as a cult, it is hard to believe that the feelings he has aroused or aggravated will vanish along with the fashion built round him.

He still figured Bowie would be a flash in the pan, though. Indeed, when rewatching the "Blackstar" video afterwards, I suspected the moment where Bowie thumbs his nose at the camera while singing "I'm a flash in the pan" was his message to Amis and others who similarly wrote him off in the early days.
posted by rory at 6:38 AM on January 14 [11 favorites]


It's been posted around here previously, but Tony Visconti's telling of how they recorded Heroes is a pretty good read - a good mix of technical info with reminiscences about how the song got written.
My favourite detail from this is that it was Visconti's embrace of (Heroes backing vocalist) Antonia Maass, that Bowie wove into the lyrics as:-
I, I can remember
Standing, by the wall
And the guns, shot above our heads
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day
But that, that since he was then a married man, neither he nor anybody else could reveal this.
posted by rongorongo at 7:11 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Haven't seen any remarks direct from Robert Fripp on Bowie's passing so far, but the DGM Live site has this item:
During the interview with Robert Fripp for "David Bowie: Five Years" (2013) a question was asked, answered, and edited out of the documentary.


Q: Why was Bowie so influential? (paraphrase).
A: He spoke on behalf of what is highest in all of us.
There's also this item:
David Bowie’s death from cancer was announced today. In a recording career that spanned more than fifty years he achieved the kind of commercial and artistic success - chart sales and artistic integrity - that most other musicians can only dream about.
DGM Live also mentions the participation of Fripp, Belew, and Tony Levin in Bowie's work, and point out that "King Crimson played Heroes during their 2000 and 2001 tours - the only song by another artist to be performed by King Crimson on a regular basis."

There's a link to this interview with Belew on Bowie.

The site also notes that coincidentally, Wednesday January 13th marks the 47th anniversary of the founding of King Crimson.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:50 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]




But that, that since he was then a married man, neither he nor anybody else could reveal this.

The danger in that kiss is so fucking palpable. Bowie was, it seems to me, an incurable romantic, and I guess that I am too & his music touched me in a way that made it okay to have deep, sudden feelings about people -- gave voice to those feelings when I didn't understand them. I sometimes miss the danger of illicit romance, but I am still a romantic & crave the companionship of my wife, friend & lover, and while we're not the kids in Heroes, we have settled into a "Wild Is The Wind" sort of state. Holding on to the romance has been one of the challenges of being in a long-term relationship which involves growing old together, & I hope I never lose that sense.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:35 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


A friend just sent me this:

Elvis Presley Black Star
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:53 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


We went to a Bowie party last night and while I'm glad we went, it was a little sad. First of all, they played Heroes immediately before Let's Dance, which, hello, Heroes is a major tearjerker :(

And I think we were the only people there kind of openly mourning. I didn't want people to be sad all night, but I wanted some company on the crying, at least during the sad songs.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:06 AM on January 14


OMG the Presley Black Star lyrics and this from Dangerous Minds.
posted by maudlin at 10:14 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


My best friend (at the time) turned me onto the Young Americans album shortly after it came out, and while I didn't think much of Ziggy previously, I had to admit the fellow was really onto something. Truly a unique and gifted artist. I was never an emulator, but I have always enjoyed singing in my best Bowie voice "golden years, golden years, wah-wah-wah ..."

But dang, really, how cool to be growing up as he was working and living and making records.
posted by Mr.Pointy at 11:57 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I'm glad you people are here; This is bothering me surprisingly badly and even my Bowie-appreciating friends where I am have been like "Wow, bummer" and moved on (my housemate thinks I'm upset about things at work, and I'm kind of embarrassed and not correcting him). I've gone past this "all I want to listen to is Bowie" place into "I Can Not Listen to Bowie", like I feel like... I want to be past the grieving process and I want to be a happy human again... I feel like I was past "sad" and into "celebrating his life" or whatever, but something about reading that he was cremated kicked me back into sad. (Someone up thread noted that now the new album on the shelf fills them with dread/ fear rather than happy anticipation: I am sort of afraid of encountering the Lazarus video again right now). No celebrity death has ever hit me like this. It's like it was part of my identity, Bowie-fan, and it feels like I've lost a family member, which makes me feel sort of pathetic and insane and like I should get a god-damned grip. In recent years with celeb deaths I've actually thought "How am I going to feel someday when Bowie dies, jeez", and I guess now I know. Maybe typing this out will help.
I've never dealt well with January.
posted by Capybara at 3:59 PM on January 14 [21 favorites]


Someone I know, who is a fan but not a FAN, said;
"Well, that proves it, I’m not immortal."
posted by bongo_x at 4:07 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


My torrent of tears (where the fuck did monday go, indeed) still has aftershocks, moments of a choked throat and short flows of tears, but mostly joy has returned. I waded right in on monday and never stopped listening to all my favorites plus material i'm not that familiar with (huh, I vaguely remember seeing the video for Day-in Day-out ~30 years ago, also, homelessness is a crime of society against all of us).

The wonderful deluge of discussion online led in a roundabout way to my discovering the fantastic music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Saxophone is sorely missing from a lot of music, imo.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 5:05 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


At lunchtime at work today, a bunch of us watched first the Flight of Conchords Bowie clips and then the performance of Starman on Top of the Pops. It was kind of an emotional moment, really. This was a raw week in a bunch of ways, but on the other hand, it's been good finding out that we had that bond in common.
posted by epersonae at 5:31 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


This reflection on grief and grieving a celebrity is really poignant: If our public grief is a performance, it’s a performance in the way that a disaster drill is a performance.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:57 PM on January 14 [5 favorites]


A notable ask.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:28 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I had my first real reminder that he was actually gone this evening. I had been listening to the new album for the past few days but hadn't brought myself to watching the videos he had made yet. And I watched them and I enjoyed them and I thought "Wow, it'd be cool if he did X song (another song off the album) for the next..." and then I remembered. There isn't going to be any more. But he left us a hell of a body of work to think about.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:44 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to join in the sharing of thanks to everyone contributing to this thread; it's been a tremendous comfort this week to read the stories of so many people who Bowie means so much to. It's hard to articulate my appreciation of the man to friends and family without reaching some previously-untouched plateau of dweebdom. So getting to share in your memories and reactions to him (as well as sharing my own aftershocks) has been a pleasure, despite the crummy circumstances. Thank you! The aforementioned Pushing Ahead of the Dame has been a constant these past few days as well; it's the absolute best Bowie site on the web.

So, yeah. Rough week. Life catches up to us all, but this was such a horrible shock. Just days after releasing a late-career highlight in Blackstar, too. It had already received some great reviews, for what that's worth. And it's been great to see people talking it up, here and elsewhere. He seemed at the top of his game, and I was already anticipating this being the start of a new, exciting, (hopefully) prolific phase of Bowie's career. Reading that Eno and Bowie were considering revisiting Outside brought me to tears, for the umpteenth time this week. What might have been. Blackstar was going to be the impetus. What a wonderful album, and what a chilling spot it occupies in his career, as well as in our fandom. I haven't been able to listen to it this week, but I hope he knew how many people loved it.

Some songs/videos that have helped me this week:
  • When the Boys Come Marching Home. My favorite Bowie song, narrowly beating the title track to Station to Station. It's pretty obscure, but from the moment I heard it it's had a deep personal resonance for me.
  • Win (covered by Tyna Metzner). A gorgeous (and criminally underviewed) performance of one of my favorite Bowie songs, refining it down to its essence.
  • Life on Mars (covered by Aurora). Most covers of this song are disastrous, but I love this one (lyrical stumble and all). Wonderfully inventive take on a classic.
  • Zeroes. There's some Bowie albums I just can't play this week without getting in a foul mood. I've been enjoying listening to The Next Day, Tonight, and Never Let Me Down though. It's been refreshing to hear songs I don't play often (though all three have songs I unabashedly love), and I even heard some songs on NLMD for the first time. Zeroes, Boss of Me, Shining Star (Makin' My Love), and the gloriously 80's corporate rock of the Neighborhood Threat in particular.
  • Thursday's Child (from VH1 Storytellers).
  • O Superman (Live Laurie Anderson cover). With the inimitable Gail Ann Dorsey on lead vocals.
  • Loving the Alien (Live circa Reality Tour). I'm so glad I got to see him on this tour (Houston). The band was great; the setlist was surprisingly balanced. Bowie cracked corny jokes and never stopped grinning. For the encore, Bowie and Dorsey came back out in cowboy hats and sang "Suffragette City" with a Texas drawl.
    posted by kryptondog at 9:59 PM on January 14 [13 favorites]


    “Like some cat from Japan: A tribute to David Bowie” From The Japan Times

    N.B. There are a lot of really excellent and little seen photos in this piece as well as five remembrances, including one by Morgan Fisher, formerly of Mott the Hoople. Well worth the time.
    posted by ob1quixote at 10:40 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


    Lovely article by Anwen Crawford in Australia's The Monthly: The Man Who Fell to Earth.
    All of what I understand popular music to be – a theatre of rebellion and transformation; the pre-eminent modernist art form; a stage upon which to mean it and not mean it simultaneously, staking your life on a chord change while laughing out the side of your mouth at just how flimsy, just how impermanent it is – has to do with Bowie. I love that he was a buddha of suburbia, the gnomic godfather to autodidacts worldwide; those kids, like me, from families without fortune or sophistication, stumbling to piece together an escape route out of record sleeves, Penguin paperbacks, and histories of modern art. Bowie put the pieces together more quickly than anyone.
    posted by jokeefe at 11:51 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


    I asked the Green to help me feel better, and they gave me a bunch of excellent Bowie covers.

    I figured you lot might appreciate them.
    posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:47 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


    And you were right, redthoughts. Listening to actual Bowie right now hurts but listening to covers doesn't, it feels like paying tribute, or at least participating in tribute. Nice idea, much thanks.
    posted by valetta at 1:19 AM on January 15


    Well, valetta, I'm home on a Friday night, drinking gin and learning to play Bowie songs on ukelele. It feels pretty good, all things considered.
    posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:30 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


    Funny you should say that, redthoughts. I was idly thinking earlier, as I listened to some of those Bowie covers, that I should really have another crack at learning the uke. I tried last year, got frustrated, shoved the little darling in a cupboard for Some Other Time. Gonna go look for easy Bowie uke links RIGHT NOW. A fumbling, halting amateur tribute is still a tribute, innit?
    posted by valetta at 1:55 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


    There are a lot of really excellent and little seen photos in this piece as well as five remembrances, including one by Morgan Fisher, formerly of Mott the Hoople. Well worth the time.

    The last one especially. Thanks, ob1quixote!
    posted by rory at 3:49 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]




    I've been in a place (like literally, physically, a place - it's not a metaphor for my emotional state) for a few days where I can't actually listen to any music. To complicated to explain. But the songs on Blackstar are, one by one, playing themselves out in my head. Very interesting, but not as interesting as the weeping wreck I'm likely to be on Sunday when I get to actually listen to it again. I know from previous, similar, occasions what I'm like when I hear my first music after a week without, and I'm expecting it to be hugely amplified.

    Am I right in thinking that the end of I Can't Give Everything Away - and so the end of the album and the end of... well, Bowie - is a huge stadium trashcan ending, but on a chord that doesn't resolve to the root, leaving it hanging? That's how it's playing in my head.
    posted by Grangousier at 4:55 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


    For everyone in Australia right now, rage is playing all David Bowie all night.
    posted by h00py at 5:17 AM on January 15


    Damn, Grangrousier, you only went and made me listen to it again, and now I'm a wreck. Listening on the heels of reading Helena Fitzgerald's devastating piece linked by EvaDestruction above didn't help.

    I've been swinging between despair and delight all week. Despair, for obvious reasons, but more fundamentally for the reasons Fitzgerald discusses. Delight, because of all the new-to-me Bowie I've been discovering (I only knew the hit singles and about half the albums - for any other artist, that would be a career's worth). And delight at the perfect, perfect way Bowie turned his own death into one final great performance.

    The Adam Buxton pieces I linked in my first comment here on Monday have been cheering me up. Cobbler Bob and the lost lyrics to "Warszawa". I dearly hope that Bowie found a moment in his 2013 web-surfing schedule to listen to the 6Music show that they came from.
    posted by rory at 5:31 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


    (Grangousier with only two r's, sorry. I always have to correct myself when I see your username.)
    posted by rory at 6:02 AM on January 15


    Devoidoid: I propose Bowienalia, a celebration of all things Bowie, starting (in the fashion of Zappadan) on January 10, the date of his death, and continuing through to the following January 8, the date of his birth (traditional Bowiemas).

    And what of January 9? Will that be a dark, empty, Bowieless day? Of course not. January 9 is Bowienalia Eve, a cause for celebration in its own right.

    Keep the faith. Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.


    I love this idea *so much*. Running with it. (for eight years I've had the "religion" field in my Facebook profile filled in with "Bowie", so this is appropriate)
    posted by Capybara at 6:14 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


    Venus DeMars (with the help of her cat Totoro) writes a letter to David Bowie. Her cover of "Where Are We Now" starts around 2:44. The first linked article includes her cover of "Heroes".
    posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:46 AM on January 15


    He performed the theme song for one of my favorite films in the 1980s, When the Wind Blows.

    It's an animated film about a couple that die from radiation poisoning; iirc, I saw it on A&E around 1988.
    posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 7:50 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


    Thank you for linking to that acoustic version of Dead Man Walking, jeffamaphone, it's been on my mind all week. I was always beguiled by the version on Earthling, partly because the mood of the song is so incongruous with that frenetic uptempo arrangement. The acoustic version is so startingly different yet exactly the same. And now of course the lyrics are extra-poignant.
    posted by usonian at 8:31 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


    So back in 1999, Bowie starred in a bizarre open world video game called Omikron: The Nomad Soul. It's now been made a free download in his honor.
    posted by Iridic at 10:20 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


    More details of his final creative burst.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 1:25 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


    “David Bowie, Media Economist,” Christine Larson, The American Prospect, 15 January 2016
    posted by ob1quixote at 2:14 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


    Berke Breathed uses his new Bloom County strips to memorialize Bowie:

    1) Link 1

    2) Link 2

    3) Link 3
    posted by hippybear at 4:04 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]




    Upon hearing of Bowie's death, the carillionneur in Utrecht raced up the tower to play a tribute on its bells. It seems that she wasn't the only one. There are a few.

    That last one. Jeebus.
    posted by Capt. Renault at 8:55 PM on January 15 [24 favorites]


    Oh great, tears again. Thanks Captain.
    posted by hippybear at 9:12 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


    Well, now I'm crying all over again. Church bells. So beloved that when he died they played his music from church towers. I'm sobbing, y'all.
    posted by ob1quixote at 9:15 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]




    Today, in the dining room at the aged care home. Table of four women all aged around ninety.

    I'm clearing away their lunch plates and I say: "Sad about David Bowie dying. Huge outpouring of love and admiration from all over the world."
    "Oh yes" says one, "there's been so much on TV".
    "Who?" says another. (She doesn't watch TV.)
    "David Bowie" I say. "You know ..." and I start singing "This is Major Tom to ground control ..."

    And they all smile, nod their heads and JOIN IN.

    Okay, we just sang a few lines, not the whole thing. But wow, the instant recognition and the affection they clearly felt for the song surprised me. I walked away with a handful of dirty plates and a heart full of something warm and wonderful I don't know the name of.

    Another beautiful Bowie moment.
    posted by valetta at 10:27 PM on January 15 [28 favorites]


    For heavens sake, valetta I thought the tears would have stopped by now, but you go and tell that story...
    posted by vac2003 at 10:51 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


    I had to tell someone. I might forget.
    posted by valetta at 10:58 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


    “Belgians give ‘Starman’ Bowie own constellation,” Kenn Van Lijsebeth, DDB Press Release, 13 January 2016
    Music legend David Bowie gets his own constellation, delineated by seven stars that shine in the iconic shape of a lightning bolt. A remarkable tribute by Belgian music station Studio Brussel and MIRA Public Observatory.



    The homage to the 'Starman' is linked to an online action "Stardust for Bowie" developed on Google Sky. Listeners and fans of Bowie can create a personal tribute in the Bowie constellation on www.stardustforbowie.be. Each visitor may assign a favourite song and leave a short personal text in the shape of a star.
    posted by ob1quixote at 11:01 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


    Wow. Such apotheosis.
    Look at that starman go!
    posted by valetta at 11:16 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]




    Here in New Orleans, Preservation Hall and Arcade Fire are having a David Bowie Second Line parade that starts in a few hours. I'm heading down there now-- to hear Preservation Hall brass band versions of Bowie tunes, and see the thousands of Bowies people dress up as.
    posted by umbú at 11:54 AM on January 16 [11 favorites]


    I have idly considered doing this for years, but never got around to it. Just got home from the tattoo shop.
    posted by Windigo at 12:00 PM on January 16 [19 favorites]


    Let's take some time to recognize that the occult community was impacted, too.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 2:52 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]


    Also, this thread on reddit will lead you to a Tumblr titled The Villa of Ormen (NSFW) which came into existence November 20. Several Redditors propose Bowie curated this.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 3:02 PM on January 16 [11 favorites]




    Billboards along I-96 near Detroit. I saw these on my commute yesterday and damn near had to pull over.
    posted by Etrigan at 4:37 PM on January 16 [8 favorites]


    Here in New Orleans, Preservation Hall and Arcade Fire are having a David Bowie Second Line parade that starts in a few hours. I'm heading down there now-- to hear Preservation Hall brass band versions of Bowie tunes, and see the thousands of Bowies people dress up as.

    Wow, what a celebration!
    posted by FelliniBlank at 5:06 PM on January 16 [5 favorites]




    I wish Spokane cared as much about Bowie... sheesh.

    It was only a week ago that I downloaded ★ to teach new MacOS user wallabear how this works, and then we listened to it and then we watched some TV and around midnight I refreshed Google News and saw the top story and Reality had shifted.

    Fuck, now I'm crying again.
    posted by hippybear at 5:13 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]


    You're not alone (you're never alone).

    Bowie is pretty much my Platonic ideal of a person, creative, brilliant and kind.

    This is the song I can finally listen to again.
    posted by vers at 7:56 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


    Saturday Night Live played the first verse and the chorus of “The Man Who Sold The World” tonight, and directed people to visit their website to watch all the songs from that night in 1979.
    posted by ob1quixote at 10:24 PM on January 16 [6 favorites]


    My heart! They just paid tribute to him on SNL. His 1979 performance there is available on the NBC website.

    .

    Vita brevis, ars longa
    Life is short. Art is forever.
    posted by halonine at 10:27 PM on January 16


    Sorry, here's the link.

    Fred Armisen spoke some words. His band at Late Night with Seth Meyers had played Bowie songs all week.
    posted by halonine at 10:37 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]




    Last night Springsteen played Rebel, Rebel and talked about how Bowie supported him early in his career.
    posted by octothorpe at 5:54 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]




    When was the SNL thing? I watched until the first musical number after the news.
    posted by rhizome at 11:01 AM on January 17


    500+ voice choir sings "Space Oddity" at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
    posted by FelliniBlank at 1:53 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


    Rhett Miller of Old 97's reflects: "David Bowie Was My North Star"
    posted by FelliniBlank at 2:45 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


    David Bowie’s bandmates explain just how he got them to sound like that

    Stunning Bowie fact of the day in that story, from producer Ken Scott: “It was only three weeks after recording Hunky Dory that we recorded Ziggy Stardust."
    posted by rory at 4:42 PM on January 17 [7 favorites]


    “David Bowie, as remembered by…” Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Kate Bush, et al., The Guardian, 17 January 2016
    From Blondie and Kate Bush to the Broadway producer who watched Bowie struggle to make his final video, friends, collaborators and celebrity fans offer their insights into the extraordinary man behind the music
    posted by ob1quixote at 6:26 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


    “David Bowie's 'Blackstar' Album Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart,” Keith Caulfield, Billboard, 17 January 2016
    Clearly, music fans were moved by the news of Bowie’s death, as not only did Blackstar perform strongly, but he has nine further albums that either re-enter or debut on the Billboard 200 chart. Among them are two further titles in the top 40: the greatest hits collection Best of Bowie (No. 4) and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (No. 21).
    posted by ob1quixote at 6:52 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


    The YT link of the Toronto AGO version of Space Oddity is here. It's beautiful.
    posted by maudlin at 7:52 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]




    Duncan Jones has shared this letter from a palliative care doctor. An excerpt:
    Thank you for Lazarus and Blackstar. I am a palliative care doctor, and what you have done in the time surrounding your death has had a profound effect on me and many people I work with. Your album is strewn with references, hints and allusions. As always, you don’t make interpretation all that easy, but perhaps that isn’t the point. I have often heard how meticulous you were in your life. For me, the fact that your gentle death at home coincided so closely with the release of your album, with its good-bye message, in my mind is unlikely to be coincidence. All of this was carefully planned, to become a work of death art. The video of Lazarus is very deep and many of the scenes will mean different things to us all; for me it is about dealing with the past when you are faced with inevitable death.
    posted by maudlin at 10:21 PM on January 17 [13 favorites]


    Thank you FelliniBlank and maudlin for the links of the Toronto AGO version of Space Oddity. Christ it has been a week, I'm still here and still moved to tears when seeing such links.
    posted by vac2003 at 12:13 AM on January 18 [4 favorites]


    The SNL link is amazing.
    And I say that as someone who is rarely impressed my TV performances.
    I wish they'd posted the other songs (TVC 15 and Boys Keep Swinging, and maybe a third... the Internet is unreliable.)
    posted by Mezentian at 1:39 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


    Yeah, I keep returning to this thread, wanting it to go on and on. I get a damp eye and a throb in the heart for each new comment or link, and the shared sense of loss.

    It's not like I idolised Bowie, or music is my main thing (art is) but that the guy was so interesting, so accomplished, so versatile, so prolific and so beautiful. He was around my age, his songs are in my bones. His image and his imagery reside in my mental art gallery/cinema, the videos, movies, album covers, photos, posters and that ticket for Serious Moonlight I might still have somewhere. I'm loving this wondrous world-wide wake. (WoWWW!) So much to learn, to revisit, to enjoy and to ponder. And so many people attending! Bowie always made me say "wow".
    posted by valetta at 1:58 AM on January 18 [9 favorites]


    Mezentian: I wish they'd posted the other songs (TVC 15 and Boys Keep Swinging ...)

    That NBC SNL link won't play for Oz. But see all three clips here on Vimeo.
    posted by valetta at 6:17 AM on January 18 [4 favorites]


    I went and saw Totoro at our local independent theater yesterday. After the previews, they played the Chris Hadfield/ cover of Major Tom, interspersed with the original, and it ended with a quotation about creativity and oddness and memory and stuff. The theater was mostly parents with their kids and other kinds of nerdy, odd people, and it got a little sniffly. It was really wonderful.
    posted by ChuraChura at 6:53 AM on January 18


    Radio Soulwax presents Dave (directed by Wim Reygaert). This is an hour long and I've only started watching it, but it's brilliant so far. (It was uploaded three years ago, so it's not a new tribute, but it plays very well this week.)
    posted by maudlin at 9:13 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


    (Ahh. Already linked upthread -- sorry!)
    posted by maudlin at 9:25 AM on January 18






    The Onion's editorial cartoonist Kelly, has, as always, nailed it.
    posted by Guy Smiley at 5:41 PM on January 18 [5 favorites]


    The postscript to the wonderful story posted above.
    posted by invitapriore at 8:05 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


    Confessions of a Vinyl Junkie - Bowie's 25 Albums

    Annotated. Fascinating. Includes Florence Foster Jenkins, Robert Wyatt, The Elektrosoniks and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

    (Apologies if linked before - I couldn't find it.)
    posted by Grangousier at 1:25 AM on January 19 [5 favorites]


    Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service pays tribute to Bowie

    Guardian readers share memories of having met Bowie - this was especially touching. With all the reading I've been doing this week about Bowie I was surprised to learn what an intelligent, thoughtful and kind person he was in real life. It makes it extra sad because I keep daydreaming that I could have a chat with him, but he's really gone.

    The 1979 SNL Bowie performance was my peak Bowie love. They'd been hyping it all week so there was no way I was going to miss it, and he did not disappoint, in fact he blew my mind! Him in that pencil skirt for TVC15 is forever etched in my memory and I've wished men would embrace pencil skirts ever since! The way English people of a certain age talk about Bowie's performance on Top of the Pops as Ziggy Stardust is how I felt about the SNL performance. It was the first thing I looked for after the news of his death and I was surprised it was so hard to find (I NEEDED to see TVC15).

    I also realized that about 5 years later I had a very similar outfit, only a black pencil skirt with a similar jacket in a black and blue print that I have to this day.
    posted by maggiemaggie at 4:19 AM on January 19 [7 favorites]


    Coldplay reminisce about Bowie. The best part comes at 1:25 where they explain about the time they approached him to collaborate on a song and Bowie responded, "It's not a very good song, is it?"
    posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:30 AM on January 19 [12 favorites]


    Proof (cf. the Glenn Frey thread) that Coldplay are not The Eagles. The Eagles would never approach Bowie (or anybody else) for a collaboration.
    posted by rhizome at 9:58 AM on January 19


    Last night our local indie/non-profit movie theater did a Bowie double feature, with the Lazarus video as an opening short. (Which, on the big screen: oof.)

    I'd never seen the Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars concert movie, and it was fantastic. Such theatricality! Eventually we got to singing/clapping along, and even cheering at the ends of the songs as if it were a live show. Rock N Roll Suicide, as the last song...just about perfect, especially when some rando from the audience* jumps on stage and hugs Bowie as if for dear life before being pried off and carried offstage.

    Somewhat to my disappointment, the audience vote was for Man Who Fell to Earth; I tried (again) to watch but it's just not for me. (I voted for The Hunger but would've been happy with the third option, Labyrinth.) So I went home early and made sure I (finally!) put my copies of Hunky Dory & Ziggy Stardust on my phone.

    * Holy shmoley, the images of the audience in that movie. 110% transported, singing, crying, shrieking, and always reaching up for the stage.
    posted by epersonae at 10:28 AM on January 19 [4 favorites]


    Thanks for everyone keeping this thread going; long may it last!

    Lovely tribute from Christopher Nolan on working with Bowie in The Prestige
    posted by kryptondog at 1:44 PM on January 19 [8 favorites]


    Amusing that even Nolan, whose job it is to herd movie stars around, was intimidated by Bowie's charisma.
    posted by octothorpe at 2:08 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]


    Our local theater did do a Labyrinth/The Hunger double feature.
    posted by gingerbeer at 4:07 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]


    Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service pays tribute to Bowie.

    As one might expect, this is FANTASTIC, including lots of non-standard versions of songs and amusing, illuminating Bowie interview snippets.
    posted by FelliniBlank at 5:36 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


    Apologies is this has already been posted (I don't believe it has) - Nile Rodgers on working with Bowie and making Let's Dance.
    posted by kryptondog at 9:00 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]




    Speaking of The Prestige, I wrote an essay about Bowie's role in the film a few years ago.
    posted by pxe2000 at 4:48 AM on January 20 [1 favorite]


    Well.

    I haven't listened to Diamond Dogs in YEARS.

    Put it on this morning (now that I work from home, I can), and when it got to "Sweet Thing", it happened.

    Like one of those squalls that pass in suddenly on a sunny day, I broke into sobs at the first chorus and cried like a baby for a good 5 minutes. It's shocked the hell out of me that I had such an outburst.
    posted by droplet at 9:57 AM on January 20 [9 favorites]


    I graduated from College of Wooster with Duncan Jones. David Bowie was at my graduation. Other than that I got nothing, other than a love of his music.
    posted by slogger at 10:03 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


    New Orleans tribute to David Bowie (Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. - Win Butler) - Suffragette City.
    posted by bonobothegreat at 10:24 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


    slogger: "I graduated from College of Wooster with Duncan Jones. David Bowie was at my graduation. Other than that I got nothing, other than a love of his music."

    So that comment reminded me of a picture taken of an incognito-ish David Bowie at Duncan's graduation that I once saw and commented on on MeFi, so I went searching through my history. Here is the comment linking to the photo, and here's my response (which I still stand by). Then I scrolled up to the top of the post those comments were in to see what it was about (it's a great Bowie thread, and I read The Whelk's first comment, and it hit me right in the feels.
    posted by Rock Steady at 10:52 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


    Oh wow, that whole thread is pretty delightful (which I think I missed 1st time around): "I clocked David Bowie in the face with a Bed, Bath, & Beyond bag."
    posted by epersonae at 12:26 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


    That thread!

    Ha, I was just having a conversation last night on how we will have to come to terms with the fact that Bowie is mortal and will die someday.
    posted by The Whelk at 6:41 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites +] [!]


    Bowie is mortal and will die someday.

    Liar.
    posted by kimdog at 6:43 AM on January 10, 2012 [31 favorites +] [!]

    posted by jokeefe at 2:01 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


    Starman Jones - Economist's obituary.
    posted by rongorongo at 2:07 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


    So we have proof now that The Whelk killed David Bowie.

    I suspected as much.
    posted by hippybear at 3:26 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


    "I'm going to tell a story so strange and irrelevant that you may feel that I've collapsed. Just let me go ...". A delightfully giddy Bowie spills his guts to Chris Evans in 1999. Warning: contains bowels. (Via this marvelous post.)
    posted by maudlin at 3:26 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


    “David Bowie Dominates Every Spot on LyricFind Global Chart,” Emily White, Billboard 20 January 2016
    posted by ob1quixote at 5:54 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


    Maudlin, your buried the lede - that second link of yours by James Ward is even better than that delightful Chris Evans interview. Two excellent contributions to this memorial there.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 6:09 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


    Starman Jones - Economist's obituary.

    I found that obituary just a little too 'try hard' for want of a better phrase. Cerebral rather than intelligent. It missed, for example, the fact that Bowie was actually a nice person, a warm, decent sort who seemed unaffected by his talent and fame. This aspect comes through in the Guardian's piece of readers stories of Bowie mentioned upthread.
    posted by vac2003 at 12:17 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


    Black Tie White Noise happened to come in for me at the public library the day after Bowie's death last week - I'd requested it earlier in January, in a moment of nostalgia, unaware that he even had a new album out imminently, let alone that he was about to die - and I've been listening to it every day since.

    I forgot how great it is! It's so good!

    Funnily enough, BTWN was my first deliberate exposure to Bowie, back in 93 when it was first released. I only really started paying attention to rock history in 1991, aged 15, and BTWN was the Bowie album that happened to be on the shelf at the public library when I finally went looking for something by this Bowie character. I have faint recollections of enjoying it back then (with basically no context, no knowledge of any of his other music, and with the dominant genre at the time being grunge!), but never got around to buying it, being a penniless teenager at the time.

    Imagine Black Tie White Noise being someone's introduction to Bowie! Of all the albums!

    Now, 23 years later, by pure coincidence in the wake of Bowie's death, I finally return to where it all began for me, now aged 40, having in the meantime become very familiar with most other points of his musical oeuvre.

    It's a really, really beautiful album, full of life and optimism and vigour and (as I now know) a renewed lust for a musical life, recorded after putting the supposed mis-steps of the 80s behind him and beginning a new life with Iman by his side. I feel refreshed every time I put it on.

    "I think this album comes from a very different emotional place. That's the passing of time, which has brought maturity and a willingness to relinquish full control over my emotions, let them go a bit, start relating to other people, which is something that's been happening to me slowly - and, my God, it's been uphill - over the last ten or twelve years. I feel a lot freer these days to be able to talk about myself and about what's happened to me, because I've been able to face it. For many years, everything was always blocked out. The day before was always blocked out. I never wanted to return to examine anything that I did particularly. But the stakes have changed. I feel alive, in a real sense."

    Jump They Say music video
    Black Tie White Noise music video
    Miracle Goodnight music video
    You've Been Around music video (my favourite BTWN track!)
    Nite Flights music video

    Any other BTWN fans out there?
    posted by paleyellowwithorange at 2:46 AM on January 21 [11 favorites]


    I love that album, paleyellowwithorange! Jump They Say is one of my favorite Bowie songs, but the whole album is great (albeit strangely overlooked by a lot of Bowie fans it seems).
    posted by kryptondog at 5:55 AM on January 21








    As several others have noted - I am glad that this thread is continuing (and hope that the mods will keep it open longer than usual). I didn't realize when I first heard of Bowie's death just how much it would affect me in the several days since, and I keep returning to this thread.

    What an amazing musician, artist, and creator.

    Reading all of these anecdotes, tributes, and memories is wonderful. And watching so many clips from the links, I am honestly struck by how genuinely, sincerely NICE he was throughout his life. He just seems to have been the epitome of the unaffected super-star -- as observed by others above, he was keenly aware of his iconic status, and understood how it "affected" people he came in contact with, but always acted with grace and kindness.

    In this age of tabloid sensationalism and everything is "out there" -- I am amazed that his illness was kept hidden (from 99% of the planet) until the end.

    Sincere condolences to his wife and children -- as hard as this has been for fans, they have lost their beloved husband and father.

    RIP, David Bowie. Thank you.
    posted by davidmsc at 10:43 AM on January 21 [5 favorites]


    Ha - I was the Bed, Bath, & Beyond bag thrower. I didn't repost that story in this thread, because it didn't feel like it had much of a... deeper insight into grief, or his genius, or his greatness. But man, those little memories really stick out for me, as I remember him.

    He was a nice person, and every single thing he did was surreal and wonderful. Just because it was David Bowie. David Bowie doing anything is wonderful.

    Like, how his dog, Max, has a brown eye and a blue eye. No shit, his little dog has his eyes. Max also looks remarkably like MY dog, Griswold. A couple of times David would make little "gemini" jokes about our "twin" dogs, while I fainted from sheer joy. (And he told us to call him David which…omg what.)

    Also, the building has those fancy elevators that open straight into each apartment. But each apartment has its own door, which is revealed once the elevator doors roll back. His door had five deadbolts up each sides and three locks across both the top and bottom.

    Each time, he would take his time and bennnnnnd over to unlock the bottom three and then creeeeeak up to undo the side locks, and then streeeetch to unlock the top three. It took what felt like an eternity. The first time, you could cut the awkwardness with a knife, because David Bowie . “Umm… do you need help?” we asked, which he quietly declined.

    After the fourth or fifth time, he turned to us and said, “Be lucky you didn’t buy your place in the 90s.” Which, fair enough.

    A real New Yorker, indeed. He’ll be missed.
    posted by functionequalsform at 11:08 AM on January 21 [26 favorites]


    Any other BTWN fans out there?

    Oh hell yes. My favorite album of his since Scary Monsters. Makes me want to dance, and I don't dance.
    posted by Halloween Jack at 2:21 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]




    BTWN has my absolute favorite Bowie semi-instrumental. That is a damn fine piece of music.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 2:28 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


    I too am a BTWN fan, although I hadn't listened to it in years! I'm pretty sure I lost it either when my college rental house was burgled 2 days before Xmas in 1993, or during the breakup with my HS/college BF in 1996. (I asked him last week; he said he didn't think he'd ended up with it. Then again, it was a cassette tape, so....) I distinctly remember listening to it while going on a long walk to clear my head in the fall of 1993, at a point in my life when things were strange and on the verge of getting even stranger.
    posted by epersonae at 3:02 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


    If you've not seen it, there is a MeFi thread about Grief Policing which touches heavily on reactions to Bowie.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 5:04 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


    here is a MeFi thread about Grief Policing

    Oh neat, I have moved to the anger stage. (Acceptance will never come.)
    posted by Devils Rancher at 8:05 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


    I distinctly remember listening to it while going on a long walk to clear my head in the fall of 1993, at a point in my life when things were strange and on the verge of getting even stranger.

    It's amazing isn't it, how many people have such clear, strong memories of exactly when a song or album of his changed us in some way? Those moments seem to have stuck forever. That is what art is supposed to do.
    posted by Devils Rancher at 8:09 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


    “David Bowie: The World Cafe Sessions”World Cafe, NPR, 12 January 2016
    posted by ob1quixote at 1:26 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


    I had to buy an extra data block from my provider to continue feasting at this thread's table. Money well spent.
    posted by valetta at 2:09 AM on January 22 [3 favorites]


    I enjoyed those World Cafe interviews, gracias. Also the recorded fan memories they have there, short and sweet, simple, sincere.

    Last night I came upon this: Let me Sleep Beside You, 1967. Here you see the young Bowie learning his craft, trying out moves, striking poses, frequently looking ridiculous but clearly game to try anything. So interesting to spot elements of the performance style he will later develop.

    People have been talking how and why they first became interested in Bowie's work. I think I've nailed the source of my own interest. The music's a given, gave me much pleasure, but what really hooked me back in the seventies was the stagecraft. That was what I was into in those days - performance, movement, costume, staging, exploring the beyonds of theatrical form, I lived and breathed that stuff. When I learnt he did some mime classes with Lindsay Kemp my heart was won.
    posted by valetta at 6:58 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


    They say your life is going very well
    They say you sparkle like a different girl
    But something tells me that you're high
    When all the world is warm and tired
    You cry a little in the dark
    Well so do I
    - "Letter to Hermione" written to dancer, actress and (but don't tell her!) "girl with the mousy hair", Hermione Fathingale - former girlfriend of Bowie who chucked him to go and and do a film in Norway. It's always been one of my favourite songs of his. Here she tells about how she was secretly re-united with Bowie in the 1990s.
    posted by rongorongo at 7:58 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


    Impersonating Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop and Bruce Springsteen during the Absolute Beginners recording sessions.
    posted by vverse23 at 8:45 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


    There's a more in-depth article about the impersonations by producer Mark Saunders at Talkhouse.

    Also, Talkhouse posted this Twitter poll asking who Bowie is impersonating in the second go-round (still time to vote - mine is on Bolan.)

    36% Bob Dylan
    32% Tom Petty
    28% Marc Bolan
    04% Stevie Nicks
    posted by larrybob at 10:01 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


    I posted this in the grieving thread, but here's my take: 1. Bruce Springsteen, 2. Marc Bolan, 3. Tom Waits, 4. Lou Reed, 5. Anthony Newley, 6. Iggy Pop, 7. Neil Young. 2 has to be early T Rex-- I can't hear anything else there.
    posted by thetortoise at 10:17 AM on January 22


    #2 is totally Marc Bolan. Bowie did impressions of him at least one or two other times, but I can't dig up the examples offhand. And of course a fair amount of his first Deram album is channelling Anthony Newley.
    posted by FelliniBlank at 12:23 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


    Bowie did impressions of him at least one or two other times

    Bowie spoken impression of Marc Bolan

    Bowie sung impression of Marc Bolan: Last verse of Black Country Rock
    posted by larrybob at 2:11 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


    Not quite on topic, but:

    Iggy Pop and Josh Homme reveal Gardenia, from their album Post Pop Depression

    Spoiler Alert: It's good! Picks up where Iggy and Bowie left off.

    We may not have Bowie, we may not have Lou, but we still have Iggy. Don't ask me how, but we still have Iggy.
    posted by Capt. Renault at 2:46 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


    I think possibly he died ages ago and never noticed.

    That said, last time I saw a pic of him he has actual flesh and was no longer just a skellington.
    posted by Artw at 2:51 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


    We may not have Bowie, we may not have Lou, but we still have Iggy. Don't ask me how, but we still have Iggy.

    Also Keith Richards
    posted by Going To Maine at 3:51 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


    Well, I thought I was done Bowie-blubbering... watched the Jump They Say video last night for the first time in a while and the last scenes (with Bowie laying on top of the smashed car being comforted by passers-by) did me in again. Even worse than the ending of Lazarus. Ah well. Thanks again for everyone contributing to this thread.

    No news to share, just a few songs/videos that have been in rotation for the heck of it:
    • Sweet Thing / Candidate / Sweet Thing (Reprise) - Live Footage. Didn't even know there was any live footage to be found of him performing this. Awesome! Definitely in my top 5 Bowie songs (and, schyeah, it's gotta be considered one song). Just perfect. My set is amazing – it even smells like the street. There's a bar at the end where I can meet you and your friend...
    • Safe. Reworked from an aborted Rugrats Movie song, and the impetus behind Bowie's reunion with Tony Visconti. It's been (rightly) accused of being Bowie-by-numbers, but I don't mind. It's glorious, big swirling strings, psychedelic guitar colors, and one of my favorite latter-day Bowie vocals. This and the original songs from Toy make me wish there was a transitory album between Hours and Heathen.
    • Uncle Floyd (ur-Slip Away). Speaking of Toy, if you love Slip Away and haven't heard the original version - can't recommend it enough. My only complaint is that I find it so much better than the Heathen remake that it's almost killed the enjoyment of it for me.
    • Lucy Can't Dance. One of the best things about being a Bowie fan is that his discography is just so labyrinthine - he's been my favorite musician for more than a decade and there are still a handful of officially-released songs that I haven't heard yet (I'm going to dole them out to myself slowly). This gem that was bizarrely pushed off Black Tie White Noise, and I literally heard it for the first time a month or two back.
    • Chilly Down. Deny this song's charming, goofy pleasures at your own peril. Reminds me of me of me and my friends circa our sometimes-hazy college days. Good times! Bad food!
    • Brilliant Adventure. My boyfriend's favorite Bowie album is fast becoming Hours. It was mine for a long time too. Yet another sadly-overlooked Bowie album. His 90's output is crying out for a critical reevaluation; in total honesty I listen to his 90's stuff as much (if not more) than his 70's stuff. Outside alone makes the case for it.
    • The Idiot (full). Been listening to this album a lot too, which is of course basically a Bowie bonus album with Iggy singing and co-producing. I'm pretty sure anyone in this thread that's inclined to hear it already has, but if you've somehow missed it- drop the skillet, pull the car over, whatever- do it. It's perfect.
    Okay I lied – one bit of semi-related Bowie news: Labyrinth remake in the works. DO NOT WANT. I'm usually pretty irreverent about remakes, but this one bugs me. So much of the movie's magic is in Bowie (and Jennifer Connelly's) performance, and of course the songs. Without that... it's really not that great of a movie (imo). It's a perfect product of its time; a time capsule that's meant to be discovered via a shitty VHS copy, preferably in a room with earth tones and lots of fake wood paneling. Let it stay that way.
    posted by kryptondog at 8:54 AM on January 23 [10 favorites]


    I'm up to Space Oddity in my Bowie book and it has the line "When he dies, the television tributes will lead off with it."
    posted by Artw at 8:56 AM on January 23


    That's O'Leary's book, right? God damn, that's a great book.
    posted by the phlegmatic king at 9:03 AM on January 23


    Yeah, doing a bit of a read/listen.

    That first Self named album... There's a reason it doesn't get talked about much.
    posted by Artw at 9:07 AM on January 23


    YYyyyyyep. Which I think makes the sudden elevation to greatness even more interesting.
    posted by the phlegmatic king at 9:09 AM on January 23


    I can't wait to pick up a copy of Rebel Rebel (I'll be doing so as soon as it's back in print). Chris is an absolute gift to Bowie fandom. Agreed about Bowie's first album, though it does have its rare moments (Little Bombardier, She's Got Medals, and Silly Boy Blue are alright). Definitely interesting to hear the incubatory Bowie. Even just the jump from the self-titled album to... erm, the other self-titled album / Space Oddity is remarkable.

    Capt. Renault: Woah. First time I've heard Gardenia and it's sounds incredible! I can't wait to hear the whole album.
    posted by kryptondog at 9:14 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


    His 90's output is crying out for a critical reevaluation

    Incredibly I never heard the 90s Bowie until this week, as I've been going through his discography in chronological order, and there's some really great stuff. I keep wondering how I avoided it, or maybe I did hear it and didn't connect to it? And I really love Brian Eno, so how did I miss Outside???
    posted by maggiemaggie at 11:02 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


    In my opinion, the Labyrinth soundtrack album is, like, perfect 80s merging of Bowie and electronic film score.

    I truly love Trevor Jones' score from this period, especially the one he did for Runaway Train (sadly not available for easy linking, but if you like the Trevor Jones parts of the Labyrinth soundtrack, look for Runaway Train).

    But look at that group of support on the Bowie tracks! Dan Huff on guitar! Kevin "Elmo" Clash singing on Chilly Down! Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross, and Cissy Houston as part of the backup choir on Underground!
    posted by hippybear at 11:07 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


    There's plenty of turns where we could have ended up with no Bowie or a different Bowie. The lead up to the first album and it's aftermath are full of failures where he just could have given up.

    Worse something could have succeeded. If Laughing Gnome were his big novelty breakout hit would we get a decades spanning career with a recurring gnome motif?
    posted by Artw at 11:09 AM on January 23 [6 favorites]


    Listen to the bass line at the start of Laughing Gnome. Then listen to Can't Get You Out Of My Head by Kylie Minogue. Now go create a mash-up for me called "Can't Laugh You Out Of My Gnome. "
    posted by Joey Michaels at 11:37 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


    For a supposedly terrible song Laughing Gnome is surprisingly solid - there's not all that much of a gulf between it and Space Oddity.
    posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


    Actually I completely agree with you on this. Chipmunk vocal effects and gnome puns aside, it's s solid little song. Very catchy, in fact.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 11:53 AM on January 23


    Ha ha ha, hee hee hee.
    posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on January 23


    A late, Thursday night flight home from NYC, listening to Black Star over and over, sobbing. The very concerned flight attendant finally asked if she could do anything. I told her I had just lost someone. She sat down beside me with tissues and just hugged me.
    posted by memewit at 1:07 PM on January 23 [10 favorites]


    If Laughing Gnome were his big novelty breakout hit ...

    Stargnome
    All the Young Genomes
    Return of the Thin White Desktop Environment
    Let's Giggle
    Gnomes Keep Swinging (those picks)
    Ha-Ha-Ha-Heathens
    posted by valetta at 1:50 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]




    Just watched the Lazarus video. I thought, OK, it's been almost two weeks. I can do this.

    Now I'm all fucked up all over again.
    posted by Cookiebastard at 2:33 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


    I have a strange fondness for the "laughing Gnome," because it reminds me that Bowie wasn't really some sort of space god who arrived fully formed from the brow of some divinity, but a guy that had to figure things out and have false starts, just like everybody else.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 3:48 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


    Parallel (not replacement) MeFi thread: Breaking down David Bowie's 'Heroes' - Track-by-track
    posted by hippybear at 5:51 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


    Hippybear complained that we were posting stuff in the MeTa thread that belongs in this thread, so I better repost this one here as well:

    [An Ashes to Ashes reference in that thread] made me a click around on the Internet until I stumbled upon this page where Steve Strange [previously] tells the story of how Bowie dropped by his "Bowie nights" club one night, and recruited some Blitz Kids for the the original Ashes to Ashes video:

    "But there is only one snag. We have to meet tomorrow morning at 6am outside the Hilton to leave for the location shoot." [...] As soon as the club closed I rushed home and sorted out my outfit. [...] I had a long gown on and a kind of netted beekeeper' hat designed by Stephen Jones and was all ready to be jetted off to a glamorous location. Barbados? Spain? Paris? The coach arrived and we were told where we were going. Southend.
    posted by effbot at 6:02 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


    There's a meta thread?!
    posted by R343L at 9:29 PM on January 23


    Also I hadn't watched the Lazarus video until today. The song makes me cry nearly every time. The video is ... intense.
    posted by R343L at 9:33 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


    Top ten best videos by David Bowie

    Coupled with the newer thread about the creation of Heroes, I realize I'm still mourning David. I'm morning the loss of his artistry. The turn of his head, the flick of his gaze, so studied and exacting, yet flowing and unstilted; simultaneously expressive and arresting... who else possessed that artistic glamour and electric charisma? Even his newer videos (linked above) are gorgeous and other worldly. He really had the opportunity to do so much and explore so many different styles and now he's gone too soon.

    .
    posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:54 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


    Yeah, I still can not watch the new videos again. I'm having to avoid the last two albums to continue to progress. In this Bowie January mourning period I have been for the large part stuck in Ziggy-Aladdin-Hunky Dory land, but have also been re-realizing that even the overplayed 80s songs are really really ... not just catchy but actually good (Let's Dance, let's be honest, is really solid)-- I get this hankering to load up a Youtube video of Never Let Me Down, or the magic babe song from Labyrinth, or Absolute Beginners.
    posted by Capybara at 6:46 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


    I keep returning to Hunky Dory because it reminds me of joyous times. That album was my introduction to Bowie, and I got it when I turned 19. My friend Teresa put "Andy Warhol" on a mixtape for me, and I had to hear the rest of the album. I got it during the last year of my father's life, when I was falling in love with my first adult boyfriend. When you listen to the album you can hear the joy of possibility in Bowie's voice and songs. When I think of Bowie right now I need to consider that joy and possibility, because that's an important part of his legacy.

    The Blitz Kids link upthread reminded me of the Eg & Alice album, which I've been meaning to track down for a while. Not strictly Bowie-related, but without Bowie that album might not exist.
    posted by pxe2000 at 7:11 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]




    So I saw the MetaTalk thread and realized while I'd shared my Bowie story elsewhere you people - *my* people - might want to read it too. I'll try to keep it short, as I have already written a longish version you can check out if you'd like.

    In 1982, I was fourteen and my family lived overseas in Lausanne, Switzerland. My dad's work provided for school for us kids and we had opted for a French-immersion school in town rather than boarding at an English-language school in Geneva, which had been the choice of the daughters of a close colleague of my father.

    The school they attended was also the school that Duncan Jones attended, and they knew it, and we knew it. Scary Monsters was Bowie's most recent record and my sister and I had listened to it quite a bit after it came out. At the time I remember feeling disappointed in the record, probably by way of comparison with Changes One.

    At some point that year I had managed to scrape enough francs together for my first leather motorcycle jacket and carefully decorated it in fine punk rock style, with a fifteen inch spray-stenciled Dead Kennedys logo on the back and countless small band badges and pins on the lapels, etc.

    Naturally, when a family ski trip occurred with my father's colleague and his just teen daughters who were at school in Geneva I resisted and complained and insisted on wearing that jacket despite impracticality and not knowing how to ski and generally teenaged all over things. Despite this, I tried the slopes, fell down a lot, got really wet and really cold, and found myself at the lift at the same time as my sister and our peers.

    The lift was an enclosed cable car, not an open bench, and when we boarded so did an adult, wearing a standard-issue colorful 1980s polyfill skisuit.

    The girls immediately began to cluster and chatter before hissing to me "That's David Bowie!" and goosing me to, what, say something! I was resistant to the notion, and skeptical, but they were insistent: "It's him! His eyes!"

    Reluctant and mortified, I turned. Bowie was alone with us in the car and looking right at us, at me, grinning broadly. It was clearly an invitation to engage.

    Too shy, too cool, I turned away to look out the window. I glanced over a bit later and he had turned away as well, the moment passed.

    I mostly stopped telling this story sometime in my twenties, because it made me uncomfortable to see how unselfconsciously it displays my privilege, and because literally nothing happens. After writing it a couple times this month, I think it also does capture a moment of the man's character, to be amused and engaged by a clutch of kids recognizing him and to have the grace to allow the kids to lead the interaction.

    I guess this isn't all that much shorter than my other version.
    posted by mwhybark at 10:27 AM on January 24 [25 favorites]


    All I can say is, I bought The Man Who Sold the World when I was 12, that was just about 30 years ago now. I listened to that album a lot, and spent my little teen cash on every other album he'd made up to that point.

    I haven't made a choice to sit down and listen to Bowie in a long time, like, at least 15 or maybe 20 years, with the occasional exception (listened to the new song when it was linked here a few weeks ago), but I can still sing along to Kooks and recite Future Legend from deep, deep memory. I listened to Life on Mars? the most, hundreds of times, moving the needle back to the start of the track again and again.

    Bowie made it OK to be queer, androgynous, misfit, freaked out, excited, outrageous, teen me.

    Knowing how many of us felt alive because of his songs, well, it means a lot.
    posted by latkes at 10:01 PM on January 24 [6 favorites]


    I'm finding many surprises while digging into the Bowie back catalogue. Someone has made a lovely typographic animation for "Please Mr. Gravedigger". Silly, macabre song ("Very selfish!") But nice kerning.
    posted by valetta at 6:46 AM on January 25


    Photos of Bowie from December 2015 Lazarus rehearsals (Broadway, not the video) have appeared on the Brian Eno fan account on Twitter. He looks happy but quite frail.
    posted by maudlin at 9:20 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


    I am crying. Sorrowful tears. This is my life entwined in those snippets of songs and Bowie voices.

    I've just finished a 4848 word rigorous literature review that could conceivably be the first chapter of my eventual dissertation.

    I just heard Blackstar for the first time.

    I hadn't the luxury of mourning for Bowie (and my youth's emergence to a different drummer on a distant star)

    till just now.
    posted by infini at 9:32 AM on January 25 [7 favorites]


    It's such a heartbreaking, melancholy record, even absent his departure. I got stuck on Sue for about a day & a half last week. So much emotion burbles up with that one. Endless faith in hopeless deeds...
    posted by Devils Rancher at 10:27 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]




    In addition to being a fantastic bassist, Gale Ann Dorsey sang the Freddy Mercury part on "Under Pressure" when they toured together.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 3:52 PM on January 25 [7 favorites]


    (And I love that video because I just get the feeling that he loves singing this song and love singing it with her)
    posted by Joey Michaels at 3:54 PM on January 25


    Hearing Dorsey and Bowie duet on Under Pressure was a major highlight of the Reality Tour show I caught! I was still in the juvenescence of my fandom and had no idea what an amazing singer she was in her own right. And what a great interview that you shared, hippybear! I wish her a long, happy career, as well as the rest of the gang.

    In hindsight (after consuming other live albums and bootlegs), his final live band's sound could verge on overly-literal at times, but the flip-side is that they nailed the songs. What a powerhouse band; they suited Bowie's post-2000 curator mode really well.
    posted by kryptondog at 4:07 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]




    And that Slate video has me crying... again....
    posted by hippybear at 8:51 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]




    If you like the NYT crossword puzzle, you'll like today's.
    posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:07 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


    I've been enjoying learning that Bowie was quietly an anti-racist activist since the early 80s at least. Perhaps regret over his stupid poseur fascism in the 70s. Whatever the motivation, it seemed to have been authentic in his professional and personal choices.
    posted by latkes at 9:27 AM on January 26 [9 favorites]


    I apologize for using this space to write something more ambivalent and less appropriate to a wake, but latkes' comment reminded me and I need to work through my feelings on this.

    A few folks have made reference to Bowie and his statutory rape of groupie Lori Mattix, who was by her account 15, and according to some accounts younger, at the time. I understand the discomfort with talking about this; like pretty much everybody in this thread, I am a true Bowie fan, and his image was vital to me in realizing that I was queer and actually that's pretty cool, as well as in discovering my artistic self and finding out that art needs to be protean and forward-looking to survive.

    That is to say, I don't want anything to tarnish that image, when most of his "bad" behavior has consisted of moments that weren't really bad at all, like being fiercely protective of his artistic rights while allowing his legacy to develop freely as it will, and passing through drug addiction and transcending it. But if we can't talk about this in our conversations about a man who was especially in the latter part of his career a dedicated feminist and antiracist, how will we talk about it when it comes to more abusive, exploitative men?

    I'm at a point in my own life where I no longer want to make excuses for abuse and rape and want people to see it when it happens. I know that Mattix herself doesn't consider it rape, and she is entitled to name her own experience. But Bowie's behavior is indicative of a scene that was thrived on the exploitation of teen girls, many of whom were young enough to really be children. Mattix may have been consenting-- in a personal sense, if not a legal one-- but many girls in this scene were not. They flocked to it because they wanted to be part of glam and to express themselves freely and didn't count on how adult men, often the same ones they admired, used it. If you followed the story about the Runaways and Jackie Fox's rape, it's the same scene of LA glam and Rodney Bingenheimer, and how that band actually came about. Those women, who were some of the most talented musicians and songwriters to inhabit it, have spent their lives recovering from this exploitation. If you look at Kesha's attempts to free herself of her abusive producer now, you can see how this thread has continued in the industry to today, but at least we occasionally hear the voices of those speaking out about it.

    I don't want this to be the sum total of the story about David Bowie. I felt heartbroken when I heard the news of his death and have spent the last couple of weeks going through his records and watching his movies. I've thought a lot lately too about how he worked to change how female artists were considered in the music press, always vocally considering them to be true creators rather than just voices or bodies. It's because of Bowie I got into the music of Fanny, a bunch of '60s hard-rocking women as great as Cream who might have otherwise been neglected by history; it's because of Bowie that artists like Janelle Monae and Lady Gaga can rise to the level of icons rather than backup singers.

    But I beg you not to dismiss this story or make excuses for it. My sister is a preschool teacher at a Head Start; her kids love it when she reads stories about cops and robbers. "Get him! Get the bad guy!" they say. "No, not a bad guy," she corrects; "he made a bad choice." That's what this is, a bad choice, one that didn't happen in isolation.
    posted by thetortoise at 12:48 PM on January 26 [10 favorites]


    Hallo Spaceboy: Watch a 25-minute rehearsal video from David Bowie’s 1995 Outside Tour

    Holy moly, that needs to be about 9 hours longer.
    posted by FelliniBlank at 12:51 PM on January 26




    Trent Reznor recalls how David Bowie helped him get sober.

    Geez, you think these stories can’t get better, and then… Still kicking myself for not seeing that tour.
    posted by bongo_x at 1:25 PM on January 26 [3 favorites]


    A few years later, Bowie came through L.A. I'd been sober for a fair amount of time. I wanted to thank him in the way that he helped me. And I reluctantly went backstage, feeling weird and ashamed, like, "Hey, I'm the guy that puked on the rug." And again, I was met with warmth, and grace, and love. And I started to say, "Hey listen, I've been clean for ..." I don't even think I finished the sentence; I got a big hug. And he said, "I knew. I knew you'd do that. I knew you'd come out of that." I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. It was another very important moment in my life.


    Augh. Enough with the fucking tears already.
    posted by Devils Rancher at 2:39 PM on January 26 [11 favorites]


    I saw that tour. <3

    thetortoise, I've been thinking about that quite a bit since seeing the Ziggy Stardust concert movie, but I haven't been able to articulate it.
    posted by epersonae at 2:56 PM on January 26 [2 favorites]


    So awesome this thread is still going! Here is the playlist of a tribute show my BF did on KALX in Berkeley; it's a bunch of great and some silly covers (Shaun Cassidy doing 'Rebel Rebel'!!). It's in reverse order from 6:43 to 8:49pm. Most all of it's on Youtube but if you're a fanatic and you want a recording, I can probably send you a copy if you memail me.

    My BF gave me the opportunity to speak on air about Bowie but I feared I'd start blubbering, so I let "R &R Suicide" speak for itself.

    In looking up the covers, I found some real forgotten gems (Au Pairs 'Repitition" for one), the breadth of Bowie's songwriting legacy amazed me all over again. I remember one stupid ex of mine once saying Bowie was only as good as the people he was with, and yes he got amazing performances out of people but I don't know of another Fripp song as stunning as Heroes. Even Bowie's lesser stuff was pretty damn good.

    And on tortoises' comment, I started reading the book "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" and the Bingenheimer scene was well-discussed and I was pretty nauseated and had a hard time finishing the book. No one comes off too well in what I've read so far; depressing...
    posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 4:43 PM on January 26 [3 favorites]


    I have a strange fondness for the "laughing Gnome," because it reminds me that Bowie wasn't really some sort of space god who arrived fully formed from the brow of some divinity, but a guy that had to figure things out and have false starts, just like everybody else.

    I love remembering this odd aspect of Bowie (recalling his goofy periods helped me not get depressed - I don't want to deal with Lazarus yet).

    How he had a failed career before megastardom. How his voice was once kind of reedy and odd, but then he just morphed into this unstoppable force once he found his groove.
    posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 4:49 PM on January 26 [1 favorite]


    Hah, was just coming to post the remembrance from Trent Reznor! And yes, it got to me too. Sigh. Lovely story, and what I wouldn't have given to see that tour... Before Bowie, Nine Inch Nails was my favorite music act. I've told the story on the blue before but I was listening to pure garbage when I was younger (Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, Korn, et. al. - apologies if you're a fan!). Didn't really have a favorite band or care much about music. When I picked up The Fragile on a whim, I was blown away. I had no idea music could sound like that. After absorbing NIN's catalog, I started to trace Trent's influences, and basically ended up with the core of my musical identity as a direct result.

    I'd heard Bowie's music on the radio and incidentally beforehand, but the first time I remember seeing him was on NIN's Closure video collection. I didn't even really know who it was; just the older guy hanging out with Manson and Trent backstage (and doing a killer duet of Hurt - what a voice!). Then I saw the I'm Afraid of Americans video, and I knew I had to learn more about this guy. Listened to more, liked what I heard; read more, learned about what a profound influence he's had. Then I picked up his newest album at the time (Heathen), and I was hooked. That's how it started for me, and I've got NIN to thank for it.

    thetortoise: Not at all an unwelcome line of conversation here (at least as far as I'm concerned, for whatever that's worth!). Really, it's moments like this that test the strength of one's convictions. And I have to admit, I failed badly here. I was so emotionally raw on the Monday after he died that when folks started to share Mattix's story I had an intensely negative reaction to it- not in the sense that I argued about it, thank god I didn't feel the need for that. What would I have said? "But it was a different time!" "But Mattix consented!" hand-wavey BS. But I felt I couldn't help it; I couldn't lose him again, not in that way.

    But that kind of hero worship helps perpetuate an environment where sexual abuse can easily happen. It certainly played me, and I'm sure that it was facilitated by me being a man and fortunately having never been a victim (not that the two are mutually exclusive of course, but still). And I need to interrogate this reaction within me and not sweep it aside just because he was my favorite musician. Even as I type this, if he was some random movie star, or a normal person, or whatever, it would have more weight. And that's not right. It's part of his legacy, and it's a disservice to everyone not to acknowledge that.
    posted by kryptondog at 5:51 PM on January 26 [4 favorites]




    Why Donny McCaslin Was David Bowie’s David Bowie
    In the making of Blackstar, David Bowie trusted that Donny McCaslin and his quartet would invoke a profoundly emotive album.
    posted by hippybear at 6:04 PM on January 26


    It's no news that young men, flush with money and fame, can act very badly. Having lived through the 70s, and being about the same age as Lori Mattix, I understand the context in which she claims self-determination and a kind of transfer of power by sexually "capturing" men of such status and desirability. That's one aspect; the other is rampant abuse and a kind of open season on young women during those years between the easy availability of the Pill and HIV (the sexualization of very young women was rampant: Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby, Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver, etc.) Those years coincided with my teenage years, and I believe all those stories of excess and damage, as they were common currency in magazines and in our breathless gossip about rock stars. Bowie was doing the same as Page and Plant and Jagger et al; it doesn't make it less cruel or self-serving, but it does put in some social context.

    Such abuse of power has never stopped, really. You'll still find entitled abusers in the music industry-- see the recent fallout around Heathcliff Berru-- and there are still women aiming to get backstage and claim some sexual bragging rights. For myself, I look at the artist's history. Did Bowie continue to act in this way, past the moment of his early 70s fame, when he was in his early twenties? He could have-- some, like Jagger, have never stopped treating women like disposable toys. Are there further rumours about him as an abuser, the kind of stories that women told each other about Berru? Or did he grow up and have a long happy marriage, and promote and mentor female musicians? I don't excuse his behaviour, or diminish it. But I do note that he left it in the past.
    posted by jokeefe at 6:26 PM on January 26 [15 favorites]


    Well, Angela clearly came out the loser in the Swiss divorce (1980), and was subject to a ten-year gag order in order to claim her comparatively paltry annuity settlement. Why did she agree to walk away without a piece of the valuable career she'd helped build? According to her post gag order book, because David blackmailed her with group sex Polaroids.
    posted by Scram at 7:03 PM on January 26 [1 favorite]


    Ha ha that Mick Jagger piece! So on brand: Jean Genie was a Stones tune! He nicked my clothes! I really enjoyed (looking down on) his development!
    posted by latkes at 7:25 PM on January 26 [3 favorites]


    Excuse me for being very late to the party. It's taken me this long to get back on my feet after this loss. Honestly, I feel a little weird about not being over it yet. I was never superfan by any means. To be honest, I kind of gave up on him musically after Let's Dance, yet I never really let go of him as a person. It was always delightful to see him being interviewed or popping up unexpectedly in a movie.

    I really love BigHeartedGuy's concept of "My Bowie" over in the grief policing thread. "My Bowie" was the exciting, glamorous and mysterious young uncle/older cousin who was the family black sheep; the one who got the cold shoulder from the adults at the family reunion, but simply shrugged and sat at the kid's table where he kept us enraptured with fantastical stories.

    All this time, since I first recall hearing Space Oddity and Changes on a camping trip when I was 4, through hearing Heroes and Scary Monsters when I was in Middle School, all the way up until now "My Bowie" has always been a person who didn't care if the rest of the family thought that he was some sort of degenerate weirdo but who did care if the family was making me feel like one. I don't think that there's anyone else out there in the public realm who has had or will ever again mean that to me.

    There's a couple of Blackstar Memorial Tattoo Month pages on FB. Knowing full well how embarrassingly dorky the idea was, I went ahead anyway and got a black star tattooed on my left wrist. The experience was a catharsis - I started crying mid-tattoo, not for Bowie but for an auntie who died about 4 years ago after a long fight with cancer. All these years, I'd never really cried for her before but I did then. Just another parting gift from Bowie.
    posted by echolalia67 at 10:12 PM on January 26 [13 favorites]


    Ha ha that Mick Jagger piece!

    Gawd, cut him some slack.

    Yiou do know how many UK Top Ten hits the Stones racked up in the 1960s? Fifteen. And how many of those were Number Ones? Eight.

    And Bowie? Top Ten hits... Two (Laughing Gnome and Space Oddity). Number Ones? Zero.
    posted by Mister Bijou at 3:00 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]


    Thanks, Mick.
    posted by Etrigan at 3:08 AM on January 27 [3 favorites]


    "You can’t remain at the top for five years and still be outrageous. It’s impossible. You become accepted and all the impact is gone. Me? I’m fantastically outrageous. I like being outrageous. People want you to be outrageous. And I’m old enough to remember Mick Jagger!”

    - Bowie 1972

    They've been sparring like that for years.
    posted by merocet at 6:09 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]




    Add another to the list for a shitty 2016: Colin Vearncombe, the voice of Black, dies, aged 53. The singer of Wonderful Life had been in a critical condition since a car crash earlier this month.

    posted by PenDevil at 1:56 PM on January 27




    echolalia67: Thanks for sharing, and for what it's worth you're definitely not the only one not over it yet. You hit on one of the big reasons his passing has hit folks so hard; as impossibly cool as he was, he was a champion of the misunderstood. We lost our spokesperson on the day he died.

    And I'm probably the least-reliable barometer of dorkiness in this thread, but I don't think your tattoo's dorky at all! My boyfriend and I are going to get matching tattoos of the "BOWIE" star fragment pictogram soon. And I've got a (severely ill-advised) skull tattoo on my shoulder that I'm going to get touched-up and adorned with the Aladdin Sane thunderbolt at some point.

    Also: Gerry Leonard (latter-day Bowie studio collaborator and bandleader) on Bowie's last years.
    posted by kryptondog at 5:02 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


    What It Was Like Recording 'Blackstar' With David Bowie.

    "I remember us watching this thing…somebody did a series of music videos without the music. Somebody did one of those for the video he did with Mick Jagger for 'Dancing in the Streets.' But there's no music, there's just footsteps and grunts and burps and stuff like that. He thought that was hilarious and would just have us watch the whole thing."
    posted by rory at 1:40 AM on January 28 [8 favorites]


    For a supposedly terrible song Laughing Gnome is surprisingly solid - there's not all that much of a gulf between it and Space Oddity.

    It's "terrible" in the way that Syd Barrett's early Floyd tracks like "Bike" and "The Gnome" were terrible - that is, not terrible at all. It just isn't rock music. It's a particular brand of late-60s pop.

    I was listening to "fame" on my way into work this morning and had this moment of realisation that the part where his voice is manipulated to start really high and then drop down really low - "Fame, Fame, Fame, Fame" - could only have been done by the man who had recorded "The Laughing Gnome". That wasn't one of John Lennon's contributions.
    posted by rory at 2:16 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


    David Bowie being funny part 1, part 2 and part 3.

    This guy. And as a bonus, here's a song I loved when I was 13 that I'd forgotten all about until about 2 weeks ago.
    posted by h00py at 6:13 AM on January 28 [7 favorites]


    Rolling Stone - Inside David Bowie's Final Years: How Bowie stepped away – and came roaring back
    posted by hippybear at 6:51 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


    Yeah, rory, varispeed vocals were definitely one of Bowie's signature techniques. There's a straight line stretching from The Laughing Gnome, through The Bewlay Brothers, through Sweet Thing (the first verse is slowed down, the third is sped up, but it's very slight; a gloriously subtle effect), through Fame, and I'm probably missing a bunch but I think it or a similar effect helps create the voices of Baby Grace and Ramona A. Stone on Outside.
    posted by Devoidoid at 7:41 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


    And I wonder how long it's going to keep tearing my heart to use the past tense when discussing Bowie.
    posted by Devoidoid at 7:42 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


    From that Rolling Stone article:
    Bowie adored Iman: Touring Japan with his short-lived band Tin Machine in 1992, the year they married, Bowie got what his bandmate Tony Sales describes as "a tattoo of Iman riding on a dolphin on his calf with the serenity prayer underneath it. It was based on a drawing he made."
    So everyone who has been calling their Bowie memorial tattoo "dorky": give up. The Master got there first. (I am absolutely charmed by the earnest, love-stricken dorkiness of his tattoo, not trashing it.)
    posted by maudlin at 8:07 AM on January 28 [16 favorites]


    Oh man, I'm sure it's partially because my son is also George, but the 5 year-old boy phoning him from h00py's link above just made me all teary again. "Hi David Bowie!"
    posted by chococat at 8:16 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


    Well, Angela clearly came out the loser in the Swiss divorce (1980), and was subject to a ten-year gag order in order to claim her comparatively paltry annuity settlement. Why did she agree to walk away without a piece of the valuable career she'd helped build? According to her post gag order book, because David blackmailed her with group sex Polaroids.

    But that's not what she says in the book, in the passage you linked. She never claims he blackmailed her; she comments that considering their history and the "polaroids in the safe", he didn't have to give her anything. That's not blackmail, especially considering that Bowie did settle on her the not-inconsequential sum of $750,000 over ten years, which Google tells me was worth the equivalent of $2,312,825.94 today. She never asked for custody of their son, and specified twice-yearly visits, while Bowie took on all costs for his education, etc. This was also before Bowie started making serious money in the 1980s. I'm not sure I see an issue here.

    Also, the details of what was likely an ugly divorce and its fallout are pretty categorically different from the accusations of sexual abuse in the Mattix case.

    I also am charmed that the ultimate icon of coolness in the 70s turned out to have such an adorably silly tattoo. Aw.

    posted by jokeefe at 12:35 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


    Was thinking about Bowie as a lyricist and (for lack of a better word) theorist again today, and... yeah. wow. "Boys Keep Swinging" is the most succinct analysis of masculinity, its privileges and traps, I've ever heard; "China Girl" of orientalism (Iggy's version is better than David's video because it keeps the critical focus on the white man's pathology, where it belongs); "I'm Afraid of Americans" of neoliberalism. (I also really don't think "Teenage Wildlife" is just about Gary Numan, but about the limitations of how liberating an artist's voice and performance can be when homophobia and fear of difference are realities in the world.) I fucking love you, David. Need to channel all this sadness into writing an essay or something. Every album, it's like, can I just stay here forever? I'll be working out my thoughts on "Blackstar" alone for months or years.
    posted by thetortoise at 2:02 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]










    I wanted to wait until folks had had a chance to grieve a bit before popping in a link to my mostly-about-me story about kind-of-almost meeting Bowie back in 1983, and how that micro-interaction made me think he was a nice man.

    This, I now do. Thanks, David.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:41 AM on January 29 [8 favorites]






    recent radio program: David Bowie - Memories of a Free Alien

    Part-1
    Part-2

    shameless self-link
    posted by philip-random at 9:46 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


    Thanks kryptondog for that link. Just wonderful.
    posted by vac2003 at 10:13 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


    Bowie-life-lessons for Capricorns and creatives that I have been thinking about: You don't *have* to be a trainwreck and burn out and explode messily at a young age or shrivel up into a boring husk, but instead you can *work it* and head on into middle life with control and continue to produce and grow and experiment. You can have it both ways -- you can be a creative and keep your shit together.

    (I think this is part of why he seemed like he'd last forever: all of my/our other artistic heroes went kerblooey: all those 70s and 80s rockers and people in my litter like Kurt Cobain and Elliot Smith, etc, or the people who didn't snuff it but did stop producing new stuff and faded into the corners. I think Rollins and Bob Mould are heading in the same direction, and it warms my heart to see Iggy Pop and Bryan Ferry working on neat things.)
    posted by Capybara at 10:22 AM on January 30 [10 favorites]




    I like his style. Let the Tarot nerds snigger away.
    posted by maudlin at 8:57 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]






    Why, that clever bastard.

    Read the lyrics of Lazarus in reverse.

    Genius, genius, genius.
    posted by droplet at 10:58 AM on February 1 [4 favorites]


    Very good and interesting read from Vulture: Bowie Collaborator Tony Oursler on the Icon’s Art-World Ties, Generosity, and Final Years

    Rolling Stone Music Now, a new podcast, devotes their debut episode to David Bowie's Incredible Final Act (page includes soundcloud link)

    And from Kansas City: Bowie tribute at Uptown Theater erupts into a joyous celebration
    posted by hippybear at 3:00 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


    droplet, I read them but am not seeing anything special - can you expand on that?
    posted by Meatbomb at 3:15 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


    Meatbomb, I'm reading it as a super-truncated bio in reverse, so "the end" is that he's in heaven.
    posted by droplet at 4:54 PM on February 1


    From a forum poster on BowieWonderWorld: An additional performance of Simon & Garfunkle's "America," great quality, at the 2002 Robin Hood Benefit. I had no idea he performed this song outside of the Concert for NYC, and it's impossible to find a decent recording of that one.

    He looks so handsome and vital here. Not all that long ago. And something about that chintzy waltz pattern playing from his Omnichord is fucking with my heart really badly. I'm ready to not be sad anymore over this man who I never met in person. God dammit.
    posted by kryptondog at 5:37 PM on February 1 [3 favorites]


    .

    I wish I had taken the time to get to know Bowie, his life and music better.
    posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:27 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]




    I wish I had taken the time to get to know Bowie, his life and music better.

    That's the thing: almost all of us are going off the same material, which is all still available. If anything, there will be no more concerts, but that happens all the time.
    posted by rhizome at 5:59 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


    PBS's Blank on Blank featuring David Bowie is well worth having a look at (pretty much all of them are, really).
    posted by h00py at 10:29 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


    Last year a huge amount of material from Bowie and Eno's Outside sessions leaked to the internet. It's pretty thoroughly edited and mastered, and there's a lot of it. Taken together it kind of feels like an unreleased album. It's really good and weird too. For some reason nobody really talked about it when the leak happened. Here's the set on YouTube.

    The Pushing Ahead of the Dame blog had a few pretty interesting articles about this material at the time, too.
    posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:35 PM on February 2 [4 favorites]


    I haven't really shared the story with anyone - for a few weeks I wasn't even sure I had the right person - but Duncan Jones was my neighbor for a brief time; in 2014 if I remember correctly. He only lived in the neighborhood for about 2 1/2 months. At the time I had no idea whatsoever who he was. It was only when I saw saw his picture attached to web articles in the past few weeks that I realized who had been living up the block from me.

    He was a bearded blond guy with amazing blue eyes who used to the stroll around the neighborhood with his child in a baby Bjorn. I got to speak at length with him twice. The first time he was sitting on my front stoop. Thinking he was another one of those annoying hippie kid vagrants that come through my neighborhood with depressing regularity, I went out to provide a deterrent to hanging out and littering my stairs with fast food wrappers and cigarette butts. I ended up talking to him for about 45 minutes. He seemed like a really cheerful, nice guy. After that I would see him in passing in the neighborhood and would say hi.

    The last time I saw him he was moving out of his apartment. I asked him why he was leaving so soon and he said his father was sick. He told me it didn't look good. I happened to be with my insane, Über-nosy elderly Irish mom (think Terry Jones' female characters on Monty Python or Mrs. Brown in yoga pants) who started asking him rapidfire questions about where he was from and what he did for a living. He told us that he was a filmmaker. I assumed He was documentarian because he looks like he's be at home sitting on an ice floe in the Arctic filming Narwhals during mating season. Instead he told us that he made feature films and he was working on a movie called Warcraft. Oblivious person that I am, I asked him if that was based on World of Warcraft. He very patiently explained that though the two had a similar origin point they had nothing to do with one another. I could tell he was getting a little uneasy at that point in the conversation, so I said my goodbyes, told him that I was sorry to see him go, it would've been nice to get to know him better and best of luck to his dad.

    It never occurred to me to look "Warcraft movie" on Google. When Brits talk about their 60-something dads, I always envision NHS issued eye glasses, poly-cotton short sleeved dress shirts from Marks and Spencer, slacks with a reinforced comfort stretch waistband and sensible Clark shoes - not handsome fashion icons. I also thought Duncan still went by "Joe" and expected him to look like a more handsome, urbane version of Jason Stratham. So yeah, totally oblivious me chatting with the nice new Brit dad neighbor.
    posted by echolalia67 at 11:38 PM on February 2 [22 favorites]


    Love this photo of Bowie reading Viz
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:18 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


    Lady Gaga Will Pay Tribute To David Bowie At The Grammy's.

    Oh God, its getting close to 30 days for this thread. I'm not ready for it to close.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 12:34 PM on February 3 [8 favorites]


    If ever there were a thread that should ...ahem...accidentally be left open, it's this one. It's the only way to keep his spirit alive.
    posted by ericthegardener at 6:21 PM on February 3 [13 favorites]


    If ever there were a thread that should ...ahem...accidentally be left open, it's this one. It's the only way to keep his spirit alive.
    posted by ericthegardener 3 ¾ hours ago [6 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


    YES

    Best Pony Ever
    posted by latkes at 10:04 PM on February 3 [6 favorites]




    If ever there were a thread that should ...ahem...accidentally be left open, it's this one. It's the only way to keep his spirit alive.

    FanFare threads never close. We could move the party over to Labyrinth.

    How has The Man Who Fell To Earth not been on FanFare yet, BTW?
    posted by Rock Steady at 5:16 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


    One Second Before Awakening: Last year a huge amount of material from Bowie and Eno's Outside sessions leaked to the internet. It's pretty thoroughly edited and mastered, and there's a lot of it. Taken together it kind of feels like an unreleased album. It's really good and weird too. For some reason nobody really talked about it when the leak happened. Here's the set on YouTube.

    WOW, THANK YOU!! I noted earlier in this thread, "Outside is my favourite Bowie album. I listen to it all the time."

    I'm now listening to the first suite of this newly-leaked material, and I'm overwhelmed. It's a whole 'nother album, but with the same feel as Outside - it's the Amnesiac to its Kid A! It has new songs, new narrative, live excerpts, and musical and lyrical references to the officially released material. And it sounds great, not like demo material.

    You've given me a wonderful gift. :-)

    This makes more sense of Eno's recent statement:

    "About a year ago we started talking about Outside - the last album we worked on together. We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that."

    Since this material surfaced last year, I suppose this is some of the stuff they were thinking of working on?

    Like wow.
    posted by paleyellowwithorange at 1:57 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


    I know, right? Outside is my favorite Bowie album too, and I was over the moon when this stuff got leaked. It really expands on the concept and the world of the album. A lot of little loose threads from the album become fully fleshed out ideas. I especially enjoy all of the early internet related puns and references. "The 1337 soldiers," the monologue about CD-ROMs, the cult leader calling his followers "number one packet sniffers," all that stuff is great. I think my favorite moment is that whole "Something Really Fishy" bit, it's an entire catchy pop song that never made it to the final album.

    Supposedly, Outside was originally planned to be a double album, with the first CD being conventional, more like the album we got, and with the second CD being this grand operatic song suite, more like this leaked material. At the time, Bowie seemed to be in a frame of mind where he wanted to work on exactly what appealed to him and his artistic sense, with little regard for marketability. Unfortunately, his record label didn't agree, and they refused to release the song suite. I've heard that there were tens of hours of material from the recording sessions that they barely even looked at afterwards. There was also supposed to be a set of sequels to Outside that never ended up materializing.

    My best guess is that Bowie and Eno were thinking about either:
    A. going back to that large trove of unsorted material from 1995 and mixing/mastering it into a new release
    or
    B. Getting together and recording a sequel from scratch.

    The first possibility seems more likely to me, though Outside was so thoroughly of its time that it might feel weird to release a bunch of new material with lines like "Someday the internet may become an information superhighway" today. I'd still love to hear it though. If the plan really was to release some of that unreleased material, then maybe there is still the potential for it to happen some day, if Eno and the Bowie estate are up for it.
    posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:26 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


    Fellow Outside/Leon lover here. I can't imagine Bowie ever going back to his previous work and mixing/mastering it. One of his key characteristics is that he always went forwards. Even when re-examining his past e.g. Space Oddity (1980), the old songs on Toy, John I'm Only Dancing (again), it was always to try to do something new with it. Far more likely that it'd either be an entirely new from scratch project or he'd magpie good bits from the recordings to make something entirely new.

    Also agree this this thread shouldn't close. It's still alive dammit!

    Look, here's something new! Great bookshelf posters based on Bowie albums. I want all of these if any one is curious or looking to get Quonsar 2016 going early.
    posted by merocet at 3:39 PM on February 4 [3 favorites]


    Listen to Amanda Palmer and Jherek Bischoff's David Bowie Covers EP, Featuring Neil Gaiman, John Cameron Mitchell, Anna Calvi The EP was financed by Palmer's Patreon supporters. It will be sold for $1 on Bandcamp. Part of the money will go to Bowie's publisher, while the remaining proceeds from the first month of sales will be donated to the cancer research wing of the Tufts Medical Center in memory of Bowie.
    posted by hippybear at 5:35 PM on February 4 [5 favorites]


    No, seriously, listen to that EP. Jeebus!
    posted by hippybear at 5:39 PM on February 4


    And I am crying again. Will this hole in my life ever heal over, or will I be crying when I touch and prod it for the rest of my life?
    posted by hippybear at 6:17 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


    Yeah, after thinking I was over it I listened to Hunky Dory today and basically ripped the scab right off. Remembered again that he's not here anymore. I am struck by how fresh the pain still feels. It is really unsettling to be mourning this deeply for someone I never met.
    posted by echolalia67 at 7:50 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


    Ugh, GO AWAY Amanda Palmer. The man's not even dead for a month before you make a grab at one the very songs he used as his farewell? Gross and tacky. Whatever, I'm not getting into it. It's for charity at least, that's good.
    posted by Windigo at 8:15 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


    While surfing around on YouTube I just came across this really fun unaired 1997 interview with Bowie. It includes a lot of off the record type stuff that's fun to see. Plus he talks a little bit about the sequel to Outside that never materialized.
    posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:05 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


    It's for charity at least, that's good.

    Seriously, who else is going to cover any of the 7 songs on Blackstar, and do it with that level of class and respect? I get that you don't like Palmer, but that cover is sincere and awesome. I paid well over the asking price for the bandcamp album, and there is not even a physical copy option. It was amazing to me and I am sorry that you don't appreciate it. That EP brought me to tears, and it will again in the near future, I am sure. Hegwig singing Heroes? Holy fucking jeebus!
    posted by hippybear at 9:06 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


    Ugh, GO AWAY Amanda Palmer. The man's not even dead for a month before you make a grab at one the very songs he used as his farewell?

    I get not liking Amanda Palmer - she's often problematic - but the way I see it, she's doing exactly was I was doing when I responded to Bowie's death by learning to ineptly play Heroes and The Man Who Sold the World.

    The only difference is, she's an actual accomplished performer with fans and the ability to cut a record in a month. And donating all the money to cancer research is a nice touch.

    I just feel like Bowie should belong to everyone, even the artists you don't like.
    posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:12 PM on February 4 [10 favorites]


    In a weird way I'm grateful to know there's something in my life outside of close family and friends that could move me as much as his work has. Life's hectic and these are justifiably cynical times; who's got time to be passionate about things? But he'll always be my favorite musician, and my hero. Maybe there's really nothing to "get over," as a fan, after all. Although I'll settle for not getting destroyed by random Bowie songs and videos.‬

    ‪What a gorgeous cover of Blackstar's title track on that EP! I'm not a huge fan of Amanda Palmer but that's easily the best Blackstar-era cover I've heard so far (despite a few well-intentioned versions floating around YouTube). The songs on that album are going to be hard to channel, but I hope that doesn't stop musicians from trying.‬

    ‪And I'm always so happy to see Outside get some love! I will never understand why, but up until very recently critics have just taken it as a given that it was a giant misstep. I don't get it. It's so good! It seems like it's finally getting some recognition, though. And the Leon leaks were an absolute revelation. It's amazing that Outside sounds as good as it does given how compromised it ended up, though both projects are wonderful in their own ways. And I'd have taken whatever Bowie and Eno would've given us on a revisiting of Outside, even if it was just more mixed and mastered outtakes.‬

    ‪I envy newer generations of Bowie fans- so much of what made his albums successes or failures in the public's eyes was the musical climate of the time. Freed of that context, his discography is a smorgasbord of styles and ideas. There's a little bit of everything. Music listeners these days don't have that tribal obligation to stick to a handful of genres anymore, thank god. Bowie is the perfect "legacy" musician for the streaming generation.‬

    ‪I do hope the conversation continues; I'd be happy to blab some more in the Labrynth Fanfare thread. I'll probably toss one more YouTube link dump out there before the cut-off, just for the heck of it. Maybe someone who's not familiar with him will stumble across this thread in the future and get lost in all the videos we've posting. Man, to be hearing these songs for the first time... just imagine it!‬
    posted by kryptondog at 9:33 PM on February 4 [8 favorites]


    Bought tickets to see The Cure this morning. Reeves Gabrels has been touring with them for several years and I know Smith is a big fan of Bowie (here they are performing together and here is a brief interview with Smith discussing Bowie's influence on him). I feel like it would be natural for them to play a cover during the new tour. I kind of hope they do.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 11:01 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


    Music is the binding agent of our mundane lives. It cements the moments in which we wash the dishes, type the resumes, go to the funerals, have the babies. The stronger the agent, the tougher the memory, and Bowie was NASA-grade epoxy to a sprawling span of freaked-out kids over three generations. He bonded us to our weird selves. We can be us. He said. Just for one day.
    Amanda Palmer - on Hippybear's link above. Nice.
    posted by rongorongo at 2:57 AM on February 5 [6 favorites]


    Man, to be hearing these songs for the first time... just imagine it!‬

    Oh, this is what got me so much. I discovered David Bowie when I was about 14 and my son discovered him just 18 months ago, all by himself, and it was soooooooooooo cool. He played me all of the songs he loved and I got to add a couple to his list but he wasn't looking for my input, just someone to rock out with him. 'Changes' meant just as much to him as it did to me, 30 years apart!
    posted by h00py at 3:35 AM on February 5 [7 favorites]


    Oh! Just leafing through the copy of Station to Station I picked up at the library today, and there are pictures of 70s Bowie wearing the same outfit as he's wearing at the 2:00 minute mark in the 'Lazarus' video! The scamp!

    And I just read this an hour ago, which now seems apropos: "For all the talk of 'characters' over the course of Bowie’s career, there have only ever really been three: the outrageous rock star, the artist trapped inside a rock star’s body, and the man coming to terms with his past."

    Right up to the very end.

    Now I'm wondering if the old man with bandaged eyes in the 'Lazarus' video is a reference to one of the scenes in the 'Jump They Say' video?
    posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:01 AM on February 5 [6 favorites]




    A Bowie fan on Livejournal muses about "Heroes."

    Nothing much new there, but I'd not previously seen this video in its entirety - Tony Visconti discussing the creation of "Heroes" in detail. Some really fascinating stuff, particularly about Fripp's contribution and how they faked a cowbell.

    I follow a Livejournal writing contest and that is an entry for that contest.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 12:08 PM on February 5


    I listened to Lazarus again this morning. It's so good. SO GOOD. I am inarticulate in the face of it.
    posted by epersonae at 1:25 PM on February 5


    Also that cover of Lazarus is quite good, appropriately spooky.
    posted by epersonae at 1:28 PM on February 5


    The jittery dancing in the Blackstar video can also be seen in the Fashion video, along with a few other moves.
    posted by h00py at 1:40 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


    wow this thread is still going! rock on! just had to say that.
    posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:13 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


    This photo cracks me up; I like to picture Bowie up in the stratosphere, reading this thread.
    posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 6:16 PM on February 5 [4 favorites]


    Every day I come back to this thread and find something new to love. But that's part of Bowie. Infinitely giving us another piece knowing we'd never really understand it fully. But it's fun to try.
    posted by downtohisturtles at 11:22 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


    Bowie performs Look Back In Anger with Québécois dance troupe La La La Human Steps.
    posted by ericthegardener at 7:12 AM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    Man I saw that La La La Human Steps performance with Bowie at the Intruders at the Palace gig at the Dominion in London. I was obsessed with Louise Lecavalier for ages after that. Sooooo cool! So glad that my teen self took every chance to see Bowie wherever practical and no matter how small a player he was in the proceedings. I even went to Live Aid on my own as none of my mates thought it was worth the OUTRAGEOUS 25 quid. Those suckers never got a sunburn on one side of their face a la Roy Neary from facing the same way all day, ha!
    posted by merocet at 9:24 AM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    I was round at a friend's house today for gins. She's early 50s. Her sons and the eldest's girlfriend were there - they range from 13 - 24. One of them had their iPod on and a little run of Bowie songs came on. The oldest and his GF had a little dance to Changes. The youngest was grooving to Rebel Rebel when my friend went over to fix more drinks and joined in with him. I thought about Bowie and how amazingly time- and age- resistant his songs are and I lamented again that he's no longer on this plane.
    posted by billiebee at 1:02 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


    Had an amazing conversation with my massage therapist-- a huge Bowie fan since the '70s-- today. We talked about how broken up we still feel over his death, and she told me how she once considered quitting everything to follow the Glass Spider tour. Then listened to "Modern Love" and realized how it's a kind of update of "Soul Love," with its ambivalence and synthesis of religious and romantic forms of love, though with a weary middle-aged speaker, rather than the youthful half-sincere, outwardly-cynical-but-afraid one. I'm not ready for this thread to end.
    posted by thetortoise at 1:50 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    In which The Guardian hosts other journalists to debate Is a Lady Gaga tribute to David Bowie the best way to remember him?
    posted by hippybear at 2:00 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    Ain't No Grave gonna keep my Bowie down.
    posted by humanfont at 2:35 PM on February 6


    We only have a few days left for this thread... I wish it could continue forever!
    posted by hippybear at 3:14 PM on February 6


    Is a discography fair game for Fanfare?
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:53 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    I ran across a picture I had seen before but had forgotten about, and I still say that if I could be promised to look this glamorous pushing a baby carriage, I just MIGHT consider babies.
    posted by Windigo at 3:55 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    From that Guardian post:

    "However, Gaga, West, the Grammy organisers et al need to realise that some (rare, cherished) artists stand completely alone. So what if Gaga was influenced by Bowie – who wasn’t? Nor is it artistic snobbery to point out that aligning yourself to an esteemed artist’s work in this way is a presumptuous piggyback too far. Does everything have to be tweaked or “re-imagined” in the form of celebrity karaoke?"

    That is my issue with Palmer's album - her artist statement is mostly all about her, her, her and reads very different than all the artists who ended concerts in the weeks after his death with a tribute song. It feels very different than all the people who posted their musical efforts to youtube after his death. Those performances felt like communion, like reaching out in shared celebration. It didn't reek of calculation. To suggest that I think only musicians I like/approve of should cover him is ridiculous, preposterous, and insulting.

    I quite like Gaga - I think she's a hella talent and works hard to separate her private life from her persona (much like Bowie did), but if there's going to be a tribute, couldn't it be from people who worked with him? Eno? Jagger? As the article states, with Palmer and Gaga "There’s also an irritating sense of “Bowie fans really need to hear from me right now”. No, they really don’t – park your ego, love."
    posted by Windigo at 4:09 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    I just thought the string arrangements were astounding and that every performance gave me insight into the song that I hadn't had before, despite spending most of my life with most of them. I guess I didn't get the ego trip connotation.. I thought it was an artistic outpouring worthy of attention due to it being so entirely NOT Bowie but so ENTIRELY Bowie at the same time. I also appreciated that the string arrangements felt like an honest and fairly well executed mashup of classical music and rock attitude without being Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

    Maybe I don't have all the Amanda Palmer baggage associated with this release. I know who she is, but this is the first thing she's done that I have ever paid attention to.

    YMMV.
    posted by hippybear at 4:15 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    The fact that the thread will be closing soon makes me think we should smoke 'em while we got 'em, i.e., toss in whatever we can while we can. So I'll drop this delightful item: Iggy and Bowie on Dinah Shore's show, 1977.

    Now that's what I call daytime TV. (And thanks, everyone, for all the wonderful comments, links, and general companionship throughout this thread.)
    posted by FelliniBlank at 9:21 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


    I really love that this thread has been at or near the top of my recent activity for the last month, though I don't love the reason why.
    posted by rtha at 9:34 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    I'm not over this loss and I'm not ready for this thread to close, either.

    I've posted this before, but it belongs here too:

    Golden Years vocal track.
    posted by vers at 10:09 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


    hippybear, the strings on that album were arranged by fellow Washingtonian, good egg, and Michael Moorcock character namesake Jherek Bischoff. Jherek has also worked with extensively with Jason Webley, a possible thread for you to tease out, if you like.
    posted by mwhybark at 10:28 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


    What time's Lady Gaga's tribute due to air?

    Everybody everywhere should do their own tribute at the same time, regardless of where they are.
    posted by philip-random at 10:35 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


    Those who looked carefully at David Bowie's dog, Max, could be forgiven for doing a double-take.

    On the same subject - a shout out to George Underwood - the school friend of Bowie (then later cover designer for Hunky Dory) who gave him aniscoria in a fight over a girl.
    posted by rongorongo at 12:02 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]




    Apologies if this has already been posted: Jason Lindner (Blackstar keyboardist) performing Dollar Days on piano
    posted by kryptondog at 11:35 AM on February 7


    I'm glad this post is still open. I'm still mourning and don't understand why I can't just move on. Last night I went to a tribute concert in my city - they had 5 bands covering some of the most popular Bowie songs, and then the last band covered the entire Ziggy album. It was pretty cool to be in a venue with a ton of other people who wanted to pay tribute to Bowie. But it also made me feel incredibly sad. I will never get to go to see the real thing. Thanks for posting all the videos and links guys. I've been checking this thread every day.
    posted by FireFountain at 5:25 PM on February 7 [6 favorites]


    Since this thread and Bowie's music have taken over my head for the past month, I thought I'd drop this modest self-link here: some thoughts on Bowie's albums, from the first to ★.
    posted by rory at 2:00 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


    So I fulfilled a personal vow (mulled over on his birthday, then cemented on the occasion of His Apotheosis) to only listen to Bowie through all of January. A couple of days ago I broke the fast, finally, and had to think very hard about what would be appropriate-- I wound up listening to Lou Reed and T-Rex. I will be sad to see this thread close.
    posted by Capybara at 5:56 AM on February 8 [6 favorites]


    I haven't participated in this thread as much as I'd like to have, because in some way that was making it REAL and I just couldn't.

    I became a total Bowie fan sometime between the releases of "Heroes" and Stage, when I was 14 or 15, and he became the lens through which I've seen everything else since.

    I was amazed to see how many others worldwide apparently felt the same way. I'm somewhat comforted by how many people here have been affected, demolished, as much as I have.

    I still can't process it. The sentence "David Bowie is dead" just doesn't make any sense. It's a null concept.

    So later today I'm going to get Gary Numan tickets.
    posted by Devoidoid at 9:15 AM on February 8 [7 favorites]




    An interview with Cult frontman Ian Astbury.

    "I have some friends who aren’t with us anymore who were Bowie devotees, and I feel like going to the grave and sharing the news with them, because I know even in the grave they would weep. It’s that profound. I’m sure you’ve observed some of the UK media that’s like, “Well, we can’t have this. That’s enough blubbering, now. It’s getting childish.” No, motherfucker, the sky fell. The sun went out. Feel the weight of this."

    posted by merocet at 2:16 PM on February 8 [12 favorites]


    Started painting a room at home today so put on a huge iTunes mix I call "happy music"--like 300 of my favorite tracks by many different bands. Told it to shuffle, and first up is Moonage Daydream, hah. The cosmos doesn't want me to end my Bowiemas month.
    posted by Capybara at 2:58 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


    Every mention of Bowie in Morrissey's autobiography.
    posted by ericthegardener at 5:25 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


    "David Bowie, who feeds on the blood of living mammals" — you do you, Morrissey.
    posted by epersonae at 5:34 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


    David Bowie's team has reported that Teddy Antolin, who styled Bowie's hair for numerous tours, videos and photo shoots, and also a good friend who played matchmaker for Bowie and Iman, has passed away. (Facebook, Instagram)

    (Apologies for the Daily Mirror link, but it's got an adorable pic of Bowie and his mum, Peggy.)
    posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:15 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


    The last bit on me being grumpy over Amanda Palmer doing Blackstar:

    Interviewer: 'Blackstar’ is the first song on the album, which seems like a massive statement. What made you choose that song?

    AP: "When I mentioned to Neil that I wanted to do ‘Blackstar’, he shook his head and said, 'No, no, no, that’s right now Bowies; you shouldn’t do that one."



    In other news, how much longer does this thread have? Another couple of days?
    posted by Windigo at 9:33 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


    Tomorrow at mind night, iirc :(
    posted by echolalia67 at 12:25 PM on February 9




    Video of McGregor's performance; it's not exactly polished, but definitely enthusiastic. (I sent a link to my coworker who loves both Bowie & McGregor.)
    posted by epersonae at 4:58 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


    This tribute of 'As the World Falls Down' by Grace Potter is lovely.
    posted by Windigo at 5:29 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


    This'll probably be my last post in this thread- hoping like the dickens that this isn't too obnoxious. For the past few days I've compiled some of Bowie's music that's moved me most in recent weeks- I've posted most of the obvious (both to the public and to myself) choices already, but I've been digging off-kilter stuff lately. Most of you hardcore lot have probably heard these already, but I'm hoping there's a few in here that are new to you (again, nothing beats unheard Bowie stuff!). Apologies in advance for the scroll- believe it or not I cut this down significantly.

    Still not over it. But that's alright. The world keeps turning, and I wouldn't trade my love of his work for anything. Thanks so much for everyone that kept this thread alive- it's been a treasure to share in the fandom (and unfortunately in the grief). Best to his family, friends, and fans. And godspeed, David Robert Jones.

    Demos, B-sides, and Rarities Music Videos and Live Performances: Covers and Remixes: posted by kryptondog at 5:54 PM on February 9 [21 favorites]


    In 2000, the combination of a fire that killed several beloved pets, and the generosity of my then-partner's family, found us living in a suite at the Essex House for most of the spring and summer while we looked for a new apartment. 8:15AM-ish would find me heading for work through the back entrance onto 58th St., because it was that much closer to my subway stop and it generally let still-traumatized me not have to deal with any humans, unlike the front entrance through the always-busy lobby.

    One otherwise ordinary morning, I was walking through the empty exitway, Walkman playing through earbuds firmly jammed in ears, when a guy came in through the glass doors at the far end, giving me a small funny kind of smirk as we passed each other. I of course had my city face on, probably giving him a quick blank look, possibly a bit of a "what's up, wise guy" glare.

    Outside, halfway to the corner, my brain started waking up.

    "That guy looked kind of like David Bowie."

    Lightning flash one: "This is the Essex House. That WAS David Bowie!"

    Lightning flash two: "I'm wearing a 'Young Americans' t-shirt!"

    There'd been a moment, and I'd totally missed it.

    In many of the stories that have come up this past month, though, it seems like there was nothing he enjoyed more than not being recognized, and having the piss taken out of him. So I like to think that he had a good laugh relating the story to Iman as he served her the pickles and feta cheese he'd gone out to get.
    posted by Devoidoid at 6:00 PM on February 9 [23 favorites]


    Bravo, kryptondog!
    posted by Windigo at 6:03 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


    Mike Garson plays Aladdin Sane at LA Bowie tribute. Seal joins him for Bring Me The Disco King.
    posted by ericthegardener at 6:24 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


    This thread is everything. If it closes for good at midnight, let me take this opportunity to say thank you.
    posted by pxe2000 at 7:13 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


    I've never seen a Metafilter thread like this one, and I've been here a while. But then, as I said before, Bowie wasn't just any celebrity. A big thank you to Metafilter for giving us this place to grieve together, celebrate the life of this amazing person and share our stories about how much he meant to us.
    posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:29 PM on February 9 [13 favorites]


    I'm so grateful that I've been able to mourn with all of you. I'm still torn up about this, but its made it easier having a bunch of people who feel the same way.

    I'm also grateful for every tribute that to Bowie that has been shared here and am glad that there will be more in the future. Grief isn't something that can be easily explained and how different people grieve is unique and personal to each person. Some people lock themselves away, other make tribute albums. As long as you're not hurting somebody else, there's kind of no wrong way to do it.

    That said, this FPP has felt like a glorious, loving wake filled with anecdotes that were silly and serious, songs that were moving and rousing, and discussions both serious and trivial - like the best memorial services should be. Thank you everyone.

    I know its been shared before, but I want to sign off from this thread with one of the songs that has been especially comforting for me this month.

    Soul Love
    posted by Joey Michaels at 8:13 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


    Well, dang, it doesn't feel like it's been that long, guess I'm older, though a good deal older now. I know, he was a little bit early but I suppose we have to lose all our rock stars now. Although I doubt any of them will hurt like this. He was our, all of our, personal Weirdo Savior and while he can't really die he can definitely be gone, solid gone, and we were just lucky to have gotten as much of him as we did.

    I was hoping to have more to drag in here, hell at least part 2 of this, but- from the pseudonymous Tristan Eldritch, The Last Will And Testament of Tillinghast Nebula, part 1.
    posted by hap_hazard at 8:15 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


    Please forgive me this. I've been here a while too and this thread has been a comfort. There are only a few perfect rock songs, and Heroes is pretty fucking much at the top of the list.

    1977 and 1977 Japan and 1977 on Marc Bolan

    1978 with Adrian Belew

    1985 Live Aid with Thomas Dolby

    1992 acoustic at the Bridge School

    1990

    2000 Glastonbury


    2002 Berlin

    2004 Hurricane Festival


    2005? and I don't know where

    Sorry the links are incomplete, and thank you all, very seriously.
    posted by vers at 8:28 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


    I've just been given a gig, adapting "Space Oddity" for orchestra for an event, and I'm trying to do it justice and avoid the urge to work in everything I love about the man into a single object...I wish this thread could stay open as my sextant. Still: thanks, all, for the guidance so far.
    posted by invitapriore at 10:01 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


    I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped make this thread into a true celebration of Bowie. All the links and shared stories and songs... I haven't ever stayed with an obit thread until it closed, but this one has been so different, so joyful and mournful and somehow healing...

    Just thank you, all of you. I needed what you brought, and what you brought was amazing.
    posted by hippybear at 11:15 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


    My thanks as well. All y'all helped me to get through this more than I can express.

    “If we can sparkle he may land tonight….”
    posted by ob1quixote at 11:53 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


    But I don't want this thread to end.
    posted by Mezentian at 12:26 AM on February 10 [9 favorites]


    Photo from Mick Jagger: David reading to school children in Mustique.

    I went to a Bowie memorial party a few weeks ago and bawled my eyes out. Thought I got it all out of my system then, but this thread closing brought it back. I'm in tears again. Thank you all for helping make this month a little less sad.

    Don't forget to keep your head warm
    Twinkle twinkle Mr. Bowie

    posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:58 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


    One last toast: to a great artist and an inspiring human being.
    posted by valetta at 9:51 AM on February 10 [7 favorites]


    Yes, a last toast: you influenced the dreams I had, which in turn informed the person I am today. I like to think a better person than had I not known that influence.

    And your influence will never wane, Starman.
    posted by Windigo at 10:42 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


    Was talking about why we'd never covered any Bowie at rehearsal with my cover band last week, noting that I wished we could cover Ashes to Ashes & my friend John, who is as big of a Bowie fanatic as me said "We've never done it because it would be impossible."

    Yep. Unique voice, unique personality, indelibly stamped his mark on me. I will be forever sad that there will be no more David Bowie on this Earth, and forever grateful that I got to be alive while there was Bowie on this Earth.

    .
    posted by Devils Rancher at 10:50 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


    Have we discussed his teeth yet? Because if not, here you go. He did have the most spectacular fangs.

    And I too am grateful to have shared this with you guys-- amazing stuff, comments, links, videos etc. Really cathartic especially when your 'normal' friends don't understand 'what is the deal with you and David Bowie?"
    posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 3:56 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


    Also, hopefully they'll bring back the "Bowie Is" exhibit, but at the very least the documentary will probably recirculate. I didn't get to see the exhibit but the doc, if it hasn't been said, is pretty amazing because there's a lot of glimpses of his notebooks and you can see that his imagination worked in overdrive. His sketches for the 1984 Floor Show were spectacular; he had all these movie ideas with apoclyptic characters in them. And he kept *everything* (which makes me wonder if the show will go round anytime soon because his family will understandably be protective of his stuff). It had stuff from his teenage days, his sketchbooks and so on. Rare glimpse into prolific genius.
    posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 4:04 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


    I propose that we meet back here (MeFi) on Jan. 8th next year for a Bowiemas/ Bowienalia celebration. It's a crash course for the ravers.
    posted by Capybara at 4:19 PM on February 10 [21 favorites]




    I told myself I wasn't going to cry over this thread anymore. Goddammit.
    posted by Etrigan at 5:13 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


    A little documentation they're putting together of the Bowie second line parade in NOLA with Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
    posted by Capybara at 5:36 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


    (continued) One evening later that summer, returning to the Essex House after a dinner out, my partner and I and her parents got into the express elevator. Just before the doors closed, two men rushed in. One was Bowie, the other a shorter, muscular fellow -- friend? assistant? bodyguard? I still have no idea -- and as we rode up, they spoke quietly and excitedly to each other, not loudly enough to make out any words.

    My partner and I were excitedly petrified, her parents were oblivious, and New York celebrity etiquette prevented us from saying anything. Bowie and his companion got off on a floor before ours, which I memorized at the time but don't remember now.

    The next day at work, I went to USENET and alt.fan.bowie, as always, and found that the day before, Iman had given birth to their daughter. It's likely Bowie had been just returning from the hospital.

    Not long after, I followed on alt.fan.bowie as they moved out and into the building on Lafayette. I don't recall whether that was before or after we also found a new apartment and moved out of the Essex House. I do remember that somehow a very banal exchange between Bowie and Moby went public. "I'm packing my socks now."

    Bowie and I were in the same room twice more after that. Those rooms, however, were the Tower Theater and Madison Square Garden, and we were at opposite ends of them. The Reality tour was still one of the best shows I've ever seen, by him or by anyone.

    I'm not ready for this thread to end, as a writer and even more as a reader. Thanks everyone for sharing this awful time. I'll be mining this thread for cool stuff for months.

    I'm not done here, but our time is almost up. We can't give everything away.

    But I never wave bye-bye...
    posted by Devoidoid at 5:37 PM on February 10 [8 favorites]






    has it been mentioned that he had a hell of a way with covers?

    Waterloo Sunset
    posted by philip-random at 7:29 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


    Also, hopefully they'll bring back the "Bowie Is" exhibit, but at the very least the documentary will probably recirculate. I didn't get to see the exhibit but the doc, if it hasn't been said, is pretty amazing

    I saw the documentary a few days ago at a local gallery. Thought it was very good. It seems to be floating around on YouTube, too. I actually found the documentary almost as good as the exhibition, which was impossibly crowded when I saw it, making it very difficult to see anything close-up (like the notebooks you mention).
    posted by Pink Frost at 7:53 PM on February 10


    Goodbye.
    posted by ericthegardener at 7:59 PM on February 10


    has it been mentioned that he had a hell of a way with covers?

    As I understand it, He invited John down to the Young Americans sessions to help out with his cover of Across the Universe, which is of course, a very, very good cover, & it was during some recording interregnum that Lennon was goofing around with some chords &, playing a little repetitive lick, just to kill time, when it caught Bowie's ear, & they developed it into Fame.

    He let the serendipitous happen by being able to recognize it when it was taking place. Half of his genius was in being Bowie, & half of his genius was helping others to be who they were, with him collaboratively & man, I admire that. That's the true beauty of music - people making it together, & he understood that & was able to keep his vision intact while coaxing the personal best out of those around him. There are way too few who understand it like that & have the strength & humility to make it work. I will ever be in awe.
    posted by Devils Rancher at 9:05 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


    a new career in a new town...

    this is all i ever meant,
    that's the message that i sent,
    i can't give everything away

    thanks, y'all. 'til next Bowiemas.
    posted by thetortoise at 10:23 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


    So I guess this is still open, I can re-tell the story of seeing Bowie in a storm? Great!

    I'd had opportunities in the past to see Bowie. The first time, he was playing the London Astoria, a tiny theatre. I paid a tout 50 pounds for a ticket, only to find it was a fake. The disappointment was made worse when I realised that other people had been buying real tickets off other touts. My loss.

    The second time was the semi-legendary Glastonbury performance of 2000. Bowie had originally planned to play for three hours, until he realised the huge fines the festival would face if he went over curfew. Then he came down with a throat infection. He still played what seemed to me to be an absolutely glorious, life-affirming set. But then, that was a time of my life when I had access to plentiful and high-quality ecstasy, so who knew, really?

    The third and final time I got to see Bowie was in Wellington. It was Valentine's Day 2004, when the weather is usually like it is today, warm and slightly humid. That day, it was one of the worst storms we'd had in a long time. Many of the pine trees on the hill above the stadium were blown down. The airport was closed. The harbour was closed (years earlier there had been a dreadful passenger shipwreck in a storm). The two roads out of town were both closed. There was no way in or out. Just us, standing in the dark and the storm, with Bowie.

    And he was magnificent. He did the old songs and new songs, deep cuts and astute covers. And he stood on the stage, facing into the gales and the rain and asked "Shall I keep going? I can take it if you can!". He could have phoned in the show, he didn't need us or our money or our approval, we're a small town at the end of the world. But he still did that show for the thousands of people who had stood for hours in the rain. Sure he made great music, but that night made me think he was a great person too.

    [Thank you all for this thread, I've still barely been able to look at it, never mind post in it. I'm gradually getting to the point where I can start listening to his music again. But not quite yet]
    posted by Pink Frost at 10:50 PM on February 10 [24 favorites]


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