Saturday, January 16, 2016


As you may or may not have noticed, David Bowie died from cancer recently.

Here's a selection of my favorites, off the top of my head.

Life on Mars.

From the 1971 album Hunky Dory. Perhaps my all-time favorite Bowie song.

Panic in Detroit.

From the 1973 album Aladdin Sane. The use of conga drums is an early testimony of Bowie's experimental zeal.

Soul Love.

Second track from the legendary album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972).

Moonage Daydream.

Also from, etc. Competes with Life on Mars for my all-time favorite Bowie song. With all the laurels heaped on Bowie, it's easy to forget how much this album owes to Mick Ronson, a first class guitarist who performed with top notch stars like Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Mott the Hoople, Morrissey and others. Pay special attention to the marvellous guitar solo starting at the 3:13 mark.

Five years.

From, etc.


Originally a song by Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel, covered by Bowie and performed since 1968.

This is not America.

A 1985 song performed by Bowie and Pat Metheny Group; from the soundtrack of the movie The falcon and the snowman (1985).

When the wind blows.

A song from the 1986 film of the same name.

Absolute Beginners.

Theme song of the 1986 musical film of the same name which introduced, uh, Patsy Kensit.

Never let me down.

From his seventeenth studio album of the same name, released in 1987. It was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, near beautiful Lake Constance, which is a nice enough place to drop by at least once in your life.

Jump they say.

From Black Tie White Noise, eighteenth studio album by Bowie (released in 1993). We were just talking about Mick Ronson, the gifted guitarist. Ronson contributed to this album, but it was to be the last time. Later in the year he died of cancer, aged only 46.

Ashes to ashes. Which was my first encounter with the Bowie Phenomenon, thanks to my good friend John D. S., who really introduced me to quality music.

From the 1980 album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).

I never gave much - if anything - for Bowie the Man, only for Bowie the Musician (even though I often had but the foggiest idea what exactly it was he was singing about). I suspect/assume Bowie in his younger years was something of a sexual pervert, who may or may not have bedded Mick Jagger, amongst others. I don't care about that - to each his own. Worse was the news that he fucked 15 year old girls Lori Mattix and Sable Starr, and these are just the names that we know. Also, me being a catholic, although admittedly not a very good one, I assume people would expect me to be angry at Bowie's aversion vis-à-vis the Catholic Church, as evident in amongst others his last but one album The Next Day.

But no, I'm not angry. I am of the philosophy "The deed is the punishment". And I just calmly notice that Bowie did to teens what he accused the Men of the Church of, and that a man who married a woman named Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid probably would never have made a music video mocking another religion of which the highest authorities, contrary to those of Christianity, have thus far refrained from paying damages to its countless victims of paedophilia.

That said, as a musical performer I consider the Thin White Duke without equal. The world will certainly be a duller place with him gone.

Rest in peace, David Bowie. And thanks - I mean it - for brightening up my life.


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