David Robert Jones, 1947-2016

DB1

Goodbye.

If you need a place to talk, here it is. Be nice to each other.

427 Responses to David Robert Jones, 1947-2016

  1. tom says:

    it is still unbelieveable – listening to lazaurs right now.

  2. Mark says:

    So much to say, but for now: thank you David for everything you gave us. Blackstar as remarkable a final statement as there has ever been.

    Thank you also Chris for all your work here.

    • Tancie says:

      Please to all watch the “Gathering at Brixton video(January 11, 2016), of joyous young people singing Bowie’s songs!” This is what endears, youth. Seeing/hearing them sing is Bowie’s legacy. [check at The Guardian]

      No tears, their sweet voices chased them away💖

  3. Patrick says:

    From Paris, so sad, love to all
    Depuis Paris, Bowie est mort Vive Bowie
    Patrick

  4. mrleeward says:

    So sad. A shit grey long lonely Monday, leavened only by being able to share memories and condolences with so many others.

  5. Alex L says:

    ‘And I can’t see the water for the tears in my eyes’. Goodbye, Mr Bowie.

    • Tancie says:

      At first news, shock, tremendous shock. Watched Bowie/Mercury “Under Pressure.” Fell back to sleep hugging
      my cell after writing beautiful thoughts for Bowie. But
      today, real shock, and holding tears back. As if to cry
      people might wonder. Put on your red shoes…countless parties in the eighties pass my thoughts, celebratory music, elegant, wild, beautiful…a personal film with soundtrack by Bowie. This is not good to not cry. Too great to comprehend Bowie, creating til well beyond the end, new album, play. Decades of styles, always magnificent to the changing times. Too much news all at once, for the common mind, and wishing to cry but trying to be celebratory of Bowie’s gifts…I’ll look at the stars tonight and wonder, what is Bowie writing now, but I really want to cry.

  6. Em² says:

    Yep. Devastating. Didn’t think we’d be enduring this day quite so soon. That I’m still awaiting the arrival of a new album that still pushes is boundaries is somehow very fitting whilst now being very poignant. The Berlin trilogy encouraged me to widen my musical horizon and explore the influences. Great music ,of course, lives forever.

  7. Merav says:

    What can we say? Thank you, David, for the music.
    There never was, and never will be, another like you.

  8. Trevor Mill says:

    Nothing to say.

    Blue blue.

  9. imathers says:

    What a shock; saw it just as I was about to go to sleep and now I’m still up and will probably need to take a personal day at work. Totally gutted, don’t really have the words yet. Completely irreplaceable. I hope he realized how much people loved the new album.

    • Jeanette in Michigan says:

      I feel the same way. I just woke up and found out, and I don’t know how to function. It seems silly being this upset about someone I didn’t really know, but I am. I might cry at work today. They will think I’m crazy. Oh well. Let them think I’m crazy.

      • Ryan S says:

        Ditto. I’m listening to Bowie in my cubicle. I’ve already caught a few sideway glances from people, and I know it’s not because of the volume level. If anyone makes any Bowie jokes I will have to resist the urge to punch them in the gut.

      • Ryan S says:

        Not to be negative. Mr. Jones wouldn’t have wanted his music to be a source of hate or violence for anyone. At least I’d like to think that. I’m so sad today.😦

  10. Mark says:

    So many of us our the people we are today as a result of David Bowie – thank you, David (RIP)

    • Bryna says:

      Yes. Very true. When I needed a smile his music would do the trick! Labyrinth was & still is very near & dear to my heart… brought me joy & happiness no matter how old I was/am. It’s a “staple” in our house!

  11. Remco says:

    Just watched the Blackstar video, the ending makes a disturbing amount of sense now.

  12. Bowie didn’t give my life meaning, but he helped me find it.

    Thank you all and please stay strong.

    • James LaBove says:

      “Bowie didn’t give my life meaning, but he helped me find it.”

      Thank you, pinstripehourglass. That’s perfect. I feel the same way. Love to you and everyone else feeling the loss today.

      • sweetman1liz says:

        Since I was fifteen…exactly.Never mourned any public figure before, can’t quite take this in. Good to know so many of us are bereft, in a most peculiar way.

  13. Robin says:

    “I can’t give everything away”. We’ll forever be guessing for the meaning behind so many of his lyrics.

    I’m so much more moved by this than I had anticipated. Can’t keep dry eyes listening to his music, the soundtrack to so many stages of my life. Goodbye, hero.

  14. Ididtheiggy says:

    Thanks again, Chris. I’m gutted and tired and don’t have much to offer right. We got 25 studio albums and boat load of live performances, b-sides, out takes, covers, jams, bootlegs, acting performances, producing other artists, exposing other artists, paintings, photo shoots, a son that’s an accomplished artist in his own right, silly, fun, intelligent communities like this and permission to be as weird, different, irreverent and ridiculous as we want. That’s a lot for one man to give us.
    The world may be a little darker today without him, but it’s infinitely brighter because of him.

  15. He fell to earth. Thank you.

  16. Hayeon says:

    My hero. Cannot describe how much he means to me, and probably many of you. This all feels like a cruel joke since his new album was released only a few days ago and he looked so healthy??

    It will take a long time for me to calm down and accept his death..until then I’m putting Blackstar on repeat.

  17. steven says:

    Usually an artist death leads to me giving their records a spin, but I won’t be able to play Blackstar again for a while.

    But, what a way to go, releases one of the best records of his career and gives us space to enjoy it, even if just for a few days, without ruining the fun with small things – like what it’s about.

    It was such a Bowie statement, and above all a kind one.

  18. MarinaSofia says:

    Completely bereft.Thank you for the unforgettable music.

  19. I just can’t sleep…. I feel so sad, so grateful, so proud, so inspired. So many mixed emotions here. I’ve been reading you almost from the beginning but too shy to participate. Now it feels right to do it.

  20. Ulf says:

    The greatest ever. He has been an important part of so many people’s lives, including mine.

  21. Listened to Lazarus, the album, on Friday. Blown away. Loved it. Was lucky enough to see Lazarus, the play, on Saturday night. Blown away. Loved it.

    This is… not, at all, how I expected my weekend to end. I’ve written many words on various forms of social media, but all I feel the need to say here is add to the chorus of “thank yous.” For this weekend, and for the last 50 years of music.

  22. Bruised Passivity says:

    Not sure if I’ll sleep tonight as the shock keeps giving way to floods of tears. I’m comforted by the thought that he was happy in the end and managed to fulfill so many dreams in his lifetime. All condolences to Duncan, Iman, Lexi and all his loved ones.

  23. Brian says:

    Was rewatching the Lazarus video right now, and oh my god. I didn’t think much of the part where he was writing at first, but now that he’s gone… it’s clear what it’s about. Look at him write frantically and nervously- he’s a man who knows his time is up and is trying to get everything down. His muse has visited him one last time before it’s all over- but notice at the end the way he’s dressed and how he exits. Bowie doesn’t “leave” the video in bed… he leaves it by becoming a muse himself.

    This way or no way
    You know I’ll be free
    Just like that bluebird
    Now, ain’t that just like me?

    Very masterful that those lyrics play right at the moment in the video. It’s also clear now that the blinding bandages are his way of saying that he can’t see anymore what the future holds. Note that he’s blinded by bandages- his sickness.

    • J. A. F. says:

      Yes! As soon as I saw this video the other day, I became very sad because I felt his mortality, that he was confronting his mortality in this video. And I thought it was very brave. And on so many levels. Dancing in his old suit from 76… thrilled to be writing lyrics… struggling to float out of bed… looking like the cover of Lodger or the tubed up crash landed Major Tom from Ashes to Ashes… it was sad… I felt, this man knows his mortality… And then. So. SOON!!! This evening at the time the news came out (which I would not hear for another hour) I was listening to the new album for the first time. That will be the last time I listened to Bowie as a living artist. I am so happy I heard it (at least partly) while he was still alive. Right after, I listened to “Heroes,” the song, and it sounded older than before… It’s hard to let go of 1970-80 Bowie for me… just such a monolithic presence. But I felt myself…doing just that, without wanting to, for the first time ever (“Ziggy, ok, but no! Not the Berlin albums too!”) … letting go into…what? I was writing about that when a friend who has heard me sing countless Bowie songs texted me the news. The man who formed so much of my awareness as a young person has left the planet. The bastard. I’ll never forget giving my cassette of “ChangesBowie” a first listen, and being stunned that he sang THIS, too? A parade of songs from my waking-up-for-elementary-school radio alarm clock… and all in differing styles. I’m still in denial. Loss.

    • raw moon says:

      Excellent post. What about the outfit he has on ? Remember the stationtostation promo photo of him sitting on the floor drawing the ‘tree of life’. He has the same outfit w/ the diagonal silver stripes – or am I off here ?

      • Gozomoto says:

        I noticed that right off the bat when I saw the video (though I wondered if it’s the same outfit or a new one; can’t quite tell). I suppose now, as it’s often noted that he was obliquely referencing the “stations” of the cross with the title, that he deliberately did so here, too. Makes sense to me.

      • raw moon says:

        also, i’m pretty sure it’s been mentioned here, but one of davids’ heroes was elvis (a younger bowie thought there was something magical about sharing the same b-day). youtube: elvis ‘blackstar’ and note the lyrics. uncanny ~

  24. Deanna says:

    I can’t fathom this….

    I’m so sad. I loved him like a distant relative, maybe an uncle, as silly as that sounds.

    I know that I will never, ever be able to watch the Lazarus video again.

    I don’t have anything meaningful to say. I’m sorry.

    I’ll miss you Bowie. You changed my life.

    CNN is pulling out all the clichés. I recommend avoiding them for now, they don’t really know Bowie.

    • taojones says:

      “Everybody knows me now”

    • Anonymous says:

      i cry. And I can´t do something else. He was more to me than my father was, Every single moment of my life. He was the soundtrack of any situation. I can not forgive that he was not sharig his burdon. Wann immer ich traurig war, er hatte den passenden soundtrack. Ja, er war ein Familienmitglied auch wenn er und nicht kannte. Am Freitag, nach großem Kampf, hatte
      ich endlich seine neue CD. Ich sagte zu meiner Mutter: er singt schon wieder von seinem Tod!
      Schon auf “the next day” meinte ich jemanden zu hören der sich über seine Endlichkeit ärgert. Das ich Recht haben sollte kotzt mich an. Ich liebe Dich.

  25. Anonymous says:

    He said it best. In his music, in his words, in his every inch of being. I would not be here today if it weren’t for him. Thank you all for being kind, smart, beautiful. Thank you David Bowie for being a cornerstone in so many lives and setting an example as to what human beings can and should aspire to. We’re all taller children, after all and you helped us grow up. Now it’s time for us to cry and live and love and give back to this world what you gave to us. Love and compassion, as always.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, thank you. Exactly. He helped me to grow up. It seems strange to say it, never having met him, but in many very crucial ways, he helped me grow up.

  26. Phoenigues says:

    no words….just a vast of sadness….

  27. Mr Tagomi says:

    It’s absurd on one level, but I feel as though I’ve lost a friend. A very sad day. There’s so much vitality in his final work.

  28. Merav says:

    I’m so glad this place exists. Thank you, Chris. Everyone I know keeps sending me condolences, but this is the only place I feel we all truly understand the grief we’re all experiencing. Indeed, as if we’ve lost a close friend, a family member, a part of who we are.
    The Bowie community is so unique, so wonderful. Thank you all for being.

  29. Jen L-G says:

    Loved him since I was a girl in the 70s. I’m a bigger person because he made this world a better place. I can’t wait to see what improvements he’ll make upstairs, it’ll be a real treat for all of us who get there after he’s has some time to sort the place out.

  30. Claws-on says:

    “Hot tramp, I love you so!”

  31. Jake Freeman says:

    This is quite simply, unimaginable.

  32. Wullie Broon says:

    Love on ya #blackstar

  33. Elijah says:

    Thank you David Bowie for a lifetime of creativity.

  34. Bowietie Daddy says:

    He knew he was dying. He made another awesome album. That’s David Bowie for you, Kid.

  35. Joel says:

    I almost feared the music had disappeared with him, but it’s all still there, strange and beautiful.

    Thank you for everything, David.

  36. SylvieD says:

    Yesterday I was wondering “what kind of week is it going to be, with no new Bowie album to listen ? ” Ahah. For thirty two years this man spoke to me in a unique, magical way. There is nothing I can say except thank you.

  37. tarff26 says:

    Where the fuck did Monday go?

    Terribly sad news. It sounds daft given all that we have from him in terms of music and film and footage, but it wish there was one last public appearance. Not even a gig, just something where he could be appreciated.

  38. Landon Brown says:

    This is simply too surreal.

  39. Catherine Oddie says:

    Posting from Maitland in Australia where the night sky is putting on a fitting tribute. Rain, thunder and lightning. Much sturm und drang. I am stuck in a paddock shelter reading the posts, waiting for the Lightning to ease. It is saying more than I ever could.

  40. I loved him like a friend, his voice helped me through some very difficult moments in my life and made it all better. Yesterday I was listening to Dollar Days and thinking it sounded like a goodbye. And this morning I woke up to this. Horrible, atrocious day. I will never stop missing or loving you, David.

  41. The great man will live forever. Goodbye DAVID BOWIE.

  42. Oskar Matzerath says:

    I need to avoid social media for now, with all of the well meaning and in-no-way malicious posts from friends and acquaintances about how they ‘really loved’ “Heroes” or Life On Mars – is that petty of me? Probably.

    Grief is with us all, yet felt intimately and deepest on the most personal level. I am bereft, in a way I didn’t think I could be for someone whose work I loved, yet never met.

    You’ve seen me through some truly dark moments, David. Thank you for being the best of us, sir. Thank you so much.

  43. nnhh says:

    oh no, don’t say it’s true

  44. Feeling entirely empty, truly hoping this is a dream but I know it’s not. Speaking of dreams, I remember having a rather vivid one of him helping me clean my garage once. It’s all silly, but that meant the world to me. I cannot begin to write how much he meant to me as an artist and a person. Inspiring for how consumed and dedicated he was to his art, and how he went beyond what many can only dare to imitate. For now, I can only listen and grieve with countless others. Thank you for everything, Mr. Bowie.

  45. classede1es1 says:

    I remember one day for Christmas 1980 when friends of my parents came and visited…their daughter had just bought Scary Monsters, she played it…and from that day my life has changed…his music just blew my mind

  46. Fjpl says:

    Heart broken yet unbroken.
    Nobody else will take his place.
    He is the Blackstar.

  47. Kento says:

    A lot of media are using pictures of him from when he was younger, but I really admired the way he looked in the Blackstar and Lazarus videos, and I’m glad we got to see him in those videos and that’s how I want to remember him.

  48. MikeB says:

    Watching the end of the Lazarus video, I found myself wondering what’s he scribbling so furiously. He couldn’t find the words, but once he had them, he couldn’t stop writing. Then he disappears in the wardrobe.

    Isn’t that just like his final year? He made as much art as he could knowing his time was ending, and it was incredible. I’m in awe as much as I am in mourning.

    “Just like that bluebird

    Oh I’ll be free

    Ain’t that just like me”

  49. MikeB says:

    (Just saw above someone else wrote near the same thing!)

  50. So sorry. Sad news, never had a chance to see him live. I hope he really had a peaceful end. All the best to his family. If anybody believes in God this is the right time for prayers.
    You will be missed David Robert Jones.
    You won’t be forgotten David Bowie.

  51. princeasbo says:

    Thank you Chris for creating this space, it’s a wonderful thing you’ve done.

  52. 布莱恩 says:

    BOWIE WE LOVE YOU MATE’…THANK YOU FOR ENRICHING THE HUMAN RACE…TIME TO SAY GOODBYE…MY YEARS IN COLLEGE WERE GREAT, BECAUSE OF YOU.

  53. MC says:

    Good God, this is such a shock.

    R.I.P. David

  54. Bowietie Daddy says:

    And thanks to the man behind this blog, I found a place to talk and learn about the Man and his music.

  55. Michael says:

    I absolutely love you.

  56. I’m sat at work crying at my desk. Listening to my Dad’s tape of ChangesBowie was one of my first memories. So much of Bowie’s music has been with me through my childhood, adolescence, university, moving away from home, getting married, becoming a father. I’m someone who has very few critical faculties when it comes to Bowie. I love Low and Ziggy and Outside, but I also love Never Let Me Down, Black Tie, hours all of it. It’s all meant something to me.

  57. King of Oblivion says:

    How the hell is one supposed to live without David Bowie in the world? I love you, old friend.

  58. gcreptile says:

    I’ve already posted my grief on a thousand different pages. So now some rationalizing…

    I think it’s clear now why the Lazarus video was released before the album. It was Bowie’s last statement and he wanted to give it in full control.
    We can also possibly explain now why the album is maybe 1-2 songs short. He rather wanted to leave a shorter, but polished work than a longer album with a few not quite finished songs. I’d bet there’ll be another release with unfinished work.
    I guess, intellectually (but not emotionally), wrapping up the blog will get easier now. There’s no reason not to do it all now, until the very last song. And who would have thought that there is no deeper meaning behind Lazarus, but that it was literally Bowie on his deathbed? So heartbreaking, so artistically bold.

    I feel like there has been no other human being that could have passed better as an alien visiting Earth from outer space than him. His heart attack made him all too human, so maybe that’s why he had retreated from public for 10 years. He wanted to recapture the mystique. And so he neither made his cancer diagnosis public. As an artistic statement, the last years have been nothing short of incredible.
    Curious how medical issues not only cut short his neo-classical comeback with Heathen and Reality, but now also his “real” comeback with The Next Day and Blackstar.

    By the way Chris, here’s a link to a different forum (a Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor forum) with some news from a Steve Hoffman forum (eh, you know how the internet works):

    http://www.echoingthesound.org/community/threads/590-David-Bowie?p=284594#post284594

    Some background info on Bowie’s cancer fight.

  59. Richard says:

    It’s amazing that after 50 years of releasing music and 25 albums (among many other things), Bowie did the unthinkable. He left us wanting more.

  60. Someone fetch a priest says:

    The photo Duncan released is beautiful, brought me to tears. No flash, no make-up, just a beautiful young man and his son. At his core db had a reassuring touch of normalcy that makes me think first of his family at this sad time rather than the music and public personae. A young girl lost a father today.

    My wife asked “he was your favorite singer right?” “No, he was much more than that…”

    Thank you Chris for bringing this community together. My thoughts are with you also.

  61. sjfk1612 says:

    It is like any other day in that I will listen almost exclusively to David Bowie. Nothing has changed. I always thought (secretly, selfishly) that I’d meet him before he had to go, but I am satisfied that he has left me nearly a thousand songs to continue to live in and around. I’ve heard all of them, and believe me they only improve with every listening. They are him – he gave all of himself to his music, and it is human and alien and… It’s the best.
    Days that I’ve spent researching his interviews, watching his films, futilely trying to rank his songs or his albums (face it – they’re all the best, even ‘hours…’), comparing live bootlegs, trawling through links to find high-quality rehearsal sessions and outtakes… God, it’s all so fucking brilliant. Everything he did. I love it all so much.
    Goodbye to the man who has soundtracked my existence, from the greatest joys to the depths of sorrow and every insignificant moment in between.
    Goodbye to the man who grabbed my hand and dragged me down a path of music and theatre and film and art that I shall walk forever.
    Goodbye to the man who opened the door for a young Dublin teenager to a universe of creativity the scale of which I will spend my life trying to comprehend, traverse, and contribute to.
    He did not breed fans – he bred artists, pushing the boundaries and paving the way for all of us to follow. In the end, he didn’t want a cult; he just wanted to show those of us here on the ground that the stars were closer than we thought and brighter than we could ever possibly conceive. Generations from now, David Bowie will still be emboldening people everywhere, and of all ages, to live the strangest dreams and fantasies within our heads. He got to me. I’m proud to say that.
    In the first song of his final curtain call (★) Bowie sings:
    “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”
    He has given away not everything but as much as he can – and he has passed on the greatest artistic legacy ever carried. It our duty to take him up on his challenge.
    “As long as there’s me, as long as there’s you” – right?
    I’ve nearly finished with tears, and I’m honestly just glad that he existed, and equally glad that I do too. As my girlfriend said to me, at least we can all say that we were alive when David Bowie took his final bow. And it was beautiful, and it lasts forever. The standing ovation is so loud and lasts so long, that he never truly leaves the stage. Not for us.
    You were and are the greatest artist I’ll ever know. You taught me and you inspired me and you were my friend when I needed it and my hero for always. Thank you David Bowie. I love you.

  62. davyking says:

    He died at the New Moon ‪#‎Bowie‬

  63. Patrick says:

    From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads.
    Each generation has their own. Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, we had Bowie. He owned and fathered the 70s then spawned the musical children of the 80s and beyond.
    Arguably the greatest solo musical artist of the 20th century.

  64. davyking says:

    We knew him thru his sound & vision & that’s all still here Just be thankful he accomplished what he did.

  65. davyking says:

    In some ways, we’re lucky. Reality could have been his last album. He had a reprieve too cos heart attack could have killed him.

  66. davyking says:

    We can always hope he emulates the biblical Lazarus. Maybe that was a parting joke! Certainly the video showed him on his death bed.

  67. davyking says:

    Last official photo of #Bowie What a parting gift. He knew he was dying but managed to laugh & show us he was happy!

    • fluxkit says:

      I know. I loved that photo the other day. My wife was really happy to see it (after all of the dark promos for the album). And now knowing that that was that last image. It’s joyous.

  68. davyking says:

    If you got to go, I can’t think of a better way. We will all die but few of us will leave a legacy like his

  69. davyking says:

    In shock. At least he went out on an artistic triumph with Blackstar. The title Lazarus was a clue. What a legacy he has left us all.

  70. Mike says:

    With Blackstar’s release I’ve just been binging on David’s work all weekend. So around midnight I had finished watching Soulwax’s “Dave” and started to watch Velvet Goldmine. The news broke at about the same time as the movie ended. I don’t know what song is going to be the first song I listen to knowing he’s dead.

  71. djmac says:

    Crushed.
    but I do take such comfort in having a place like this and people like you all who share the love and respect for him.
    Thank you David.

  72. Josef says:

    My suspicion is lungcancer. I also believe that he recorded quite a lot of material during the The Next Day session and that when he found out (during mid-2013) that he was sick, he decided to give it another shot. So he recorded with Arcade fire, and then later worked with a new “final” album, but he couldn’t finish a full album, because he became to sick to work, so he decided to keep the album short (only 7 songs there is). And he also did some videos and stuff. Very well-calculated by Mr. Bowie, stylish and elegant as usual, even when entering the stages of death. He walked off with style.

    • The chronology doesn’t line up, though. He’d apparently been sick for 18 months, which means he found out in mid-2014.

    • Bruised Passivity says:

      I would be a logical conclusion to suspect lung cancer but (and I don’t claim to be any sort of expert) would he still have had the lung power that he did in to perform so powerfully on the Blackstar album?

      I was listening to the December 17th podcast episode NPR’s show All Songs Considered the other day and Toni Visconti and Donny McCaslin were being interviewed about the making of Blackstar. The point that sticks out in my mind about the interview is Tony saying how loud Bowie’s singing voice is and that you can’t stand right next to him when he’s singing “because it is just that strong”. I just wonder if it was lung cancer that got him, would he still have that sort of vocal power? Just thinking out loud.

  73. freddyw says:

    I bought Blackstar yesterday and put off listening to it, just to delay the pleasure a bit. Don’t know if I’ll be able to hear it today (or the next day, or the next..) A mix of devastation and a part of me so glad that he went to the end creating, provoking, making a beautiful mystery out of life. My absolute hero.

  74. davyking says:

    Haven’t felt like this since Lennon’s death

  75. Logan says:

    In shock and at a loss for words. I was still holding out hope for the chance to see him live. He was a true polymath.

  76. carsten boldt says:

    Where are we now?
    Carsten – Denmark.

  77. davyking says:

    I don’t wish to be morbid or disrespectful, but I wonder what type of cancer he died from. He was a heavy smoker but had given up & seemed to be in fine voice on Blackstar.

  78. Jack SS says:

    Something happened on the day he died
    No one can take his place
    Hes a blackstar
    Welcome To Reality

  79. Stella says:

    First time poster. I wish it wasn’t under these circumstances.

    Although I loved Bowie’s glam era since I was in my teens, it’s only in the last 12 months that I made a conscious decision to truly delve into Bowie’s entire canon, piece by piece.

    He is now my muse.

    Chris – your peerless writing about the man is what drew me in further. For that I cannot thank you enough.

    Bowie’s late-period work was no less compelling than his most seminal classics. Blackstar, and the energy leading up to its release, was an artistic apogee only he could reach.

    Just less than a week ago I mapped out my review of Blackstar and felt something that, as a lazy writer at best, I hadn’t felt for a long time: the compulsion to write about a creative work and to do so quickly; as if I were being timed by a silent clock. Now I realise I felt this compulsion because the message of Blackstar was that of a dying man.

    Many tears I shed for his family, especially his young daughter. That’s a very difficult picture of grief to accept.

    Today we have experienced a mass bereavement upon the death of an immortal.

  80. Alb says:

    Just sadness…

  81. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure I’m having the same feelings as all of you here. When I think of all the things I’ve learnt from the man, and all the excitement and pleasure of his music, it’s heartbreaking to hear that he’s gone. What an incredible and positive influence he’s had. Condolences to David’s family and friends. Love on ya X.

  82. Cloudy monday here in Brazil, rainy. That’s how the day dawns, in a sad way.

    People said to me Blackstar was like a farewell, but I didn’t want to believe. Now the album has a completely different meaning to me, I can’t listen to it the same way I did yesterday. I can’t listen to Lazarus without seeing it as the song of his death.

    “Look up here, I’m in heaven
    I’ve got scars that can’t be seen”

    The clip showed Bowie in his deathbed, but I didn’t thought it was such a explicit message.

    With Blackstar, he left us his final gift, an account of his final days and about the icon he’s become. A work done the way he wanted, to himself, about himself.

    At least his yearning to “be free, just like that bluebird”, has happened. And along all his life, he also “happened” in a lot of people’s lives, that got inspiration from hus songs and had him as their idol. I’m one of them and I’m sure everyone here is. And I should say that saying “had” is wrong, since it’s “HAVE”. We HAVE him as our idol, his our blackstar. And will always be. David Bowie is eternal, perpetual, everlasting, ageless.

    So, thanks for all you gave to this world. Your work will always be remembered.

    “He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd”

    1947 – 2016

  83. LittleGirlWithGreyEyes says:

    I found out about this when I was at work. I overheard a co-worker say, “Wait, what? Bowie’s dead? No way”. After a brief discussion, in a matter of minutes, everyone in the office simply went on about their business, chatting casually and cracking jokes. And I just sat there, my hands trembling. I was reading the announcement on the official website over and over again, desperately hoping it’s been hacked by some asshole, and wondering how I’m going to survive the rest of the day without falling apart.
    Even though I’ve discovered Bowie’s music in the 90s, I’ve only been a fan for a year or so. Somewhere in 2015 I realised I coudn’t live a day without hearing his voice. It pulled me out of my usual apathy bordering on depression.
    Just 4 days ago, I was excitedly waiting for his new album to come out. Now, this.
    For the past few hours I’ve been telling myself not to cry, but I can’t help it anymore.
    Goodbye, Mr Jones. You’ve made my world a better place.

  84. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx♦xoxo

  85. davyking says:

    Of course, he was lucky to survive his cocaine phase. In a parallel universe, he didn’t. Look on the bright side. We have all this wonderful work ‪#‎Bowie‬

  86. Simon says:

    I always made fun of the outpouring of emotion and grief that followed when Diana died. However, this morning I’m feeling some of the same feelings….

    A tragic loss for those who loved his music. An innovator and authentic artist that has left us too soon

    RIP

  87. Brandon Smith says:

    David Jones died. David Bowie lives forever.

  88. Vanessa says:

    I’m in such a state of shock. I’m so sad I can’t cry. He would want us to celebrate it and not be sad. He left Blackstar for us. Looking back at my previous post about each song being reminiscent of an era, it could his last look on his past. RIP David. You have influenced me, and many others so much.

  89. Stolen Guitar says:

    Posted this earlier on the Blackstar thread but I guess it should reside here.We were lucky to have had him…

    So, this really is the end.

    Sadness and shock don’t even begin to cover it. He was the single biggest influence on my life and how I viewed the world I was living in. I had my family and friends for love and support and I had my schooling for all the rest, but David Bowie’s entrance into my life and into my head was life transforming and, as it transpired, lifelong and permanent.

    I know that everyone here on this temple to him will be just as numb and sad as I am right now, and words to describe his effect on us all are pretty inadequate and cannot even remotely do justice to him. Hamlet’s adoring tribute to his father is too often misappropriated and cravenly applied, but in David Bowie’s case it seems absolutely appropriate and right that paraphrasing Shakespeare and inserting the Starman’s words should provide a fitting summation of this uniquely gifted man:

    He’d urged us to sparkle and we duly did so; anything to get him to land (tonight). We shall not see his like again, but his light will always be seen when we look out of our windows at night.

  90. Bruin Parker says:

    All day yesterday (my own birthday) playing Blackstar. And then this. He’s been there since I was a teenager in the 1970s, always in the background or foreground.

    Didn’t think that this could hit me this hard – an old man in a professional job tearing up in my office! I ain’t got the power anymore.

    And thank you for this blog, Chris – it’s been fantastic.

  91. Langlois says:

    ..and managed to surprise us even at the end. Thanks for everything.

  92. jdarkp says:

    When we saw him last year at a restaurant in New York, we were thrilled. Everyone there was thrilled, young, middle and old. I wondered if he perhaps was wearing a wig of some kind at the time…of course, his cancer was already in treatment, I expect, although he looked great.

    Ah, what a terrible way to wake up on a Monday. I wish he had woken up with us.

  93. Chris says:

    Just thinking how difficult it must have been for him to put out an innovative, clever and vibrant album and all the work that must have gone into the imagery and videos whilst struggling with terminal cancer. Astonishing.

  94. doctorsweet says:

    You promised me the ending would be clear
    You’d let me know when the time was now
    Don’t let me know when you’re opening the door
    Stab me in the dark, let me disappear

  95. steven says:

    Just want to add – earlier this week I finally got around to ordering Momus’ album, the one with the Bowie covers, and it arrived yesterday.

    I’ve found listening to Bowie’s own songs raw today and unexpectedly hard, so the tribute album is making a perfect substitute. The love to Bowie’s music shines through and says just as much – much, much more tbh – than anything I could think to write or that my brain could process. If you’re reading this Nick, thanks. It was one of your blogs that brought me to this site in the first place.

    I don’t know how to say this either but I’ve got to thank Chris for what this blog’s done. It deepened my relationship with Bowie and cast light on parts of the discography – now some of my favourite records – that all the received wisdom I’d absorbed would otherwise tell me to ignore.

    I remember finding it so frustrating how most Bowie retrospectives or docs wouldn’t bother going much further than Ziggy, and now I’ve been able to read more and go more deeply than I could have ever imagined. Thanks pal. I can’t thank you enough for your writing, or for your role in shaping this community.

  96. Such a strange morning. I woke up with a call from a friend asking me if I was okay, little did she know she’d be the one to tell me the news. Since then I’ve received four more texts from concerned friends.
    I went downstairs and watched a few minutes of the news. News eulogies are weird aren’t they? Once I saw David Cameron’s face yammering on about how it enjoys Hunky Dory I decided I had enough and went back upstairs. Playing Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6 show right now and the eulogies sound far more genuine (someone just requested Isn’t It Evening!). Yep, this is my breaking point.

    I’ve only listened to Blackstar a couple of times and I still haven’t gotten my head around it. It’s so strange and unlike anything else that just for a few days Bowie became an exciting and current artist again. Even at 69 he left us too soon. He certainly had a lot more to say. Blackstar now has attained the status as a funeral album. Bowie’s Les Marquises.

    Like many other people, his existence has hugely influenced the way I think about music and art and my outlook on the entire world.
    My condolences to his family, friends, collaborators and every damn human being whose life he transformed. There will never be another like him.

  97. roobin101 says:

    Pontifical thoughts in an approximate order:

    1) Since I saw the news Blackstar has been in playing my head. I’m not sure if that song will make me as happy or thrilled anymore.
    2) In my own personal opinion this life is the only life. What matters then is the legacy that we leave. Those who knew him personally will feel differently, their loss is different. The loss we feel is in part our own mortality and those we know and love on an intimate level. His artistic legacy is mighty and for all practical purposes immortal.
    3) I’ve glanced above. I can see people piecing together, Nathan Adler-style, what he might have been up to these past few years, what his motivations were. It’s inevitable. Perhaps we’ve all wondered what we would if we faced death in this way. I suspect the cancer was a relapse. It went into remission and that sparked his most recent musical activity, then it came back. I may well be wrong.
    4) My first strong memory of his music was buying a CD copy of Low when I was a teenager. Back then he was a heroes-hero, someone the musicians I liked also liked, that and a general background figure in culture. I thought I’d check him out. I stuck it in my CD walkman and listened while watching a football team practice on a windy Saturday. I was a miserable adolescent before and I was a miserable adolescent after but I’d heard something that was 20 years old but sounded like the future. Low is nearly 40 years old and it still sounds the same.
    5) My one almost-concession to esoteric ideas, great art, for want of a better word, has an eerie tendency to foretell. I guess a reason for starting this blog would have been Bowie’s story was starting to look complete and in need of telling. This is a request not a demand and, with full knowledge that Our Wonderful Curator here has his own life and priorities, I would like to discuss Blackstar in detail sooner rather than later. If that’s not possible then I’m cool.
    6) You’re all great. If you love someone tell them as soon as can. They’re alive. You are alive.

  98. davyking says:

    The CD design & packaging of Blackstar as well of course as the contents are a very suitable memorial & tribute (sombre black, the photo of the starscape). This is conscious art from someone who knew he would soon be dead. He transmuted his death into artHe joins us in mourning but also celebration. In the video of Lazarus he showed himself trying to write things down as soon as possible, seized by inspiration, hurrying against time. Now we know hy.

  99. Grasshopper says:

    When I was 13 I found Aladdin Sane in my dads LP collection. I put it on side 2 by mistake and heard Time for the first time. I immediately had a life changing experience and I realised the potential of what a human being can do and be. Thank you David

  100. This is not happening… It’s like, The Ultimate PR Stunt, huh :<

  101. Dave L says:

    Everyone else has expressed it so well. It does feel like losing a member of the family.

    I listened to “I Cant’ Give Everything Away” last night for the first time — had to listen to it several times it was so good. I remember thinking it sounded like a valedictory, a glorious one.

    • JMarcG says:

      Yes. That track was the one I couldn’t shake after first listening to the album on Friday–that initial harmonica echoing New Career in a New Town, a track which has always haunted me. The latter had that sense of new opportunities–moving on but sadness too. With Low you could flip the album to side 2; here it was the closer, beautiful, somewhat regretful, yet propulsive.

  102. roobin101 says:

    Again, slightly silly and overblown but I wrote my above nonsense and now I’ve got the chorus to Underground playing in my head.

  103. King of Oblivion says:

    Oh I also want to extend my thank you to Chris. Having this place available helps so much.

  104. cansorian says:

    Devastated.

  105. Groofay says:

    I’m absolutely gutted. I don’t know how to write much else right now. I just…I woke up to this.

    All the same, as Visconti said, his death was a work of art. And amidst the grief, I could not be more grateful for his last gift.

    Goodbye, David Jones.

  106. I’m still processing the shocking news. For now I’ll just say I’m happy he seemingly had the opportunity to prepare everything to leave peacefully and on his own terms.

  107. Steve Fitch says:

    Deaths of rock stars and other people I don’t know personally don’t move me, but Bowe’s passing feels like the death of a lifelong friend. Since I’ve been listening to pop music, there’s always been David Bowie. He set an example as an artist (musical and otherwise) for those of generations beyond his to follow. His “Low” album made me want to make music of my own – but a lot of musicians will cite a Bowie album as their own musical genesis.

  108. John D. says:

    Lovely sentiments here, and nobody here is going to come out with trite nonsense about Ziggy or “Changes”. I wouldn’t normally have the radio on in the morning, but I’m at home alone for a few days, and when Shaun Keaveny on BBC 6 Music said “we’ve lost David Bowie” I just thought “bloody well find him then!” I then realised he meant David Bowie was dead. And I then burst into tears and properly cried. I stopped and started crying several times. It sounds a bit dramatic to say that, and I was quite surprised by my own reaction. He has given us all so much joy and excitement, and I imagine comfort too. The new videos to Blackstar and Lazarus were crazy and excellent. He looked thin, but then he always has. I loved the bandages round his eyes, and the haircut, and the dancing during the “show tune” section of Blackstar. Strong images and melodies until the end. I have been looking for an out take from the Heroes cover shot that has him laughing. I can’t find it. Perhaps I am just imagining it exists. If so it’s not the first time the great man has fired my imagination, and it won’t be the last.

  109. heynongman says:

    I feel like a god has just died.

    • Dave L says:

      Yes. I wrote earlier it felt like losing a member of the family but God is more like it. John Donne’s poem comes to mind, with the For whom the bell tolls lines … it’s the momentousness of the loss really. It’s so big I can’t grasp it and so the only reaction is a powerful sadness for the loss of someone I’ve never met.

  110. postpunkmonk says:

    I just was walking into work with “Blackstar” on repeat in my car when I saw my co-worked who asked me if I’d heard the ironic news. “No,” I responded. He then told me and I was incredulous. He took out his phone and showed me the headline. My head has been whirling as I’ve tried to process the news and still maintain some functioning as work. I will say that the album sounds like the work of a man facing death. Getting misty eyed as my wife just called me to talk about the sad news. Gotta go…

  111. Jim Baxter says:

    Unable to concentrate at work, I’ve felt on the verge of tears all day. Never felt like this about someone dying who I didn’t actually know. I have nothing to say really apart from to thank Chris for deepening and enriching my love of Bowie over the last couple of years. And just to mark the passing of one of the few real geniuses of pop music.

    • Matthew says:

      Sympathies, this is exactly how I feel too, no one to talk it over with either. I remember hearing Hunky Dory on dads 8 track and Bowie been with me ever since, got me over some bad times and all the good times as well. It feels like I have to let go of that final part of not quite growing up now. I’m crying for David, his family and all of you out there too. Thank you

  112. Simon Kaye says:

    I started writing a post on here and it just got longer and longer and now it’s a sort of essay thing. If it has an intended audience it’s you lot, so here you go: http://simontkaye.com/2016/01/11/the-deaths-of-david-bowie/

  113. BenJ says:

    I just heard from a coworker. This is crushing news, and it’s going to be difficult to adjust. More than ever, though, I’m grateful that he resurfaced in 2013, giving us more than we had any right to expect.

  114. col1234 says:

    don’t know if Momus will show up here, but he’s got a lovely eulogy: http://mrstsk.tumblr.com/post/137085985233

  115. MajorTomCat says:

    Where the Fuck did the Monday go?
    Love you so much.

  116. raw moon says:

    After seeing ‘holy holy’ bowie tribute band last thursday (1/7/16), I was wondering why tony visconti (bass) was in such a bad mood on stage all night. Now I know why …

  117. Sylvia says:

    Crying, obviously, off and on since I got the news around 5 am, but am now thinking about Velvet Goldmine (don’t laugh, please) and about how we still have the music and the narrative and that’s all we ever had, really, not the man. This is not to diminish the music and the narrative, just the opposite. The music and the narrative of David Bowie looms larger over my life than just about anything else in it. In fact I think I’ve trained myself to think about artists this way– less in terms of their being but rather the artist-shaped hole in the cookie dough of culture, the negative space of their influence and presence– largely because I always found it difficult to specifically speak about Bowie in any other way. Biography is tempting with such a life as his but for me it can only get you so far before you find yourself glancing off redirects and false ciphers. In fact this is what I love so much about Chris’s blog and his music writing in general– the way he doesn’t let the life be the sole arbiter of the work but rather approaches it from all angles and possibilities.

    Of course I am mourning a man as well, but it has helped me to think about the composite of myth-narrative-music-word-aesthetic-etc that has always been ours and will always continue to be. Chris– thank you so much for the work you do here, and for over and over articulating when I could not just what David Bowie can do and be for us all.

  118. steven says:

    Checking in again to say that one of the MPs who nominated Corbyn just called Tin Machine his favourite Bowie record, live and on TV. Wish he’d voted in the poll.

  119. Rotwang says:

    “Never thought I’d need so many people” – so so sad but this blog is a wonderful place – thank you Chris

  120. Angie says:

    I’m not as sad as I thought I’d be,but I don’t think it feels real yet. I’ve been reading all the posts and messages on facebook but can’t really “like” or comment on anything. But I knew this would be the place to be. Thank you, Chris.

    His song went on forever.

  121. Bruised Passivity says:

    I know that this has been written several times already but I want to thank you Chris for creating this corner of the Internet. Living on the west coast of Canada the news broke for me just at bedtime. I live alone and to be blunt, have very few friends (non of whom would have understood the magnitude of this loss) so this would have been a very long, lonely, tearstained night without this blog and all the lovely people who share here. With all of you here, I wasn’t ever alone. I think Momus’s words have soothed my heart enough to be able to attempt some sleep. Warm thoughts to you all.

  122. Holly says:

    RIP David Bowie, the Man who fell to Earth. You were much beloved.

  123. Phil Obbard says:

    When my alarm went off this AM, my wife (who’d awakened in the night long enough to check her phone) grabbed my arm. “I need to tell you something before you get your phone,” she said. Bah.

    I thought DB looked dangerously thin (even for Bowie) in photos taken at the Lazarus premiere last month. I’m guessing the two new videos were shot many months ago, because he looks much healthier (not underweight) by comparison. Of course all of the imagery in those videos will take on new meaning, now.

    I’ve always respected Bowie’s ability to be super-famous but also a resolutely private person at the same time — and he managed this in death, too. Not just with the new LP, but think about his close and tight his circle must have been to help him through this, and keep it quiet until the end. He went out following his own script to the last. A good model for all of us.

  124. Dollar Days became so much sadder now.

    Still, even in death, he probably planned it all along, and executed it brilliantly, leaving us with some of the best music of his career, no interviews, no awkward goodbye tours, just vanished into the dark. There’ll never be anyone quite like him. It was an honor, Mr. Bowie.

  125. Jurjen says:

    That David had passed away was the first thing I heard when I woke up this morning. I couldn’t believe it. It feels like a lost a good friend.

    His death brings back a memory from December 4th, 2003. I was 15 then and I had just heard some really bad news that would change the rest of my life. To console myself I played his music. I chose not consciously his music. It just happened to be that in the CD player was the first CD from the Best of Bowie compilation. I was just discovering his music and I bought that album only a few days before.
    I felt overwhelmed by the bad news and while I was crying I had this powerful experience when the song Starman came on. When the chorus kicked in I felt comforted by his voice.
    This moment has been the strongest emotional experience I have ever had with music.

    Since that day listening to his music has given me joy, hope, comfort and inspiration. I am grateful to him for the wonderful and fascinating music he has given the world.

  126. davyking says:

    At least I saw Bowie twice live. It would have been three times but I gave my ticket to someone who hadn’t seen him before.

    • Phil Obbard says:

      There’s a brief obit on the New Yorker right now (by Hilton Als) calling out Bowie’s generosity of spirit (using as an example, of all things, “Footstompin'” on Dick Cavett, but it’s easy to think of other examples). He’d probably like that you gave that ticket away.

      • Gozomoto says:

        I do love Hilton Als, but his review of Lazarus (last week’s issue) was rough, and I’m not keen to see anymore his words on Bowie right now.

  127. JohnnieT says:

    And just two days ago I was browsing through his 70’s photos, listening to “The Secret Life of Arabia” on the loop and marvelling at how impossibly beautiful that man was, and how his protean physical appearance could convey so much tacit meaning, articulate so much emotion and hint at so much more beyond that. Before Bowie, I didn’t in the slightest understand what it was like to engage with an artist through his art; to be alleviated or mystified or inspired, but never disappointed. And I certainly couldn’t imagine that it was possible to explore an artist’s mental landscape as a whole universe, with its own laws, routes and nooks and infinite multitudes.
    Finally, I couldn’t imagine how much this intimate connection with an artist could mean to me personally. Now I do.

    Farewell, Thin White Duke.

  128. ajlavers says:

    Not sure whether to thank this blog or curse it. There I was, 55, my fan-days long past. I stopped paying attention after NLMD and if I bought the later albums it was more for old time’s sake. Then I came across this blog and it gave me David back. On Friday I was queueing up for my first-day copy of Blackstar, just like I’d done nearly 40 years ago for Heroes. And now look what’s happened.
    But, of course, I do thank you. Thank you for giving him back to me.
    And thank you too, David. RIP. With the obvious exceptions, the most important person in my life.

    • Peter says:

      Exactly the same here. Although I liked the man my whole life, I lost interest in his work after NLMD as well. But that was then. A few years ago I stumbled upon this fine blog, discovered the Reality Tour album and dvd, and from those sources worked my way through his entire catalog. And it was so rewarding (and it cost me hours of my sleep as well).
      I received my copy of Blackstar as a birthday present from my children. I enjoyed it very much, and it put a sense anticipation of more to follow upon me. Sadly, that will not happen, but the present work of David will be here forever. Thank you for that, David.
      And thank you Chris, for guiding me through his work. And thank you, fellow readers, for adding your interesting and warm comments to Chris’ beautiful blog.

  129. Abby says:

    It’s Monday . . . .

    Thank you for this blog and for providing space for us to gather today. I woke up at 2:00 this morning and saw the news on my phone. I’m at work today and I haven’t said a word about Bowie because I don’t want to deal with anyone who doesn’t understand how sad I am.

    I have so much respect for David Robert Jones and how he crafted this final chapter. I hope he was aware of the amazing reviews Blackstar has received. As someone else said, we will always have David Bowie, his creation, which is all we ever had. I grieve for Iman, Duncan, and Lexi, and the others close to him who have lost David Jones the man.

    • Ryan S says:

      Same here. Last thing I need is someone asking me if that’s the one who slept with Jagger. I found out when I was checking Facebook at 7:05 right after getting to work. I instantly called my wife, but have otherwise remained silent.

      Celeb deaths don’t bother me, but this is different. Bowie was my musical guru and opened my world to other greats like Eno and Scott Walker, who are also my gurus. I’d say Bowie was largely responsible for me deciding to learn an instrument. He changed my life. Most people won’t understand that so I’ll keep it to myself. i haven’t felt this upset since John Barry (the film composer) passed away.

      • Abby says:

        Or even worse, “Who?”

        I find that I get that a lot when I make cultural references at work. Thank God for the internet.

        I haven’t been this wrecked about a public figure’s death since Pete Seeger died. He is important to me in much the same way as Bowie (yes, I have eclectic taste, which I guess all Bowie fans do).

  130. Matt Potter says:

    “All the soaring days in our lives
    All the concrete dreams in my mind’s eye
    All the joy I see thru’ these architects eyes”
    None of this is gone. It’s hard, but this is the stuff that survives.

  131. jbacardi says:

    I was gutted when Ronson died, but this is a whole new level. I’m just stunned. I tried to listen to Life on Mars, made it through, but I can’t listen to anything else. It’s going to take me a while to process this.

  132. fantailfan says:

    I still don’t get it.

  133. For All My Years of Reading Conversation says:

    Starman,

    Thank you for changing life, lives, and minds. An exquisite creature, not like us, but very much like us at the same time.

    You and your work will be on my mind until the day I die.

    Thank you.

  134. sirsha says:

    The worst news. If the following pain is equal and opposite to the pleasure we felt, these will be the worst weeks.

  135. I’d rather be dead or out of my head
    Than training These guns on Those men in the sand

    I stumble to the graveyard and
    I lay down by my parents, whisper
    ‘Just remember duckies, Everybody gets got (Gott)’

    [I’d Rather Be High]

    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

    And we were Gone…. Kings of Oblivion…..

    [Bewley Bros]

  136. Simon Cockle says:

    There’s a space where there wasn’t one before in so many things today. I shall try to fill them with his songs.

    • Tancie says:

      To Simon,

      Agreed, passed through Bowie’s courting of the generations. My kids whom are much into the literary/music world distribution, anguish that “gap.”
      I’ll be banished to retort it is the media, which I
      unashamedly am using right now. Too much media, no time for real “air”, thoughts while observing, arts missing from
      schools, social numbness…from where stems the “gap?”

      Nothing will retreat, an artist evolutionary will appear
      eventually. They are out there metamorphisizig…an ‘artist’ who’s just waiting to start a little
      renaissance.

      Bowie from Brixton, Freddie Mercury from Tanzania, just somewhere out there in early bloom.

  137. s.t. says:

    And I’m gone, like I’m dancing on angels.

  138. Sigmata Martyr says:

    Off to heaven in a supersonic rocket…
    Having been so gentle to my husband who lost his music fandom giant, Lemmy recently (biggest Motorhead fan ever!) It was surreal to wake this morning because he was gently rubbing my hand, willing me to wake up so he could tell me about Bowie instead of me finding out elsewhere.

    Bowie.

    Rest in peace

    The outside of Sigma Sound is a bland, blink and you’ll miss it sort of place, but anytime my parents happened to drive past it I would always perk up a little and think, “Bowie was in there!” Sigmata Martyr is a Bauhaus pun and a small acknowledgement that I’ve heard their version of Ziggy Stardust more often than his as an eighties kid- a devoted, record collecting, daydreaming, anorak of a Bowie nut, eighties kid…
    such a sad day…

  139. audiophd says:

    Still processing how I feel about this, but I read elsewhere on the webs someone felt like we lost something “elemental, like losing a color”. That’s pretty close, I feel.

    And as I type this, “Kooks” comes on the turntable. Christ almighty, get me through this day.

    • audiophd says:

      OK, I feel a little better now…good to know that “Queen Bitch” can make me bob my head and grin, even at a time like this.

  140. Vinnie says:

    As a grown-up adult functioning member of society, I’m instantly returned to feeling like a teenager with anxieties, self-doubt, uncontrollable sadness. I suppose if there’s one musician I’m allowed to feel this way over, it’s David Bowie, right?

    In the end, David Jones was a human being like the rest of us

    David Bowie will live on, forever and ever.

  141. Alan Hawker says:

    Something happened on the day, that he died.
    He became even more of a legend.

  142. davyking says:

    It was an act of generosity that he didn’t break the news of his cancer 18 months ago. Instead he gave us the wonderful birthday finale of Blackstar.

  143. A dark day. Although this sad news is not altogether unexpected, it still catches most of us on the wrong foot. So many thoughts to consider right now but the main one is simply the sense of loss, not only of a great artist but also for a significant part of the lives of many of us.

  144. Joe The Lion says:

    I took the day off work and listened to BBC Radio 6, who did a wonderful job. I sobbed during several songs, and for the first few hours of the day every time I heard the news bulletin it was like a fresh agony. Of course, I am heartbroken and devastated as I know so many of us will be.

    I often wondered how I’d react but I pushed it to the back of my mind, because I couldn’t imagine but knew it’d be horrible. It has been horrible.

    It’s therefore been lovely and comforting to have the company of so many other fans here, on Twitter and Facebook, on the radio and among my family and friends. No one I know has quite the level of devotion I have to Bowie, but everyone knew how much he meant to me and my friends have been beautiful.

    I’m off to run a writing group. I’m going to get them to do a Bowie-inspired writing exercise.

    Love on ya, and thanks Chris for this wonderful blog and this wonderful opportunity to express how we feel.

  145. davyking says:

    He just got back into the wardrobe at the end of Lazarus! What an exit. Of course a wardrobe is where you keep changes of costume. It also leads to Narnia,

  146. Verdelay says:

    It’s a strange kind of grief. I heard it on the radio as I was leaving for work this morning. Something had happened. The presenter said: Russell Crowe has tweeted ‘Sorrow’ (has Russell Crowe died?); then: ‘David Cameron has said he was a rock icon whose music he grew up listening to and who…’

    I walked out of the room and told my wife: Bowie’s dead.

    David Cameron and Russell Crowe just broke it too me. Imagine that.

    Of course, I resent the media glare and just want to be alone with the fact of this death, but everyone else is pawing at him (that is to say, a part of me) right now and I just want them to stop it and go away. I’m just another fan, there are millions of us. Just another fan, and he’s someone I never met.

    But this is transcendence, isn’t it? Bowie was never just a man, but an idea about men conveyed by a man to be understood and internalised by men. And by men I mean women, and vice versa. That idea becomes part of us, and so does the man. I think this is precisely how gods become manifest, how the divine creeps in. Bowie understood this perfectly well. His work explored such ideas. But then I am an old heathen, too.

    I am suffused with joy at his cleverness, at this one last conjurer’s trick. Well done! Well done! You did it! You pulled it off! I have nothing but admiration for the manner of his departure, the art-as-life, the art-as-death. Clever, clever man. And now I feel clever for listening to you, for following you, for swallowing you whole. Thanks for making me feel clever, for making me feel more like myself than I could on my own. Today is a good day for thinking about life.

    As I say, a strange kind of grief.

    v

    • Gozomoto says:

      Had a similar, confusing notification yesterday in the wee hours (mine was during a conversation with Low collaborators, and it left me momentarily confused). Your words capture how I’m feeling today after the self pity has subsided. Thank you!

  147. Wendy Kate says:

    For a moment this morning it seemed it might be a hoax…I wish it wasn’t true.

  148. Mazi says:

    Moments like these are too bizarre, too aggressively real to be true.

    I became a Bowie fan just recently. I began to listen to his music around late 2010, early 2011. First song of his I heard was “Space Oddity”. Of course it was. I soon downloaded his Best of Bowie, 1969/1974. I’ll admit, it took me a while to get into his music. (Especially “Diamond Dogs”.) But I eventually began to hum his music, his words. Before I knew it I was hooked.

    Fast forward a little bit to 2013. My father was diagnosed with liver cancer. Most difficult thing I’ve experienced in my relatively young life thus far. Watching the man you look up to and admire fade away. I spent most of the beginning of that year driving back and forth between the hospital and home. I tell you, blasting “Heroes” (the album) during all those trips was such a catharsis. Soon after my father passed, I gravitated more towards Low. Quite naturally. Bowie provided such a space of comfort, of security. His words pulled me up, lifted me. His music made such a hard moment in life bearable and achingly peaceful. (“Sound and Vision” still makes me choke up at times.)

    I never knew Bowie personally, so I never thought his passing would hit me this hard. Yet it did. I woke up, checked the news, saw the headlines. And I wept. Another generous and beautiful soul gone.

    Thank you for the music, Bowie.

  149. doctorsweet says:

    I can’t help but feel like he knew this was coming, that he wouldn’t beat the cancer, all through the recording of Blackstar. It makes a lot of the album, particularly the title track, “Lazarus”, and “I Can’t Give Everything Away.” It just makes me wonder—who did he think was going to take his place and bravely cry?

    (Sorry if this sounds cavalier or unaffected. I promise I am just as sad as anyone.)

  150. Joan Le Goff says:

    From “The Width of A Circle” to “Dollar Days”, not a day without his words and his music, his sound+vision.
    From the worst french TV show of the eighties to the artistic & up-to-date « Wiebo » by French choreographer Découflé last year, always smart, always him. When I first came to UK in the early 80’s, the family girl asked “you know Bowie, don’t you ?” and then she played all the records one by one… My fist money was spent on Hunky Dory. And it was the same guy in Auteuil in 1983 ? And the same with Tin machine, suits & guitars for the best hard rock ever ? And the same guy who sang Under Pressure with the so perfect Gail Ann Dorsey ? It’s him. Always. Again. At every step of our lives. It is the beautiful and demanding intelligence of the most beautiful star.

    Everyone Says “Hi”…

    Joan (from Paris, with love & sorry for my poor english)

  151. richard says:

    I would like to say thank you to this blog.

    Over the last month, thanks to the readers poll of songs and albums, I have been able to revisit all my favorites and enjoy them all, one more time, and I was able to do that while he was still alive.

    It would have been much, much harder to have to do that after today — revisiting them knowing he wasn’t with us any more.

    The readers polls have given me a last opportunity to savor and remember the greatest body of work there has ever been, without the knowledge that it has been snatched away from us, making it was the happiest experience. Without those readers polls, it would have been the saddest experience.

    So, thank you, for your serendipity; I’ll always be grateful.

  152. This day at work has been horrible. I had to tell my coworker that a relative had died to explain my strange behaviour. I am not sure he would have understood that I could be so upset by the death of a man I have never spoken to. But it feels like I have lost a very close friend.

    When I saw the Lazarus video I immediately interpreted it as the woman representing death, the frantic writing to be the wish to live/create, and the going into the closet as dying. It disturbed me and I was just hoping that the video wansn’t about his own imminent death. And then he dies. And it is all the more heartbreaking. Damn, it feels like I was psychic even though it was in plain sight and I guess a lot of other people “saw” the same.

    But what a way to go! I thought when I saw the Lazarus video that even if it was not about himself it was maybe the strongest artistic statement he had ever made. Now that it turns out that it was his last goodbye it makes it even more profound.

    He is gone, and I am sad that I am not religious because then I could have written some words to him and thought that maybe they could reach him somehow.

    • Paul O says:

      I just watched the video for the first time—I just couldn’t before—and I saw the woman as representing the fans.

  153. James LaBove says:

    Woken up early this morning by a friend’s text. The message was vague, but I somehow knew what it was about. Read some reports, hoped it was a hoax until it became obvious it wasn’t. “Devastated” doesn’t begin to describe it. I feel completely lost. What a terrible turn of events.

    Love and warmth to his family, friends, and fans. There will never be another musician like David Bowie.

    Bowie’s words spoke to me like no other musician’s. The fearlessness with which he pursued his artistic vision. The startling ease with which his grasp met his reach. There are other musicians whose work matters deeply to me, but there’s only one I’d describe as a hero. Growing up a confused, isolated queer kid in Southeast Texas… discovering Bowie had a profound impact on me. Hearing these words, somehow, I knew it wasn’t theater. It was truth, and he was singing it just for me:

    “OH NO, LOVE – YOU’RE NOT ALONE.”

    It will be some time before I can listen to Blackstar again. But what a hell of a curtain call.

    Goodbye, David. I love you.

  154. Luca Lanini says:

    How many artists have the privilege to pass after they’ve just done a true masterpiece? I can think of Mies van der Rohe and Giacomo Leopardi. The gods have been kind with our beloved David…

  155. Jesus Quintana says:

    From Mexico, I started listening to Bowie in my mid 20’s old enough to find in his music and lyrics the true ARTIST he was, really bitter-sweet feeling listen to his new album about 20 times during the weekend like some sort of unaware mourning on his musical legacy and then knowing about his death; at the same time I see this as the ultimate Bowie performance, he knew what will going to happen and again he was ahead of all of us, as he always was, and gave us the last gift, the last surprise. I imagine him smiling knowing that in the end his mytical persona will be more mistified after this last gig. Thamk you and Rest in Peace, David Robert Jones.

  156. cdave2 says:

    Thank you all. Thank you, Mr. Bowie.

  157. Groofay says:

    I’m still reeling. I’ve only known his music for three years (exactly three, near as I can tell–I watched “Where Are We Now?” a few days after it was released, and fell in love), but he’s the only musician I unreservedly feel I can “relate” to. He is an inspiration to me in every sense, personally, musically, all of it. So I’m devastated by such a loss, but unbelievably grateful to him for everything.

    I’ll echo a sentiment I saw in an earlier comment: David Robert Jones has died. David Bowie is eternal.

  158. amylovesgd says:

    Rest in peace David. I will love you forever. God Bless

  159. Michael says:

    I’m in the middle of reading Trynka’s Starman.

    It’s gone from biography to obituary. What a God-awful feeling.

  160. pater2013 says:

    I wrote up some of my thoughts, which include the fact that reading this blog made last year a Bowie year for me. It’s pretty clear with the recent work, including his role in putting together “David Is”, he was doing what he could to leave behind even more of a heritage. Thank you David.

    http://blogs.umass.edu/pater/2016/01/11/thank-you-david/

    • Gozomoto says:

      I read he had no hand in the exhibit other than to open the archive and let the curators put their skills (and interest as fans) to work. I found interesting and surprising as it *seemed* to have his fingerprints everywhere.

  161. suzyq1973 says:

    Chris – today even more grateful for your work here than usual. This is a lovely community. Goodbye, David.

  162. Bob says:

    Someone on another blog said it best:

    “He didn’t seem like the dying type.”

  163. Anonymous says:

    I was in a daze until now. “Everyone says Hi”. I’m crying my fucking brains out.

    • ajlavers says:

      ‘Everyone says hi’ makes me cry at the best of times. Not sure i’m gonna be able to listen to it for a while.

  164. Gozomoto says:

    Ever since the “David Bowie is” exhibit debuted in London, I had been trying to figure out how/where to see it. Something always got in the way.

    When “Lazarus” was announced last spring, all became clear for me. I’d start in NYC to see that and then fly to Groningen, NL to catch the retrospective on its last stop.

    It was not a decision I made lightly, as I faced the steadily declining health of my trusty canine companion, but I felt an urgent need to undertake this pilgrimage for a number of reasons. I asked him (we’re bonded that way) to please hang on and let me make this trip, then I’d be all his.

    My trip was almost derailed multiple times, including the abrupt cancellation of “Lazarus” on the one night I was in NYC to see it and two cancelled flights/trains enroute. I almost tossed in the towel, but *something* propelled me forward that night in NYC, and things started going my way. I rearranged plans to buy time, and NYTW generously re-ticketed me for the next night, and I was upgraded on my next flight for free.

    I ended up having an revelatory experience. And now, after the devastating news, I feel comforted knowing that I had this time to explore and experience David in a fun and private way.

    David, you mean so much to so many. Thank you for everything you gave us.

  165. Valerio says:

    I’m in tears when you rock and roll with me

  166. Nick Ford says:

    David Bowie was my favorite artist, the one I always returned to, whose songs are in my DNA. And he’s now dead.

    How am I ever going to play Low again? It’s the one Bowie album which runs the range of manic highs to bottomless chasms, the album he needed to make to extract himself from the cocaine-swirl of mid 70s LA, the one you can feel him clawing back his sanity one fingernail at a time.

    Will I be able to play his version of Brel’s “My Death”? Feel the tension of the Ziggy-era crowd hold their collective breath for that final syllable, see in my mind’s eye the tear that rolls down his cheek as he affirms that Death is nothing to fear because we, the audience, made his life worthwhile.

    What about the deranged stuff? Sweet Thing, the spine that holds Diamond Dogs together. “I’m in your way”, he sang “and I’ll steal every moment. If this trade is a curse, then I’ll bless you”. He stole a lot of moments from me, and this is an attempt at a timeline.

    It was probably something like “Modern Love” from “Let’s Dance” which entered into my young and impressionable brain (everyone already knew ‘Space Oddity’ in 70s/80s UK – it was already a folk song. Trad Arr.) – I was too young to be among the waves of new romantics, oddballs and freaks in whom he inspired such devotion in the early 70s. Alas, “my” Bowie was the unhip one, a meringue of shock blond hair piled on his head, chinos, the untied dangling tie and braces.

    From there, tentative steps into the back catalogue, via a friend. The C90 cassette he did for me chopped off the exultant coda from “Rock and Roll Suicide”, so for a couple of years, for me, the song ended with “Oh no, love, you’re not alo….”. I remember writing lyrics down, as us sensitive types did in those pre-internet days. Why was he singing about “the blood of the tree cutters”* , what on earth were “Fuck Me pumps”? I was inspired to pick up a guitar, and I’ve not put it down in 30 years. If nothing else, thank you for that.

    Then I moved schools and met my longest friend, Nick, Bowie was the tightrope (and a deeply unfashionable one at that) who linked us together. The sweet joy of Hunky Dory, the crunch of “The Man Who Sold the World”. The crushing disappointment of “Young Americans”. Hours spent listening to the obscurer stuff – Cygnet Committee (the best ever song by a disappointed Hippie), Bewlay Brothers – a song so important to its author that he named his publishing after it, and essentially impenetrable to anyone else. I had, of course, a 16 year old’s disdain for the hits, the stuff that everyone knew. *MY* Bowie was the deeper undercurrents, not the swirling surface froth.

    Musically, he was a non-traditional composer, rarely relying on Tin Pan Alley tricks and 4 chord wonders (though when he did, with say, “Queen Bitch”, he out Lou’d Lou Reed). Somewhat untutored on piano, Hunky Dory was picked out with two fingered chords, to be given flesh by sessionman Rick Wakeman. Mick Ronson, the greatest of sidekicks, was essential in those early days, putting meat on the skeletal bones of songs in the studio whilst Bowie scribbled lyrics, canoodled with Angie, and, fast worker, usually nailed the vocals on the first take. Smart enough, and callous enough to know when it was time to move forward, loyal sidemen were discarded and hired in the everquest for a new sound, a new direction. Slick, Alomar, Garson, Belew, Gabrels, Davis, Murray, Bolder, Woodmansey, Eno, Fripp, Visconti – what a role call. Even in the dark drug days, the man had a work ethic that could perhaps only come from someone who hungered deeply for success and wrestled with a seemingly bottomless muse. Who else would choose to rehab from cocaine by spending a year drunk with Iggy Pop in austere, cold Berlin, yet manage to craft Low & Heroes, not to mention “Lust For Life”, “Nightclubbing” and more for Iggy.

    We fell out, Bowie and I, sometime after the back catalog was exhausted for me, and the 80s-processed ‘Tonight’ and ‘Never Let Me Down’ were his current direction. Tin Machine garnered more admiration than appreciation – your mad uncle was drunk dancing at your wedding, but not caring who saw it. Funny, he was in his early 40s when that happened, younger than I am now. Bowie Bonds, the deranged Electronic Dance Music, the film appearances (where in everything other than “Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence”, he played David Bowie). But the 2000s saw some good stuff, from the chaotic rush of “Hello Spaceboy” and “Little Wonder” culminating, for me at least, with ‘Heathen’, strong as any in his canon, “his best since Scary Monsters”, if you will.

    And then nothing. A heart attack on stage, a young daughter to rear with the intensity and atonement of a man who abandoned his first born’s early years to endless touring and drugs, he disappeared from view. And good. What a career. Played out with a beginning, middle and graceful end.

    Of course it wasn’t. A new album, “The Next Day” appeared from nowhere, defying the social meerkat-maze of modern life. It was good. Exhibitions, retrospectives, a Broadway stage show, then, a week ago, a new album. It’s a really good one, too. How many of his peers are still in any way as motivated relevant? I thought this was signs of a man re-energised, yet apparently it was a man clearing the decks, dotting the i’s and crossing the T’s, and giving us all, one last goodbye gift. Clearly, hindsight shows, through lyric and video, that this was to be his elegy, the tombstone of his career. And then gone, two days after his 69th birthday, hard on the heels of that other British institution, Lemmy. The album was our invite to his funeral, music provided.

    Like all his best moves, nobody saw it coming, and everybody’s talking about it.

    He is, as he sang, a Blackstar now. Out there somewhere, invisible, but exerting an inexorable gravitational pull on art, society, media, music. Time will prove him to be one of the significant artists and a cultural force of the 20th century.

    *Turns out it was “Someone scrawled on the wall ‘I smell the blood of les tricoteuses'”. Look it up, I did.

    • Matthew says:

      Thankyou.
      Nick you made me laugh for the first time today with your “blood of the tree cutters”, I always thought the same. without a lyric sheet in Diamond Dogs and no internet it was always a source of speculation I put down to cut up writing until recently.

      I think we’re all going to have trouble listening to the music now, things will seem different – they already do.Today when it all began to get too much I put on side 2 of Low, it was the only thing I could think of to play and it was, as ever, perfect. Different but perfect. If you feel up to it listen, its emotional but it helps. The final lyrics on Subterraneans, hear them your way, forget what he actually sings (or don’t look it up). Amazing

    • Wayne Berry says:

      You mean i spent a whole life singing “tree-cutters” wrong-headedly?!?

  167. Egil says:

    Thank you David for everything since you entered my life in 1983. I never met you, but thanks for the great concerts in Gothenburg and Oslo.

    You taught us all that it´s possible, and important, to follow one´s dreams.

  168. tarff26 says:

    I was just listening to radio 2 and they are replaying an interview with Bowie from around the 1977 released of ‘Heroes’. The interviewer asks him if he has tired of the characters – Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, Halloween Jack etc. Bowie replies that he has, that he imagined that he has locked them all in a cupboard but kept the key. The last shot of the last Bowie video, Lazarus, shows him entering a cupboard and closing the door.

    I’m glad he got to go out on his own terms, at least artistically.

    • Vinnie says:

      Whoa. I gotta track this down – thank you, I’ve never heard that interview.

      • tarff26 says:

        It was on BBC Radio 2 tonight at about 8:15 UK time, so around an hour ago. A wee burst of Breaking Glass, Bowie talking about how his band had been together for 3/4 albums and knew each other’s rhythms, then the snippet I mentioned, then some chat about Fripp.

  169. davyking says:

    I think this is easily equivalent to Shakespeare or Picasso dying….. Bowie was simply (complexly!) a great artist.

    • Yes, Shakespeare, exactly. He juxtaposes the tragical and comical quite to the similar strongest effect, at his live concerts especially, where he combines his songs in an unexpected way.
      And to me – myself being Russian – he reminded our Pushkin (I know it sounds silly, but I cannot help thinking so) with his sense of humour and rare ability of aesthetic reflection.
      It seems diminishing that he is called primarily a singer – he is the poet.

  170. Allyson says:

    I know it sounds silly, but at some level I think he really had me convinced that he really was something other than human. So when I read the news of his death, I simply didn’t know how to process it. I still don’t, even though I can’t stop thinking about it. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.

    He’s been an inspiration and a blessing to me for over 40 years. I will be forever grateful to him. God bless you, David, and thank you for everything.

  171. Isyla says:

    The world got smaller and heaven grew. All of his beautiful music brings me back to each and every moment in my own life, which has passed. Forever grateful, to a beautiful soul~)))))*> Keep swimming.

  172. ragingglory says:

    I got hooked on Bowie when I saw the video for Ashes to Ashes as a 9 year old in 1980, and he has been the one artist I always stuck with ever since. My daughter rang me to tell me he had passed and I am glad I heard it from someone close rather than just on the internet. I had just been out for my evening walk listening to Blackstar on the ipod, and while out i thought I must copy all my Bowie stuff onto the device. I got back from my walk and did that then heard the news. Wierd right? Well, personally I believe in the next life so hopefully I will see him again. God bless you all.

  173. I listened to Blackstar about five times in a row last night – I seldom (okay, never) listen to whole albums at a single sitting these days, but felt compelled by its fragile brilliance. Woke up with a head full of Bowie, to be confronted by a stark headline which seemed to be some sort of category error – Bowie dead? How? Somehow, even in semi-retirement, it was comforting to know that he was out there, absorbing and assimilating all the insanity of our society.

  174. youri says:

    I am sad. As you all. Sorry for us, and, above all , sorry for his family.
    My first reaction was to shut up the radio and live it on my own. Then I thought about lexie and I though about my daughter and I said to myself “god, give me more time please”. This is selfish, maybe.
    I can’t stop crying.
    What I would like to say, it is that I feel so guilty because I spend the latest WE listening to Blackstar LP and watching lazarus video and enjoying it, and speculating about the meaning of each character and image and so on… so much entertainement, shared with my sweet heart and my daughter, but I realized now that it was his farewell, but for us, it was only pleasure. Don’t know why but I feel guilty.
    I feel very bad. I love you all.
    I suggest that we take care of the solitary candle and that we tell the others.
    Feel bad, so bad. Lost my parents, lost him. Painful, painful. He said “you’re not alone”, can’t believe he lied. He was a seer, not a liar.
    “Putain j’ai mal.”
    Love.
    Thank you chris. Thank you all others. Thank you david.

  175. The thin white Duke has left it to all the young dudes to get on with it. We were 17 or so in 1973 and David Bowie has been a life partner to me. 16-60. He supported our differences, and ch ch ch changes and moods and dancing and defined elegance, beauty and just pure damn Goodness. He expressed what it is like to be so far out you’re floating in a most peculiar way. And yet he was so clean! He and Lou made Berlin for many of us. Putting out Fire with Gasoline. Well, what can you say. Let’s dance!

    His mum was Greg’s mum’s cleaner and that was like being able to touch God in the early 70s. I saw him at Maddison Square Garden in 1974 with the Diamond Dogs on leashes and was speechless, it felt like being on stage. Then Matthew played at Live Aid and I remember him thanking the backing band. Nice guy.

  176. verdelay says:

    …and thanks for providing the venue Chris. I think of you as the long-suffering proprietor of a little underground dive bar hosting our sorry little selves as we file in and out, plying us with the strong stuff and weeping with us at this wake for our fallen hero.

    Your set is amazing
    It even smells like a street
    There’s a bar at the end
    Where I can meet you and your friend…

  177. Jasmine says:

    In June 1983 I watched Top of the Pops and China Girl was on. I bought the single with my pocket money. Then I learned that this guy had been making music for years. I bought every album he had released and by August I was a Bowie fan forever.
    I couldn’t believe how each album was so different. David Bowie made me appreciate difference, other cultures, art, life – the importance of being yourself and being proud of it.
    This weekend I was in Berlin with my partner for the Blackstar launch party and had resisted listening to the full album until then. When I heard Lazarus for the first time in the Meistersaal I applauded the song as it deserves, but felt unnerved, Back in London this morning, I went numb. No one I have never met has made me mourn until now.
    I’ve never posted here before and want to give my own tribute to a truly dignified, intelligent, brave and unique human being. I’m so grateful for his music and for his varied artistic life without which I would be a very different person and a less happy one at that.
    Thank you for this blog, thank you for David Bowie, RIP David Jones.

    Said you took a big trip
    They said you moved away
    Happened oh, so quietly
    They say

  178. Champiness says:

    Well, I guess it’s now or never, really.
    I didn’t have the luxury of finding out about this in an interesting way (unlike, say, Momus, whose writeup on Tumblr should go down as one of the best reactions to this moment, if not celebrity deaths in general). I stayed up way too late last night browsing online, clicked the “home” button on the A.V. Club, and stumbled upon an hour-old story about the entirely unanticipated. The first thing that came to mind mind was honestly Chris’ little anecdote from the “Where Are We Now” entry where he mistook the hype around its release for a reaction to Bowie’s death, which at that point seemed like the only inevitable turn remaining in his life story. “And on his birthday, too.” (I always loved when Chris took those asides about his personal experiences – my favorite bit of writing on the blog is the first few paragraphs of “Sound and Vision”, though I feel a bit dirty saying that). I couldn’t bring myself to come here, to be another tick on the blog’s inevitable upturn of pageviews. So I danced around it for awhile, looking at other reactions, settled on listening to “Bring Me The Disco King” (his first-draft valediction), and eventually resolved to read the entry on it – an intended farewell subsumed into a narrative of rebirth. Pondered a bit how I had meant to write something in the “Blackstar” reaction thread – the track, not the album – about how I had never expected to have a Bowie era of my own, a moment when he intersected with the present I was familiar with, built a persona for the times I was living in; even with The Next Day it had felt like a parting gift, Bowie sending messages from wherever he had retired to. But here he was with something not only new but downright radical. I had wanted to compare the percussion in the first third to latin freestyle records, since that seemed to be a part of the song nobody was talking about and certainlyy a comparison that nobody had made. The opportunity to write that had slipped me by, but I always kinda thought I might be able to go back to the post and tag it as a last comment – it’d be keeping with the rest of the posts I’d made so far, little pedantries that had as much to do with my not being able to resist the urge to say something in the moment as actually having anything to say (excepting my extreme pedantry in the “Law” post, which, as I said there, haunted me for the better part of the year before I managed to get around to it).
    But now that all seems pretty worthless, considering the present I was celebrating had been snatched away… was, in fact, snatched away before I ever knew about it. So much for saying anything worthwhile before the goddamned eulogy.
    Which kinda sums up my reaction to the whole thing; my relationship with Bowie is almost entirely tangled up in this blog and the things I kept to myself but never said about it. Maybe it’s only appropriate to get those things off now: I arrived here as a result of the Radio Soulwax film “Dave” (which I think someone mentioned upthread), a pairing of an hour-long mix of Bowie and Bowie-related tracks by Soulwax with a story about “Dave” (portrayed by Belgian model Hannelore Knuts) as a time-travelling detective hunting down Bowie personas and posing for various famous cover photos along the way (I think I planned to bring it up in the “Stars Are Out” tonight entry, due to the similarities it has with the video, on the offchance that Chris hadn’t heard about it and might be impressed – but, well. Never got around to that). Being a fan of the entire RSWX series, I went on an extensive hunt on Google for info about the film. I’m pretty sure I was looking for a more extensive cast list when I stumbled upon a forum discussion where someone mentioned that “the Bowiesongs guy is gonna love this”. So on a whim I looked up Bowiesongs… I think the first entry I looked at was “Heroes”? Anyway, I was immediately smitten. The “present-day” of the blog at the time was Buddha of Suburbia bleeding into Outside and it just all felt perfect to me – I really couldn’t be more grateful to have gotten to the blog as it reached some of his most glossed-over, quality material. Chris’ writing made me feel about music altogether in a way I hadn’t before, and Bowie was the perfect lens for it. I fell in love with the whole thing giddily, out of order (I knew how “Strangers When We Meet” went before “Life On Mars” – I love them both to bits). Even the weird tangents of the blog opened up new worlds to me: the blogroll introduced me to the work of Phil Sandifer (psychochronographer extraordinaire), and not long after that I found Marcello Carlin when Chris mentioned his then-new TPL entry on Scary Monsters; those two might have honestly been even more formative to me. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t know if I’d recognize the version of myself that didn’t read an idle bit of chitchat about “Bowiesongs” on some forum. And I have Chris to thank for all of that, but even further than that I owe it to the man without whom none of us would be here.
    Except now he’s, y’know, gone forever, and all that.
    I was looking forward to a very long present with David Bowie. Now it’s been resoundingly cut short, in this wintry chill, very distant from the summer I spent discovering it. It feels like no one even has the energy to mourn properly, despite the shower of earnest thinkpieces. Maybe it’ll take some time for the new playing field to make itself clear, and once it becomes apparent what a world without Bowie looks like we can assess what it means to lose him.
    But certainly at least part of that is owed to the man himself. Part of the shock is that this came so quickly off the heels of Blackstar (the album, now) – rapidly assuming its hidden, apparently very deliberate, shape as a farewell gift. Despite the sadness, though, I just want to say that I’m incredibly grateful that, in the face of a definite end, Bowie decided to spend his efforts concocting that present – the present of a present that I was too hesitant to celebrate while it was here. If it’s any condolence, I’m keenly aware of it now. There was a time – a time I stepped into the final days of – when Bowie’s silence seemed a sure sign that he’d soon be leaving us, the veil of quietude making an approaching, quiet end. Then, when that rumor came true, and there was the awaited end, not too far off in the distance? David decided to make it as loud as possible. How could we have been so wrong?
    Perhaps, more importantly, how could we want for anything more?
    My second thought, after remembering the “Where Are We Now” post, was to think of that line from “Blackstar”, the one that more than a few people have been quoting in the light of the knowledge it was apparently written – “something happened on the day he died”, etc. But I wasn’t thinking about the spirit who rose up, out of the picture.
    I was wondering who the bold “somebody” to step into his place was.

  179. Matthew says:

    Well I got through work today and its now late evening here, I’ve avoided mainstream media and the internet today just couldn’t face all the “tributes”. All except this blog, so thanks for keeping me going everyone as I have no one around who can understand my sense of loss and maybe shed a tear with. Sometimes I can’t understand it myself, surprised at the strength of feeling. I knew it would be bad today but this bad?
    Going to try to get some sleep now.
    Thanks again everyone, thanks Chris for this oasis.
    Whilst I’m here I get that feeling of “Your not alone”

  180. Michael says:

    Seven or so weeks ago I shed a happy tear during my first watch of the Blackstar video. The mad dancing in the attic, that melody, God that melody was so alive and vibrant and I was so happy that here he was, still knocking it out of the park.

    Just now, the first tears of sadness having tried to bury it all day until I was alone.

  181. Lamia says:

    This blog rekindled my love of and interest in David Bowie several years ago (thank you Chris for such a wonderful resource, a true labour of love worthy of its subject). This weekend I listened to the first three tracks of the new album – it’s so layered and varied that I had decided to take my time to digest it – though I immediately loved Tis Pity She was a Whore, and Blackstar was starting to unfold its strange and beautiful shapes upon repeated listens. I’m glad that the new album had such positive – joyous even – reviews, and I hope David was aware of this. It is going to be hard to listen to the full album. Last weekend it was the next step. Today it is the last one.

    What I felt today wasn’t just sadness but shock – he has so often slipped away only to return in another guise that, as another poster has quoted, ‘he didn’t seem the dying kind’. I have cried a lot today. It ought to make sense – a man of 69 who had been ill – but it doesn’t. My thoughts are with his family.

    I can’t thank you enough for what you gave me and what you showed me, David. Rest in peace.

  182. Tresilaze says:

    On the 30th, as I lay in bed listening to Dollar Days I was filled with sadness (and awe). “One day this man is going to die. He means the world to me,” and I wanted to hug him. Weird reaction, but it was late.

    I wish it were wasnt so soon, and it turns out I didn’t know how much he meant. This is such a terrible day, but reading all these memories and shared feelings has been comforting, as much as anything can be.

    I remember the first time I really listened to him. It was the Changesbowie CD. This is him too? I thought. How the fuck did he do so many different things? It was life changing to hear, and inspiring. From there I got Ziggy, Space Oddity, Scary Monsters, and Santa Monica 72, which a legit record store had. Had no clue it was a bootleg. Then Outside came out, and he had me for life. I had no idea music could be so unconventional. Then came Diamond Dogs and the required reading of 1984. I guess what I’m trying to say is he was the high school best teacher I ever had, and I love him, and I’m heartbroken.

  183. Ramzi says:

    I was walking along, minding my business
    When love came and hit me in the eye
    Flash! Bam! Alakazam!
    Out of an orange coloured, purple striped, pretty green polka dot sky,
    Flash! Bam! Alakazam and goodbye

  184. Remco says:

    There will be a day when I’ll read all these comments. For now i’ll just add my own thoughts. I can live with the thought of never having another Bowie album again,I was kind of used to that. The idea of living in a world with no Bowie in it? It’s harder than I would’ve imagined.

  185. pramsey342 says:

    Think of all the things that had to coalesce in one person, at one time: the songwriting talent, the aesthetic sensibility, the drive, the tenacity, the empathy and perceptiveness, the intelligence — and then on top of that the physical singing voice, and the unearthly striking beauty.

    I think about this, and I can’t quite believe it happened, that it all came together in one person. How often does that happen? Is it happening all the time? Is that what being an icon is all about, that kind of chance and rarity?

    Whatever the case, it’s as if lightning struck, and lingered, and we were all there to see it, and be changed by it.

    *and you won’t believe this, but just as I wrote this — I happened to look up and see the famous Ziggy photo — you know, with the lightning bolt on his face. Ha.

  186. Soobie Mennym says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever commented here before – never really had anything to say, but I stumbled across this place quite early on and it really did turn me into a proper Bowie ‘Fan’ – I’d liked his stuff before, but this place made me look deeper into it and, of course, once you start you find there’s a whole lot of ‘depth’ to go into. So on the one hand I’m very thankful to Chris for this, but on the other I’m even sadder today than I would have been.

    I’m glad that he seemed to go out on his own terms and to see how loved and respected he was. I hope that in those last few years when he was ‘lost’ to us he got to enjoy being a proper family man – and it does look like that was the case.

    So many people I know/half-know/follow anyway on social media, people from wildly different backgrounds, have been united in saying such lovely things today. Even with the sadness it’s quite joyous to see so much love being shared.

    He pretty much got it all right didn’t he?

  187. Martin Lightnin Frightenin says:

    Such touching and comforting words above.

    From Best of on K-Tel, through to Blackstar, this man’s music has been the soundtrack of my life. As a 70’s child, grasping what music and art meant, this resulted in only one answer – it was David Bowie. No other artist, of any field, has come anywhere near close to being so endlessly fascinating to me.

    Thank you David, for enriching my life with your art. Let us always remember you and be inspired by your greatness. Much love to all.

  188. Matthew Jones says:

    Hi, I’ve never posted on here before but just wanted to say something. I’ve been visiting here for a while, and Chris’ excellent writing has helped to increase my fondness for David Bowie and all he achieved. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news soon after waking up this morning that he was dead. He’s one of the few famous people whose death has really upset me. I always thought Bowie would be around for years to come, even if not recording, and to live in a world now without him is strange and unsettling.

    On a positive note, he did so much to enhance the lives of so many. My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans too.. I listened to Lazarus earlier and it made me cry. God bless you David Bowie, you may be gone but the magic and music live on still.

  189. nomad science says:

    I’ve been looking for the right words all day, but I can’t find them. (I can’t read and I can’t write down…?) I’m just numb. It’s a feeling I’ve only felt after losing a family member. At least we still have the music. I don’t know when I’ll be ready to hear him again, but when I am, his records will be there for me, like they always have.

    • Gozomoto says:

      I feel your wordlessness, nomad. I’m struggling, too. Lots of friends have contacted me knowing I’d be broken by this news, and asking for my thoughts, but my vocabulary seems to have followed Bowie into the armoire.

  190. fluxkit says:

    Three years ago, I woke up and turned the computer on shocked to see a white square blocking a shock of hair behind it, and knew he was back! This morning, same routine, and the line “1947-2016” and I’m stunned. I’m glad I had the past three days to listen to the Blackstar album. Listening to it today was much different. Cathartic, though, I suppose. Like so many people, the value of that man to my life has been incalculable. longlivedavidbowie

  191. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the blog – it is wonderful.
    Good night Mr Bowie – you’d changed my life xxxx
    BM

  192. type40ttc says:

    Got home and my CD copy of ★ finally arrived. I had pre-ordered it along with the three lithos (which arrived in time for the holiday season, and still remained packed away in their shipping tube). I have yet to take the CD out of the shrink-wrap. Just can’t face the music yet. Maybe tomorrow. Just a heartbreaking day.

    A fantastic artist, a ‘man for all seasons’, who left us on his own terms. Thank you for being David Bowie.

  193. fantailfan says:

    Last night, as usual, I put on my iPod as I was going to sleep. I was listening to Blackstar, so that I could post my thoughts here. It usually takes me about ten minutes to fall asleep, but sometimes it plays on until I shift and the jack pulls out, stopping the player.
    This morning I heard the news and was just unbelieving. I had to go to work, of course. I had forgotten what I had been listening to when I plugged the iPod into the car jack. It had just started “I Can’t Give Everything Away.” I turned it up so loud the car vibrated.


  194. It is more than well-known, of course (“Heroes”, Reality tour and all that), but it gives one an opportunity to weep properly at last. DB is so happy, and grateful, and in full possession of his abilities here.

    They say it is pop art (I’m not sure what it means), but it seems that really never in human history an art so subtle and complex (as “Life on Mars?”, for instance) was not loved (if not understood) by such great numbers of people, and we definitely never did mourn as simultaneously as we do mourn now. And it must be good, I suppose.

  195. It’s so hard accept he’s gone and that he was human, I’ve been listening to nothing but Bowie all day and it’s still hard be me to believe a man who’s shadow loomed so large over the world is no longer with us RIP The Thin White Duke

  196. JeSuisParisTexas says:

    When I found this morming, my head started to buzz, I needed to cry but I had two of kids to take to school and a very sick and pregnant wife who was counting on me.
    I dropped the kids at school and on my way to work I had to stop. To stop driving. To cry. To listen to him on my headphones and to write…
    This all came out raw, and he certainly deserve better. It’s not fitting of Bowie.
    But I don’t want to change a thing. Let it be what it was when it first hit me. When the tears came down and the words pierced out of me needing to come out.
    It’s not a whole original piece. It’s me talking to him, about him and using he’s poetry and imagery to try and grapple with the surge of loss.
    It’s meant as my tiny eulogy.

    “One Last One With Ziggy” –

    And so goes our Chameleon,
    Ziggy Stardust, our Starman
    A one in a billion.

    Major Tom reached Mars
    free of our three-dimensional bars.
    Floating “in a most peculiar way,
    And the stars look very different today”

    You, The Man Who Fell From Earth,
    You gave us 69 years long.
    The Prettiest Star,
    “You’ve left your prayers and song”

    A sixty-nine so poetic,
    not for the libidinous evocation.
    Just a number, but so symmetric,
    as pure as beauty in its creation.

    Our Rebel Rebel, defied convention
    with his own Zen interpretation.
    Follow the Goblin King,
    Bring all your yang, all your yin.

    Male/Female, all surrender,
    Modern Love is not about gender.
    Black Tie White Noise
    Tears run down, we keep our poise.

    “Far out in the red-sky
    Far out from the sad eyes
    Strange, mad celebration
    So softly a supergod dies.”

    Freddie awaits, 2 gods will duel.
    Under Pressure, they left us fuel.
    But none for today.
    Coming up empty with words to say…

    “There’s no sign of life
    It’s just the power to charm
    I’m lying in the rain
    But I never wave bye-bye
    But I try
    I try”

    Ps- For a David you certainly had the stature of a Goliath.
    Miss you!

  197. Indulge me, if you will.
    I’ve never made it a secret that I’m a gargantuan – damn near obsessive – David Bowie fan.
    For this I won’t apologize.
    I suppose I could go into how he scared the piss out of me, at age eight, when I first saw him on NBC’s Midnight Special’s broadcast of “1980 Floor Show”…and then proceeded to blow my little mind. (The image of disembodied hands over a fishnet shirt? Seared into my memory forever).
    I could also mention:
    Ziggy.
    Aladdin.
    The Thin White Duke.
    Philly Soul (a genre I worship, by the way).
    Low (“David? What are you doing?”). “Heroes” (“I still want to know what you’re doing?!”). Lodger (“I…think I see what you’re doing….). Scary Monsters (“I get it now – nice video for “Ashes to Ashes, by the way…excuse me while I scoop my brains off the floor”).
    The SNL performance of “The Man Who Sold the World”. The Bing Christmas duet. The Man Who Fell To Earth. Soul Train. Peter and the Wolf (for god sakes). “Let’s Dance” (I still like that song). My rediscovery of Hunky Dory. His return with The Next Day.
    Ping! Pop! Bang! Boom! Kapow!…There goes my mind again…every…bloody…time.
    Did I mention that the first album I bought with my own money was ChangesOneBowie?
    But that’s the tip of the iceberg.
    No, what will haunt me – and ultimately comfort me – is this: after several times listening to Blackstar over the weekend (along with viewing the achingly beautiful vids for the title track and “Lazarus), I realized that, on the day he died, he wasn’t playing some impish, conceptual trick – he really didn’t have long to go (although I – in a hundred years – had no idea it would be that quick).
    But, what really slams me is that I was listening to his last recorded work the moment he passed. I know that now. What a great gift. How obscenely profound. What a grand exit. How god damned Bowie.
    You blew my mind again – perhaps for the last time…you bastard.
    Where the fuck did Monday go?
    Thank you.
    (And thank YOU, Chris).

  198. MC says:

    I keep coming back to the Lazarus video. I saw it on Friday and it really spooked me, mainly because of a recent death in the family. I had a funeral to go to the next day, so it was a little close to the bone for that reason, but I was also shocked by Bowie’s appearance. Now, I keep thinking about my wife’s reaction to how he looked in the Blackstar clip; she thought he looked sick. I dismissed the notion, but now it’s clear that album/song/video were intended as a goodbye to us. What an extraordinary thing. Not many artists are able to carve out a final statement like this. In music, the only thing comparable that I can think of would be Johnny Cash’s final brace of recordings, and more particularly the Hurt cover/video. (Klaus Nomi’s final works would be the ultimate example, but he didn’t command the global audience Cash and Bowie did.)

    I have looked at the clip again since this morning, and I don’t think I’ve ever found a rock video so terrifying. I can barely watch it, but I am moved by what a grand Romantic gesture it is. It’s the artist facing his own mortality, and creating something beautiful and challenging in the process. This is as real as it gets, self-exposure at its most painful. Beyond this, words fail me. I look forward to discussing song, album, video more analytically when the time is right, but right now, it’s hard to see how that can be possible.

    Truly one of the great artists of this or any time. DB, you will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to everyone who knew the man, most particularly to his family. My best to everyone commenting, and to you Chris. Goodnight.

  199. Paul O says:

    “Sunday: No. 75 on our poll, no love from me. I’d have put it in my Top 10 today. Can’t stop listening to it.

  200. I won’t write much, I don’t believe that I deserve to. Though I have lived my whole life with David Bowie in my ears, I don’t think I, or anyone my age, has the right to claim him. As a lover of art I understand his accomplishments, his impact, his importance, but this day can’t possibly hit as hard for me as it is for the youth of the late 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Those who truly grew up with David Bowie. In a time when the world was a different place, a less accepting place, he went against the grain in every facet, exploring his every whim and curiosity and turning the world on its head in the process. He was different and he made being different COOL. The importance of that cannot be measured. All those people who felt that they couldn’t be who they wanted to be, do what they wanted to do, for fear of judgement or worse, were suddenly given a voice. A symbol. Nothing I can say will do him or his work justice, nothing anyone says will really, the justice is in his art. Explore it. Embrace it. Celebrate it. Forever relevant, forever cool.

  201. Merav says:

    …and here I am again. It’s been 24 hours since the news, and it’s getting even harder to face a world with no Bowie. I’m even sadder today. The grand tributes in the papers and mainstream media annoy the shit out of me. They know nothing.
    This is the only space I know I will find some small bit of solace, a tiny glimmer of hope. It comforts me to know all of you are out there, feeling and reeling as I do.
    There really was no other like him, therefore there really are no others like us. That’s probably why we feel others cannot understand our loss.
    I had the privilege of actually meeting and speaking with him, after his show in Tel Aviv in 1996. I was 17 and utterly in love with him. I managed to sneak backstage after the show, somehow managed to spew a few words out about how great the show was, made him give me an autograph and shook his hand. He was smiling, beautiful, gracious to a sweaty, weird-looking teenage fan. It was a short encounter because security gently threw me out, but it will last in my mind forever. As will all the other gifts he gave us.
    Not many people can say they actually touched, spoke with their god.
    I will come back here, to the Church of Man-Love.
    Once again, thank you all for being. You’re holding me in one piece.

  202. Nick says:

    My Hero. For ever and ever.

  203. dm says:

    When the Blackstar video came out, a good friend had to turn it off because she could not bear to see him so thin and frail. I didn’t understand it, I just thought he looked cool and freaky.

    Fast forward to yesterday, I was in a bar celebrating the same friend’s art opening. We had literally just ordered our first drink when the word came down the line. It all happened so quickly. I had tunnel vision and tried to answer a phone call from my concerned brother. I stumbled to a toilet cubicle and threw up then cried uncontrollably for some time. I haven’t been too far from the verge of tears for more than a second since. I got far too drunk and stoned to function and cannot really remember how I made it home.

    There is no escaping the huge, comforting shadow that incredible man cast over my life. He gave me escape and acceptance, he opened my eyes to new worlds in art. His voice cuts right through me. His best songs, intricate sonic micronations, have made the world a far stranger and more beautiful place. Without any doubt whatsoever, I know I would be an entirely different, nigh-unrecognisable person without him.

    Lazarus is the most haunting video ever made- there’s just no contest, is there? How beautifully he managed his decline. It’s the sort of thing you’ve always suspected he wanted to do, but never quite believed he would actually manage to pull off. In a very real sense, he turned his death into art, and he did so with total, unflinching emotional honesty.

    I have to stop typing because I have a macbook and those things don’t respond well to tears or wine.

    • dm says:

      That “be grateful you existed at the same time as David Bowie” quote doing the rounds actually holds some poignancy. Human civilisation is, at its worst (far too often), a parasite, sucking the lifeblood of the earth, inventing and then enforcing misery on a massive scale. But, you know, we also have David Bowie.

  204. Daru says:

    I’ve not commented here before, but moved to as blown away by the news. The man was a creative muse for me.

    I have not had the chance to read all of this blog and join in the journey, but I plan to work through from the earliest posts and travel through his music. Thank you to the blog and all here, and I echo one commenter way above who said that Bowie inspired many of us to be as creative and as strange as we wished – yes !

    And Bowie is alive, David Robert Jones is dead. Blessings.

  205. Paul O says:

    Spent the day crying, listening, reading, crying, listening… Never knew until today that so many of my friends and colleagues were disciples of the Man, each with a story to tell…

    Like this one: imagine meeting one of the artists who’s meant so much to you for more than twenty years, spending the better part of a day in his company and getting to hear his new album, pre-release, on a portable cassette player.

    And then realizing today that this happened twenty years ago

    Never met him again.

    And now he’s gone.

  206. will says:

    Like so many here I was on the verge of tears all yesterday. All I can say is thank you David Bowie for everything that you gave to us.

    • So sad, devastating news. Never has a public figure or musician left me feeling so bereft, I never met him personally but found him inspiring and have been drawn to his music since the 70’s. So very sad to say goodbye..
      .

  207. Eyyup says:

    Unbelieveable – My Blackstar vinyl was delivered today. Radio stations playing good music from him instead of charts up and down.

  208. Chris says:

    The BBC 6 o’clock news led with a good 15 minutes on Bowie last night. I just wanted to mention the closing shot from a helicopter high over London of Telecom Tower with the display at the top “David Bowie 1947-2016 RIP” shining through the gloom. It was very moving.

  209. Kingsley Bray says:

    Almost forty years ago David sang “I wish you could swim/Like the dolphins, dolphins can swim”. It’s a line that’s always resonated with me through years when David came to mean less to me than he had in the 70s, then back to when he came to mean more, again. Even then, it rang echoes — I was reading the magnificent American poet Robert Lowell, and in a 1970’s poem invoking a Muse who was briefly a wife he wrote: “My Dolphin, you only guide me by surprise … ” And I was studying Shakespeare’s ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, and read the Queen’s elegy to her dead lover — “His pleasures were dolphin-like; they show’d his back ‘bove the element he swam in”. I don’t mean anything boring like Look, David was reading the same stuff at the same time … just how truth resonates across ages, and artists pick images to register transcendence from a recurring body of thought and observation. And now I can’t help think of ‘Lazarus’ and that bluebird that generations are going to grapple with, the same concept of movement across spheres of being. David, today I miss you and mourn you but will try to celebrate you …

  210. Anton says:

    I felt this was the site to come to for solace and company and I was right. Some truly heartfelt words here.
    Would love to write something deep and meaningful and I probably will on my own blog but I just can’t find the words right now. Bowie influenced my every move as a teenager and well into my twenties and thirties. He was responsible for me forming bands, experimenting with music and noise and electronica, discovering the power of image, becoming an actor and creating a theatre company. I saw him live four times, on the Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, Thin White Duke and Serious Moonlight tours. I just wish I could have thanked him personally for everything he gave me.
    His lasting legacy will be not only his own work but also the influence he had on others.

  211. Any info on D.B.’s funeral?
    I don’t aim to be disrespectful, but I dream of his ashes being sent to outer space.

  212. tom says:

    I was born on the very day, David Bowie did his first concert in my country (Austria). Ever since my youth he was companioning me in every situation of my life. I remember betting with my best friend for a certain expression in an early bowie song (I think it was Little Bombardier), only to see some days later, that there were multiple versions and we both were right…🙂

    When Blackstar surfaced I was simply struck. Such a nice piece of art, a powerful, real Bowie-type of song. I was not extremely impressed by TND although it got better with every listen.

    I have seen Bowie only once 2003 in Vienna, I stood in the second or third row, man he looked me in the eyes!! There it was when he said (and it quite became kind of motto for me / my life): “The night is young and so am I”.

    I postponed listening and hearling the pleasures of the rest of the album to the day when my limited edition clear vinyl will arrive. His death was to happen first. So sad! So I was listening to Lazarus for the first time and also saw the video for the first time an hour after having heard of his death. I haven’t been able to watch the video a second time so far (although I was listening to the song several times, it is so beautiful, an unbelievable heritage). This piece is such a great thing, simply incredible.

    And having seen Patti Smith last summer with my six year old daughter, I promised to go with her anywhere in Europe to see Bowie again, if he does another gig. She was in such great anticipation! You should see her (although german speaking) , singing “I’m a blackstar, I am blackstar”, I think it could bring David back for a day!!

  213. Wolle D. says:

    So sad. Rollercost-Weekend. Listened to Backstair first time, then listening the bad news.
    I heard that the album was made early in 2015 and was held to public until now.

  214. Darren Stuart says:

    A massive part of musical culture died with Bowie yesterday. We lose a great artist…only to be replaced by a dozen or so plastic wannabies. We’re running out of proper icons. RIP David xxx

  215. Patrick says:

    25th., September 1967

    “In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I don’t have to tell you why I changed it. “Nobody’s going to make a monkey out of you” said my manager. My birthday is January 8th and I guess I’m 5’10”. There is a Fan Club here in England, but if things go well in the States then we’ll have one there I suppose. It’s a little early to even think about it.”

  216. Bill Luther says:

    Thank you for consistently being my “go to” place for all things Bowie. I am still trying to get my head around his death.to properly pay tribute on my own blog but I thought I would pop in here as there is no other blog on the Dame (as far as I am concerned) as this one. Keep the faith. Love on ya.

  217. Joel says:

    I was listening to “Blackstar” when I first read news and had to turn it off immediately, it was too ghostly. I decided to try and listen to it again today, though thinking it still would be unbearable. And it kind of was but in the way a sublime experience is unbearable: I’m at the same time terrified by and in awe of this record. Now it feels like I’ve previously only heard half-finished pieces of music, Bowie’s death being the missing part completing them. All our earlier judgments (Scott Walker-Jazz-best since Outside/Scary-Monsters?!) almost seem quaint, because they’re unaware of the hidden, much grander gesture of the music. Even though there’s too much heartbreak at the moment to look at the complete work of this last period – the album, the videos, the musical – with some critical distance, I’m already amazed by how Bowie played out his death and said farewell in front of us, his unsuspecting audience (I’m dying to/Push their backs against the grain/And fool them all again and again). Only he could fill his own death with such rich meaning, which isn’t much of a consolation right now, but let time pass and I think it will be. An artist, in the fullest sense, to his last breath and beyond.

  218. Phil Obbard says:

    I listened to all of Blackstar on my commute today. It didn’t hurt. It’s a great work on which to exit. It’s beautiful. Everything works. His humor is intact, even at the end. I’m so glad we have it, even if I’ll never know the excitement of waiting for a new David Bowie LP again.

    I’m probably the last person on earth to figure this out, but the lyrics in “Blackstar” finally make sense to me (where Bowie dances in the attic:

    I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)
    Just go with me (I’m not a filmstar)
    I’m-a take you home (I’m a blackstar)
    Take your passport and shoes (I’m not a popstar)
    And your sedatives, boo (I’m a blackstar)
    You’re a flash in the pan (I’m not a marvel star)
    I’m the Great I Am (I’m a blackstar)

    He’s Death – come to “take you home”, and he can’t tell you why. Taking “your passport and shoes” = you can’t ever leave. “You’re a flash in the pan” (a mortal, a celebrity), “I’m the Great I Am” (straight from the Bible).

    In the “I’m a _____” refrain, he’s telling us: he’s not any of things by which we categorized him on earth.

    I’ve been listening to this song for two months; it only made sense as I listened on my commute this morning. Hit me hard.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks very much like it, yes. Thank you.

    • Thank you! It seems so obvious now, but only after you’ve said it.

    • Groofay says:

      Thank you. I’d never thought about it this way. It makes so much sense.

    • Gozomoto says:

      I agree with that assessment, and came to it myself last night as I was listening in the dark and wondering how it must feel when you know you know (you know)… And then the waterworks started again.

    • MikeB says:

      Of course! Wow.

    • heynongman says:

      I’m not so sure Blackstar is death. The Blackstar, whatever that is, takes someone’s place. We don’t know who the “he” is, why “he” died, or why someone took “his” place and then cried “Blackstar.” The Blackstar is then being described as walking on sacred ground and proclaiming his blackstarness. These aren’t qualities of death that immediately come to mind.

      You’ve also made the assumption that the character saying “I’ll take your passport and shoes,” is the same person crying “I’m a Blackstar.” I don’t think we can make that assumption. The lines are sang in a completely different manner. “I’m a Blackstar” seems to be a protest.

      I think it makes sense to interpret all of these songs about death, but I don’t think the lines reference above are the best evidence for that interpretation. Even if he’s talking about death, what is he saying? A lot of people have pointed out that the term blackstar has significance in terms of cancer. However, if we just think about what the word literally means, we can see already a wide array of interpretations.

      Personally, I’ve been thinking about Blackstar in terms of a messiah or cult figure. Blackstar literally means a star that is black. A heavenly body that is there but can’t be seen. Think about all the ways stars have been significant to us in our culture’s history, then think about that in terms of it being obfuscated or unrevealed. From an artistic standpoint, we’re talking about irony. From a mysticism standpoint, we’re talking about the esoteric.

      Anyway, I haven’t really organized my thoughts into a coherent analysis of the song.

  219. Alon Shmuel says:

    I wonder if Bowie delivered the promised song for the Spongebob musical. If so, that would be his last song, and what a great way to exit with a wink. Agreeing to contribute a such a song while knowing you’re dying, that’s Bowie !

  220. Groofay says:

    I’ve been listening to Blackstar all day. It’s comforting to me. He made his death into the most beautifully artistic thing he could muster. I feel like I’ll always be biased, because this is the only major Bowie “event” I witnessed firsthand (as a fan), but for me Blackstar is on a level with Low (which has been my #1 since I first heard it). He transcends himself, and it feels like he’s singing directly to me.

    It’s hard to imagine a world without him, but he gave us the best terms possible on which to leave. And for that, I’m endlessly grateful.

  221. Jukka Ollikainen says:

    Fellow citizens of earth.

    Now my Brother lays upon the Rocks
    He could be dead, He could be not
    He could be You
    He’s Camelian, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature

    My first and last post here. Found the place just in time to take the best out of this long funeral. Absolutely fascinating and devoted work and I appreciate it even though we are strangers when we meet and depart.

    At the moment all the grief here just seems too much. I mean, I’ was crying too but you know… it’s never over.

    And…

    If you have ever seen an interview of Bowie you should maybe ask yourself the question, is it really over?

    He’s not someone who exits the stage without taking a bow. And the applause, ain’t this just like it? And then…

    I mean, even the last character we all love and worship is now gone for sure. But the everlasting grin behind the changing faces seemed like something genuine, something that he could never hide (not that he was even trying). Anyway, the man is free to die now too.

    Maybe he already did and all this actually doesn’t matter anyway since he already got you fooled big time (I’m kinda surprised actually but I’m not saying this to pick a fight. There isn’t a show without a good audience.).

    I have had a really tough month just waiting and waiting for the news and felt quite relieved (and of course sad too) when my sister phoned and told the news yesterday. But then, I suddenly felt anxious again and didn’t know why.

    I still don’t.

    Hear this Robert Jones, man, I wrote this note for you.
    If you’re really reading this, I hope this prop will do.
    Some words had truthful visions
    That could pin us to the floor
    Brought a few more people on
    And put the fear in a whole lot more

    Thanks everyone, enjoy while it lasts!

    • Couldn’t have put it better myself:
      And so the story goes
      They wore the clothes
      They said the things to make it seem improbable
      The whale of a lie
      Like they hope it was…

      I guess if it had been a lie then the truth would have been revealed by now. We’ll all miss you Chameleon, Corinthian and caricature, RIP from your army of fans.

  222. carsten boldt says:

    Where are we now?
    Carsten, Denmark

  223. sidthecat says:

    I’m coping…not breaking into hysterical fits of public weeping or anything like that, but I just noticed I have a big cut on my hand that I don’t remember getting.

    This is the musical equivalent of the K-T Boundary: There’s the time Before Bowie and the time After Bowie, and between them is the slender line of platinum from outer space.

  224. Jason Das says:

    Well, I cried a dozen times yesterday and not once yet today.

    My girlfriend (also a big DB fan) woke me up yesterday with the news. First thing I saw was Tony Visconti’s Facebook note, which confirmed not only the death itself, but the context.

    I went by 285 Lafayette last night and I think that helped some. As has incessantly reading the many wonderful remembrances everywhere (including all of you above me in this thread, and lots of great finds from Chris on Twitter) and some of Bowie’s own prose. (He really was a great writer.) Surprisingly(?), I’ve more been playing his music in my mind than listening to recordings (though I’ve done some of that, too).

    Between seeing Lazarus and Holy Holy live, and listening to Blackstar on repeat for a full day, I was in a very Bowie zone this weekend. I was singing “something happened on the day he died…” to myself all day on Sunday, probably even at the moment he passed. Well played, DB.

    Grief aside, I am quite impressed with his one-last-showbiz-trick of Lazarus+Blackstar+death. I can only assume he planned his post-life career as carefully as the last couple years of his life. Looking forward to it!

    I’ll save reflections on why I care so much for later. But for now, thank you, David, for giving us so much.

  225. Merav says:

    At first I couldn’t bring myself to watch the new videos, and then I found myself watching them over and over.
    Man, there’s so many hints, so many references to what inevitably came…
    I also think that he probably meant a lot of it for his wife and children, as much as we all feel comfort and awe at the gifts he left for us, he was always a loving family man first. Just another reason to love him.
    In Lazarus in particular, I find a lot of the lyrics might be a message to Iman. Just a hunch.

  226. President Joan says:

    Bowie has meant so much to me. I can’t even begin to describe it. But I do appreciate those who have, here in Chris’ blog, “our bar”. And appreciate those who just left a short note or quote.

    I began following this blog six months ago and it’s been such an intense Bowie period! When Chris announced the Poll, I really got into revisiting and re-examining most, if not all, of Bowie’s work. Then the results came which led to further intensive listening, with the final results being released just a few days prior to Blackstar’s release. I was in a Bowie universe like never before. It was marvellous!

    And then last Friday, I was so excited. A new album! And it turned out to be wonderful! I played it during the weekend and was so happy.

    Yesterday, I was in shock. I managed a brief comment in the Blackstar post before the crying started … Today, sorrow.

    Of course, the album is still wonderful, but now in a different way. He was saying goodbye, he was sending a message. He was dying. He is a Blackstar now. It is so sad but very beautiful.

    Love to all.

    I love you, David.

  227. David says:

    Everyone needs a religion, whether they would care to admit to it or not.
    It’s something to believe in, something to elevate the droll and the mundane, the mortal and hollow promise of the grave.

    For me, it was the music of David Bowie. Not just the music actually,it was the visual allure, the spectacle, the retinue of changing persona, the boundless creativity, the ambiguous sexuality, the whole kit and caboodle. And I was an eager disciple, collecting obsessively and voraciously discovering him through anything I could get my hands on,vinyl, magazines, books, newspaper clippings, grainy VHS concerts and interviews. I’ve also been lucky enough to experience his live performances on seven occasions since 1983, and nothing can ever begin to describe the almost supernatural and uncanny measure of his presence.

    I’ve mentioned it before, because where you begin as an artist, informs a lot of where you end up, but the 70’s in England were like the ashes of a promise the 60’s had failed to deliver. And yet there he was, a Technicolor, space alien prophet, delivering perfectly crafted ciphers in the grooves of three minute pop songs, where you were convinced held some secret message to the universe to unravel.

    He was your school, because the chalk dusted conformity of the British classroom was so dreary. Bowiephilia was a club that delivered a dizzying myriad education in literary figureheads from Crowley to Burroughs, Isherwood to Mishima and a Art history lesson that included Rossetti,Dali, Heckle, Warhol and everyone in between. It was a cachet of cool, even if it meant you occasionally got a good twating by some Scouse Scally’s for liking ‘that fookin’ poof’.

    Around 95′ I wrote in David Buckleys excellent tome ‘Strange Fascination’, that we were like ‘pasty necro-punkettes in fishnets and eyeliner-procuring alter egos…only to return to irksome acned little waifs in the morning.’ and it was true, to be a Bowie fan meant you didn’t have to be a working class nobody from an impoverished council house, you could be a different class, a different species entirely.

    David Bowie shaped me, he was the big brother and mentor I never had, the creative yardstick by which I have measured every point in my own artistic quest, I have challenged myself through his spirit of experimentation,and indeed side two of Low remains the aural backdrop of virtually every painting I’ve done.
    His music was also the solace during some of the most profoundly difficult points in my life, the all too frequent death of friends and loved ones, the personal hardships such as breakups and divorce. He’s been there at the best of times too, without him I would never have met my second wife Lani, who was introduce through a friend I knew on the Bowiewonderworld forum back in 1999.

    And now he has gone, ‘the solitary candle’ has extinguished, and the void in the wake of that is too vast to contemplate for now, but what an extraordinary, singularly perfect note to end on.

    As has been the ritual of every new waxing-on the day of Blackstars release,I excitedly drove all over San Diego before finally getting a copy at Target of all pedestrian places. I’d have driven to Hell or at least L.A to listen to it, because it is an indelible, powerful elegy the work of a man with still so much left to say.
    Except, in his remarkable, copious legacy are the kind of seeds that could fill several lifetimes of magical exploration, transcendence and expanded consciousness.

    One of my all time favorite lyrics are from his song Quicksand, it goes: ‘I’m not a prophet or a stone age man, just the mortal with the potential of a superman’

    May those lines be a manifest for us all.

  228. Chris says:

    Bowie is absolutely tearing up the UK album chart today. Amazon UK has Bowie albums at numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21,22, 24, 25, 29 and 31!

  229. Al Pachinko says:

    I haven’t commented much here but I’ve been an avid reader of Chris’ great work and the endlessly enjoyable commentariat. I had been planning to write my reactions to “Blackstar” after living with it for the weekend, but when I saw the news he’d died of course everything seemed irrelevant. I’m listening to it every day still, but I’m upset because I’m keeping it at arm’s length, as really listening to it means accepting a profound loss. Similar to what Visconti said, I guess we knew one way or another this would happen, but we weren’t prepared.

    Like many others, I’m finding it difficult to deal with the process of accepting Bowie’s death. He was an important influence for so many people, whether you were a gay kid in a grim repressive society, or (like me) an artist looking for a role model, someone who showed you how it could be done. Perhaps this is why it feels so personal, like the loss of someone close, because in a real sense he was often closer than those around us who weren’t the people we needed.

    I found it very touching how the band from “Blackstar” all changed their profile pics on Facebook – a small detail maybe, but coupled with their sincere and emotional responses to the shock of his death, it had an impact on me. They played their asses off on that record. How tough to come in after so many well-loved musicians who played with Bowie, and to do so at the end for a final statement – and yet they made their mark, for the short time they were part of the story they burned it up and earned their place. It’s moving to see how important the experience was for them too.

    I can’t even watch the “Lazarus” video, it’s too much. But talk about artistic integrity and commitment, making your death a part of your life’s work. Working till the end, burning until the last. In control of everything.

    Just to add to chorus of gratitude to Chris for providing us with the blog and this space to reflect (I’m not used to airing my feelings, especially in public, so thanks for your indulgence). I picked up “Rebel Rebel” over the holidays and devoured it immediately, and I’ll return to it again and again, as I listen to Bowie’s music again and again.

    • BenJ says:

      I listened to Blackstar tonight for the first time since hearing the news on Monday morning, after spinning it a few times over the weekend. It’s a different experience now, but when you come back to it you’ll discover that it really is a beautiful and worthy capstone to Bowie’s body of work.

      Seconding the gratitude to Chris.

  230. Liezel says:

    Since I saw Merry Xmas mr Lawrence and Fame90 and subsequently went and get myself the casette of Changesbowie my life changed. I feel the same emotions I felt when my father died. A true loss…again.
    It was Monday night here and I was getting ready for bed when a friend phoned me and asked if I saw the news recently. No I didn’t I said. Oh dear, he said… …… David Bowie died.
    Funny… in that gap of time between ‘oh dear’ and the rest I sort of felt it might Bowie related….and bad news.
    And it was. I watched uk Sky news for a bit and then I had a very good cry… and the weather outside joined in and rained heavily with me too.

    I just can’t listen to the new album… I can’t watch TV and I can’t read media stories about it.. what do they know about just how immensely this man touched our lives. He wasnt a rock celebrity…he was part of our youth, part of our lives…still is and always will be!

  231. Paul O says:

    I am holding a brand-new CD in my hand, Stage (Digital Remaster), which arrived in the mail today. Last week, after the album poll ended, I felt like having a pristine copy of this recording to listen to in my car. It’s going to be intense out on the streets and freeways of Los Angeles tonight…

  232. fantailfan says:

    On Amazon US, Blackstar (all editions) (#1 as CD and #2 as vinyl), The Next Day (#9 and #25 as CD and #37 as vinyl), Nothing Has Changed (#5 as CD and #29 as vinyl), Space Oddity (#35), Hunky Dory (#17), Ziggy Stardust (#6), Aladdin Sane (#26), Pin Ups, Diamond Dogs (#14), David Live, Young Americans (#20), Station to Station (#18), Low (#15), “Heroes” (#13), Stage, Lodger, Scary Monsters, Labyrinth OST (#12), Peter and the Wolf, Let’s Dance (#22), Tonight, Outside, Earthling, Hours, Bowie at the Beeb, Best of Bowie (#3), Heathen, Reality, and A Reality Tour, are all out of stock.

    In movies on Amazon, DVDs of Labyrinth (overall #6 DVD and #13 Blu-ray and #1 in Musicals), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (#1 in Military and War), The Hunger (#1 in Horror), Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture (#1 in Special Interest), and David Bowie – A Reality Tour.

    The Man Who Fell to Earth, #1 in Science Fiction and #40 overall. It is sold as a DVD-R; by definition it is not out of stock.

  233. I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I thought I’d post it here too. Thank you, Chris, for your hard work here, as well as for allowing us to express ourselves in this forum.

    Yesterday morning, I found out that a very large part of my academic formation and work, died. David Bowie was 69 years old. No one lives forever, but we don’t always think of our celebrities as real people. We see them mediated, outside of the normal stream of time. As I write this, I’m listening to Bowie’s voice, back from the grave: “Ain’t it just like me,” he sings.

    Back around 1993, I remember hearing the first strains of _Black Tie White Noise_ in an Ottawa CD store, and I walked out with that album. “You’ve Been Around” was the catalyst that began my academic pursuits, I think. Once _Outside_ came out in 1995, I was hooked. I remember talking to one of my music profs about the music on that album, about what was going on there, the “problem” that needed to be “solved.”

    Bowie became the subject matter of my Master’s thesis. I listened to Bowie constantly during that time, in the TA office at McMaster.

    When I saw Bowie in concert in Montreal in 2004, we were told to sit down by those sitting behind us, who seemingly were only there for the hits. And we did.

    When I had the opportunity to revisit and revise some of my earlier scholarship for my book that came out in the summer, I happily did so, (re)discovering that Bowie was still the “problem” that needed to be “solved,” and a delightful one at that.

    Yesterday and today were a whirlwind, with something like eight media interviews throughout the day, not to mention a blurb for a Greek daily newspaper. And then a first class.

    We don’t know these celebrities, but we feel like we do. Yesterday, my friends and colleagues sent messages of condolence and stopped by my office. And I thank them for that.

    And I thank David Bowie for his music. If it wasn’t for him, I’m pretty confident to say that I wouldn’t be the scholar–or the person–I am today.

  234. Ellie Arroway says:

    Stardust to Stardust.

    My online comment history is as non-existent as our glimpses into who David Robert Jones “really” was, by which I mean to say that I’ve appreciated reading this blog and the contribution in the comments, but have never joined in the discussion myself. Just like I think we never really “knew” DRJ, but we all know our collective hero: David Bowie.

    I’m starting, slowly, to come out of the other side of what seemed a bottomless hole of hurt, loss, and lots of tears… and besides reading the messages left here and listening to Blackstar again, the thought that pulled my out of the blizzard was that he did, to the very end, what he wanted to do, in exactly the way he wanted to do it. His death is his last artistic act, literally the last act.

    As so many others have said, he wasn’t just a singer or even a songwriter — in fact, that music was his medium seems, to me, almost incidental to my appreciation of him. He was a brilliant, witty mind that couldn’t but share what it contained. (He himself said in various interviews that he could just as easily ended up a painter.) He was an artist in the truest sense. He lived art (artfully, artistically). The things he shared were at once intensely personal, always true to himself, and also universal and compelling to many of us precisely because he was so true to who he was.

    He is the master of artifice, personas, performance, and yet, also the most real, authentic artist (especially in ‘popular culture’) that I have ever come across. I haven’t been a Bowie fan for as long as some of you, but I fell hard and fast upon my first serious encounter. That is an experience that many of us share despite finding Bowie at different times and stages in his career — and likely also why many of us consider him as close as a dear friend. And why his loss hurts so much.

    Further alimentary thoughts:
    I am heartened by the fact that Blackstar will become his first #1 album in the US. As compassionate and perceptive of others as Bowie was (and that is really a central pillar of my respect for him), I also respect that he was driven and had the highest of standards for his success ‘externally.’
    And while I too find some of the ‘glossy’ tributes off-putting, perhaps we can take comfort in the thought that there’s a good chance someone will have their eyes opened to the Bowie wonder in the process and will join us in due time.

    DRJ may be gone, but Bowie will live forever. Thanks for everything and the endless exploration that comes with it, Starman.

  235. Trish says:

    Thanks so much for this wonderful site which I discovered about 18 months ago. Since then I have worked my way through it and am constantly astonished by your writing and insights and also the quality of the comments.

    So it’s a solace to be able to come here now.

    Although I been a huge admirer all my life about 18 months ago I started listening daily, almost exclusively (and obsessively) to Bowie. His music has got me through a very difficult time.

    So like for all here the last 40 hours have been very hard. His music has been a great solace for me, like for so many.

    I’m old enough to remember first hearing Space Oddity as a very young child when it came out with the first moon landing. Then my older siblings bought Hunky Dory, Ziggy, Aladdin Sane and so on and I was hooked. Oh the music!!! That voice!

    Like many who grew up loving his 70’s output, although there were still some great songs, I didn’t like the direction of his 80’s records. (Of course I didn’t understand at that time that he didn’t own the copyright of his own material and the economic imperative to buy it back.)

    The 70s material is that which I will always come back to but since finding this blog I’ve found much much more to love. No matter what mood I’m in, there’s always some Bowie that is just right.

    Hard to play him right now.

    Perhaps Memory of a Free Festival will hit the right note or that haunting acoustic version of Aladdin Sane with Gail Ann Dorsey at the Bridge Benefit Concert. Or the Bewlay Brothers. Or Word on A Wing. And eventually I’ll work my way back to that thundering masterpiece Station to Station.

    Glad that he found someone to love that insane lad. Condolences to his family.

    RIP David Jones. Thank you for the music. I will treasure it forever.

  236. billter says:

    I spent a large part of the day today driving around, listening to the radio, wondering why anyone was playing anything other than Bowie, or talking about anything else. And then, inevitably, when someone did start talking about him, I almost immediately wanted them to stop. “You don’t know what the f**k you’re talking about,” I would mutter to myself, and change the station.

    We Bowieites are fiercely protective of our man, aren’t we? Even in death. Maybe especially so. And I know it’s not necessary — his legacy is secure, untouchable. But somehow even hearing someone say “David Bowie has died” rankles. It can’t be so. It is, but it can’t.

    The three days are almost up, David. You can come back now.

    • tom says:

      “The three days are almost up, David. You can come back now.”

      Exactly how Lazarus did, ey?

      • Matthew says:

        I know the feeling, had to stay away from the mainstream media,
        I wish he would come back.
        Mind you he did it before
        “Of all the shows on the tour this particular show will remain with us the longest, because not only is it the last show of the tour, it’s the last show we’ll ever do.”

        Lazarus
        Four days though.

        When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John chapter 11.

        The face wrapped in cloth and linen strips bit shook me after watching the Lazarus video.

      • billter says:

        Actually, when I said three days, I was thinking of another famous return from the dead. You know, the one where they rolled away the stone.

        I note that the official Bowie website still has not acknowledged his death. Not that I place any particular significance on that, or have any conspiracy theories. But you know, David always wanted to be the English Elvis. Let the “Bowie is alive” rumors begin!

    • Merav says:

      My feelings exactly. They know nothing, they have no right uttering his name.
      I’d like to believe that we Bowieites, as you so well put it, are somehow more evolved because we recognized that Bowie was a more evolved species. Of course this thought is silly and also not very nice, but it helps me understand why we’re all taking this so hard.

      • Ramona says:

        Yes we Bowieites ARE fiercely protective of our man. So much of the coverage/conversation about Bowie was trite and superficial. Still feeling his loss so strongly. Tears keep coming. Am so appreciative of this blog for the opportunity to visit and re-visit the genius that is Bowie and to do so amongst so many loyal and committed Bowieites who love him and miss him as much as we do. I keep recalling a quote of his from 2004 where he reminds us that he lies to us because it’s part of his “entertaining factor” to us. Please Bowie, tell us your death was all a big lie.

    • Mikael says:

      “The three days are almost up, David. You can come back now.”
      Wow, even knowing the Lazarus myth, *that* part didn’t dawn on me, until now.

      I got the news on the subway, listening to Blackstar when the sound was interrupted by an SMS from one of my oldest friends, a fellow fan since the mid 70s, saying, “it can’t be true, can it?”, and then the world changed, as I googled to find the harsh truth, while still having Blackstar playing in my ears.
      The whole Monday is just a haze, I can’t remember who I met, what I did, how I got through work, or much of anything, and I am only slowly coming back to life, in a changed world, now. I have played nothing but Bowie since that time.

      I just got the books from Cygnet Committee, well worth getting, by the way, and reading them while listening to the Reality tour live CD, gives some comfort, but the world will never be the same again.

  237. Sandboxie says:

    Goodbye, Mr Bowie 😫😢 👋 #R.I.P 😢

  238. tom says:

    Has anyone else heard too, that the beginning of “I Can’t Give Everything Away” somehow resembles the melody/tonality of “Something Stupid” (Sinatra)? I was ever wondering what song this track reminds me of…

  239. Stanko Trifunovic says:

    I came to think that David Bowie was inmortal. I still think he is. Above us. As before.
    I haven’t bought yet “Black Star” and, somehow, I’m a little affraid of purchasing it. First, because it will mean that it’s the last David’s album I buy and I don’t want to spoil it to soon, to burn that round immediately ; And because I’m worried about the links, leads and connections that David has certaintly putted in his songs about his condition…
    Thank’s CO for your blog,
    Truly yours,
    Stanko

  240. After being a state of crushing sadness for two days now, I feel a greater sense of calm coming upon me.
    Obviously there is still (and there will always remain) an enormous hurt that we are now living in a world without David but there is still the music. Some friends have said that they can’t listen to the music and I can entirely understand that. After sitting on a bus on Monday evening sobbing while listening to side one of Low, do I ever understand that!
    But by the time I got home I just immersed myself in the songs and it helped. So much treasure to enjoy.
    All I’ve been playing in the last two days is ‘Blackstar’, and yes, I feel myself welling up from time to time (and I don’t think that is going to change any time soon), but its helping. A beautiful sustained suite of songs to play out to. Yes, ‘I Can’t Give Myself Away’ breaks my heart every time I hear it start up but hearts mend over time. They maybe more fragile. They maybe more prone to emotions than they were before.
    But they mend.
    In this case, I feel that we’re going to need a long time to get over this. But that’s okay.
    The music will help. And we will always have that.
    Glorious.
    Sublime.
    Eternal.
    Bowie.

  241. Jim Baxter says:

    One thing I already knew but which has come into focus over the last two days, after reading so much that people have written about him, and immersed myself in his songs yet again, is that David Bowie is above all about freedom. He represents freedom in the way he was always willing to drop everything and create his music and himself anew, without any thought for others’ ideas of what he was supposed to be. And he stands as an example of freedom for others to follow: freedom from expectation, freedom from convention, freedom from shame.

    The first time I cried on Monday was listening to his perfect self-penned epitaph: “I’ll be free… Ain’t that just like me?”

  242. Anders says:

    I feel as if I’ve removed the headphones and find myself passing through Ludham, in Norfolk, England, where I first heard “Heroes” on cassette. It’s as if everything that happened as a result of that: All the exotic places, insane people both real, fictional and historic; not to mention all of the ideas and bands and sounds, the colours… all of it is gone. And I’m 14 or 15, on the number 18 bus, and it will never be true again because the man who made it is gone.

  243. Liz Washer says:

    I’m trying to remember my first Bowie “experience.” It was probably Labyrinth (like many adolescents I remember that movie making me feel kinda funny in the pants, hur hur) and I was familiar with some songs that got regular radio play (Rebel Rebel, Suffragette City, Let’s Dance) but I mostly count the mix tape a friend made me in the mid-90s with Space Oddity on it as my watershed moment… I was so taken by this folky song (I was primarily a goth rocker and liked my music loud and angry for the most part). But I would go for walks during college and sing along out loud to this old song. I loved his voice and the evocative, lonely vision of the astronaut drifting through space. What alienated teen wouldn’t identify with that?

    My appreciation developed gradually – he was just always present, an influence on all the 80s underground and 90s alternative acts I loved, music that felt timeless despite so much of it having been released years before I was born (’77). I never saw him perform live, regrettably, as I was mainly getting serious about his music in my young adulthood, during his largely dormant period. I think I tipped the scales from “regular fan” to “psycho fan” after my father died and I found myself revisiting the music I loved with the fervor and obsessiveness of a teen geek again. It was an exercise in nostalgia, partly, but also just reaching for accessible, laid-bare feelings scripted by someone else in the midst of my own numb devastation.

    And that’s where I am today, albeit in a different kind of way. I still can’t believe he’s gone, and I’m still crying about it despite myself, but there’s still so much I haven’t listened to closely (despite my iPod having something like 450 Bowie songs on it)… there is decades’ worth of material to appreciate, musically and visually and more.

    What a gift. What an artist. What a human.

  244. Daniel says:

    They say that David Bowie is dead. That’s so wrong. David Robert Haywood Jones is dead (and that is so sad for all of us, especially for Lexi, Duncan and Iman). David Bowie on the other hand will NEVER die. I’m 53 years old. I’ve listened to him and learned from him for over 40 years now. I’m from Sweden so with ABBA I say “THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC”! But also: My sincere THANKS for inspiring me to start listening to soul and funk (Young Americans) Krautrock (Low and Heroes). Thanks for Lou, Iggy and the Velvets. Thanks for Burroughs and Genet. Thanks for Andy (and from there: modern art in general). Thanks for the Brücke Museum. Thanks for letting the square kid way back in high school know that “Oh No Love, You’re Not Alone”. My list could go on, but I’ll stop here. One thing though: Don’t You ever think that Bowie is dead. A 100 years from now som kid will alway’s find Ziggy and it will change his life for ever. A 1oo years from now some kid will be inspired to create something new after listening to the drums on Low. This list could go on, of course, but I’ll stop here, still with a tear in my eye.

    • Merav says:

      “A 100 years from now som kid will alway’s find Ziggy and it will change his life for ever. ” How perfect. Indeed.
      I will hold on to this beautiful thought, it does give hope. Thank you.

      • Daniel says:

        Thanks Merav. I think the italian writer Italo Calvino once said that a classic “is a book that has never finished what it wants to say”. Applies for Bowies music. Check. I think that the poet Ezra Pound defined a classic as a piece of art that has “a certain eternal and irresponsible freshness”. Applies for Bowies music, Check. I can see it happening today already. My niece is 23. She was almost a sad as me (we sent long emails to each others the 11th discussing Bowies music etc.).

  245. Micah says:

    My first thought when I considered the pieces of stars at the bottom of the cover was the phrase “all fall down”.

    That connotation was only cemented by the realization that he knew that he was dying. It didn’t hit me until now that “all fall down” is of course preceded by…

    “ashes to ashes”.

    I certainly couldn’t say that was remotely intentional, but it’s the kind of abstract and tangential connection that his work encourages.

  246. Matt says:

    Pretty late to the party but this seems like a fantastic place to just write out what I feel. As others have said, this is the first person to pass who I didn’t know personally that I’ve really been touched by. If it’s because of how my sister and I have talked about and jammed to Bowie over the years, if it’s because it calls back to better days with my father, who introduced me to Bowie, before he started to fall to alcohol, if it’s because Bowie seemed to emulate so many things I wish I was or could express myself, or most likely a combination of that and so much more that I can’t quite put into words. My experience with Bowie previously has been pretty slapdash, before today I had never listened to one of his albums straight-through, although I had heard all the songs from The Rise and Fall, Hunky Dory, and Man Who Sold the World. It’s been an experience to listen to those albums straight through. I’m glad to have stumbled upon this blog and am sure that reading the old posts voraciously will help with the pain a little. Thanks for the blog. Thanks for the songs David. Moving forward seems so hard, but I know in time it will come. And I can’t wait to introduce my kids to Bowie in turn.

  247. letiannorth says:

    Being a long time Bowie fan, I have just found this wonderful blog. I am glad and a little relieved to find so many people here think and feel the same.

    I was struggling the past days, tried to get myself together and continue with my life. These days I throw a dozen of favourite albums, grab my coat, go outside with headphones on, some random tracks, here and there. As if I can’t let him go or don’t want. I got used to the feeling that he is always somewhere working on a new album, new art piece, writing, giving an occasional interview, always in style, charming smile.

    I was one of the first ones to get my hands on “Blackstar” and videos. It was all eerie and beautiful. Happy to witness another Bowie art. Of course, it was about death and getting old, well he is old I thought, cryptic lyrics, disturbing and beautiful imagery. Little did I know.

    It first felt like nothing happened at all. I just could not believe it.
    Lazarus, the more I listened and watched the more terrified I felt. He knew it, when writing, singing — it was his last time. Watching him smile and dance, then getting back into the closet was devastating. His shaking figure and that gaze. You almost feel his pain, his fear but more than that you feel his will to go on and you know this is real because it happened. Only yesterday he was here and now not anymore.

    It is hard, everything. We all have a timer set. A shadow lurking in the dark. What I treasure most, is that Bowie, once again, took me out from the daily routine and slapped me in the face. Look, he said, your time is running out. Love, create, dance, sing. Because there is nothing there, nothing.

    A beautiful testament of life. You did it again. God damn it, David.

    I will not say goodbye. I refuse. Your art is here, in the pocket of my winter coat.

  248. Michael says:

    Poignant interview with Tony Visconti online at Rolling Stone.

    Talks about Bowie having been, temporarily of course, in remission and that he’d written and demoed 5 new tracks since Blackstar with a view to making another album.

  249. heynongman says:

    I know a lot of people are afraid to listen to his music again, especially Blackstar. I’ve found so much comfort in it. He’s still there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed-I couldn’t bare to listen to Blackstar since the news broke, until today. It was actually a relief to hear him and cheered me up knowing that he will live forever through his music.

    • Michael says:

      Agreed-I couldn’t bare to listen to Blackstar since the news broke, until today. It was actually a relief to hear him and cheered me up knowing that he will live forever through his music.

  250. Michael says:

    “And I’m gone, like I’m dancing on angels, and I’m gone, through the crack in the past, like a dead man walking”.
    No David, you will never be gone, we will remember you forever.

  251. Paula Sciuk says:

    There are no words…

  252. Bruised Passivity says:

    This is were my heart keeps going to today.

  253. Bill DeMain says:

    I bought Diamond Dogs when I was eleven years old (in 1975), and have been a Bowie fan ever since. I’m glad to find this wonderful blog, and the community around it. This week has been so solemn and sad. It’s not only losing one of my favorite artists, but it’s the way it calls up so many things that Bowie has been attached to in my life – friendships, love affairs, inspirations, adventures, memories. You start to realize how deep your relationship is with a favorite artist only when they pass. But I don’t know of any other artist – maybe John Lennon – whose death affected me so deeply. I’ve started every day this week by listening to Blackstar. I find it comforting to hear him in such terrific voice and singing about the things that were on his mind in the last year of his life. Even it wasn’t a farewell album, it’s just a terrific listen. For some reason, the sequence of it puts me in mind of Station to Station, one of my favorite Bowie albums. Tonight, I watched The Prestige, a movie I love, and a great, underappreciated Bowie performance. Who better to play Tesla than one who understood how to harness energy better than any artist?

    I look forward to returning to this site again in the coming days. It’s great to be amongst so many who loved Bowie.

  254. Lorna says:

    I bought Aladdin Sane when I was 11 and have been mesmerised by Bowie ever since, his music, art, writings and movies. Blackstar was preordered and I immersed myself in it all weekend , loving the music and visuals and feeling that he was speaking to us directly about aging and dying, as he had spoken to us before about so many things. Monday morning I thought it was a hoax until his son confirmed in tweet. Then suddenly it all made sense and I was in stunned awe of him for the rest of the day, in between crying helplessly. We were so pleased to see him again that we couldn’t see his message to us. I am floored by the way he choreographed this and made his death a last beautiful gift to us. I just laughed out loud as I stumbled upon Elvis’s Black Star where the message could not be clearer. He was having fun with with us, dropping clues that were hidden in plain sight. My lasting image of him is in the Blackstar video where he thumbs his nose at the camera, having tricked us all, and it makes me smile a deep satisfying smile. The last laugh.

  255. Yea the news of passing Heroes will always be there. But what comforts his people and his fans are his achievements and accomplishments while alive. When you roll out his belief and faith what do you see? Success I believe is measured by a good follow up.
    Joseph Azubuike
    @WordPress.com

  256. wirestone says:

    I posted this on the Blackstar thread, but I think it’s important to have here too (in slightly edited form) …

    I would urge everyone when listening to this album to take a moment before saying it’s about death or dying. Because it is art, because it was created, it is necessarily about living.

    Talk about Bowie’s death as a stunt, or the album and musical as some sort of grand farewell leading up to his death is reductive to the extreme. Art — and people — simply do not work that way. The musical was conceived before his illness was diagnosed. A chunk of the album was written before then as well.

    What’s more, the fact that Bowie himself wanted to do both a sequel to the musical and a follow up to the album — managing to complete significant work on the latter — suggest that he didn’t see either as his last will and testament to the world.

    Now, I’m not naive enough to say that Bowie wasn’t affected by his illness. But most men with health issues in their late 60s are going to consider mortality in their creative works. And most men aren’t Bowie, who has written about such subjects from the beginning of his career.

    So what did the impending deadline affect? I’d guess it was largely timing and practical matters. Bowie knew he had to get the album and musical done. That explains a seven-song tracklist with two remakes. That explains the haste to get the musical finished, and likely the fact that it incorporates a bunch of his older songs.

    As for the songs themselves, there are lines that stand out. “Dollar Days” seems to grapple most plainly with the subject. “Lazarus” and bits of the title track touch on it, too.

    But just because you know you’re going to die, it doesn’t mean you write everything in a certain way, with a certain purpose. I mean, “Blackstar” (the song) has bunch of funny stuff in it. And there’s so much joy in the album — of letting loose, of blowing off steam.

    Because folks facing the end want to have fun and enjoy life too. They want to do what they’ve always done, but perhaps with a bit more urgency.

    So was Bowie was perpetuating a giant performance art piece in his last year and a half of life? I really doubt it. I think he wanted to make as much art as he could, spend as much time with his loved ones as he could, and he wanted to keep living and keep doing both of those things.

    But he was also practical and canny, and he knew the odds. He knew what he faced. So he wrote about it, sometimes, but with plausible deniability. And he made sure that the album would have added resonance if he wasn’t around. Otherwise, he just put his head down and did what he loved.

    That’s the message that he sent, I think. Do what is important, do what you love, and do it as well and as long as you can.

  257. Pam says:

    Do any of you David Bowie fans know which song of his starts out with, “OOOOO Wa Wa Wa Wa?” I cannot remember what comes after that!! Any suggestions would be helpful…Thanks in advance!

  258. Gozomoto says:

    I can’t find it now, but someone here commented that they hear a bit of Sinatra on “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” but as I was listening just now on my way home, I could swear I hear a the underlying bass groove from “I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship.” Anyone else hear that?

  259. add2add6 says:

    I waited four days, just to be sure it wasn’t an incrediblly meta publicity stunt to sell more tickets to/copies of Lazarus/Blackstar, and while I can make an awful joke like that now, I couldn’t on January 11th, or 12th, or 13th, or 14th or 15th. Five days is a long time to cry for a person you’ve never met, certainly a pop star you’ve never met – so some have said. It occurs to me that I’m not likely to stop grieving today or any day in the foreseeable future, but I may learn to process it all in a healthier way than I am processing it now.

    Glad to have found this blog this week – maybe some interactions here will help to understand the impact of Bowie’s passing with a bit more clarity and purpose than we may otherwise experience.

    Peace to all.

  260. theqhblend says:

    Hello all.

    I’m not even sure if I should be posting here, I did not dive into the (deep end of) Bowie pool until last May. I had finally taken up residence in the city proper of Atlanta and records like “Young Americans,” “Tonight,” “Black Tie, White Noise” and “Heathen” (among others) were backdrop to that sticky, but fun ATL summer of 2015.

    I’m only 10 LPs away from completing my collection now and was very shocked upon hearing of Mr. Bowie’s passing last Monday. Since then, my Bowie collection now includes the following: “The Man Who Sold the World,” “Pin Ups,” “Young Americans,” “Station to Station,” “Scary Monsters…,” “Let’s Dance,” “Tonight,” “Black Tie, White Noise,” “Earthling,” “Hours…,” “Heathen,” “Reality,” “Blackstar” and his “Nothing Has Changed” set.

    I pride myself on being a voracious music listener, not letting eras, genres, etc. stop me from exploring. So it was only proper that Bowie crossed over out of my curiosity into me becoming a student of his sound. I really am enjoying my journey into his music and I’m glad I managed to start the trek before he transitioned.

    I guess I just wanted to share my shock and sadness. My favorite lyric from Mr. Bowie keeps looping in my head: “And your prayers, they break the sky in two!” (from “Loving the Alien”). I hope he knew how loved he was.-QH

  261. Paul D says:

    I was away from home on a business trip; as usual I couldn’t hotel sleep, and remembered I had a copy of Blackstar with me. It was the first time I heard it alone and uninterrupted, and I played it twice through. Hard to describe how euphoric it felt, from there it was on to YouTube and live clips, etc. For hours. I slept maybe an hour, but was deleriously happy, checked my phone and . . the news. Through the initial shock, I couldn’t help feeling like I had tapped into some collective musical gift the night before; I’m 59 years old and that kind of musical joy just doesn’t come as easily anymore, but joy it was. So through the tears, and there have been tears, that gift stands among the many gifts David Bowie has passed to me since my teenage years. Rest in peace, you extraordinary man.

    • Merav says:

      Exactly. Euphoric sadness mixed with humbled honor to have been touched by this one-of-a-kind creature. As someone described to me the other day, when you listen to him, you feel like he’s speaking directly to you. To your core.

  262. John Larkin says:

    Thank you Chris for your insights, dedication and passion. Your tireless efforts have contributed to the memory and history of David Bowie like no other.

  263. Phil Obbard says:

    I’ve lived with this news for 8 days now, and work, parenthood, etc., keep me busy, but every now and then I remember: David Bowie is gone. And I’ll never look forward to a new David Bowie LP like I have since becoming a fan back in 1993 (at the tender age of 19). And that’s just really, really sad thing to think about in the middle of winter, even if he left us a great LP on the way out.

  264. Just found your site today. It’s something of a comfort to find the words of so many others whose lives were changed by the artist known as Bowie. I was 12 when I first heard “Space Oddity” on AM radio – a top 40 station! It was like nothing else that had ever been heard in the world before. And each of his albums did that – pushing music, and me, out to regions that I had felt but never heard articulated.

    It also gives me great satisfaction that David Jones was so happy in his life. His creativity only seemed to increase astronomically as he grew older. The director of “Lazarus” was interviewed as saying that Bowie thought he had more time, and was planning a second musical. (Having a musical must have delighted him, as that was his earliest vision of his career – a writer of musicals – until he realized that no one else would stage “Ziggy.”) Visconti was interviewed, saying that Bowie had begun laying down tracks for a follow-up to “Blackstar.” The man never stopped; his genius was as strong at the end of his life as it was in the beginning.

    Bowie had tremendous courage, most of all, in addition to tremendous compassion. In that respect. he led his life, rather than letting life’s contingencies lead him. What a legacy!

    Will there be a greater complete artist and man in my lifetime? No, probably not. But Bowie’s life and passing convinces me that there is something more than this planet and its lifeforms. The midwife who first held him told his mother, “This child’s been here before.” Bowie certainly powered through life as if he had preternatural intelligence about what a life on this planet means, and how vigorously it should be lived. Can I do the same with the time I have? His example shines for me.

  265. DLR says:

    Thanks to Chris and everyone else here for providing a comforting, if sad, place to be. I think I’ve read every comment on here, and many on most of Chris’ posts.

    Rather than a lengthy comment, I’ll just leave this link to a piece I’ve written for “The Huffington Post:” https://t.co/GYsDRb3GjA

    It says much of what I want to say. I know Bowie will be remembered by many of you here as he will be by me: someone who taught me how to think creatively, connect the dots culturally, refashion the pop world and the art world into one; as an artistic language through which to understand the rest of the world and someone worthy of emulating in life (well, apart from the chilis, milk and cocaine parts).

    And thanks to this blog for bringing new life and different interpretations to so many songs, from “Untitled No. 1” to “Station to Station” and beyond.

  266. Ainslie says:

    How many British haircuts does it take to change a light bulb Jools ?

    Yes, that ‘s a high minded question.

    … and following you’re excellent example we must all cheer up and

    get on with life. Just have to find another rockstar to idolize I

    suppose, Gianna Giannini perhaps🙂 Rock On

  267. Ainslie says:

    Nannini actually, – Immensita’ & Indimenticabile – Immense & Unforgettable just like you

  268. David Kovach says:

    It feels like we creative emotive challenged-soul types have lost our center-point, our star and at the same time have found rebirth or rejuvenation in what has happened. I am not sure – but, it is consistent with many. And I feel we are pouring ourselves into creative pursuits, even after maybe being asleep or really lost, it’s like an awakening. I know he was not ready to go, and I don’t know how to synthesize those feelings down to really move on from that very strong feeling. My hope is that there are some further answers on the tracks and/or demos left from and after the Blackstar era here that will assist us all further.

    DK

  269. vonwegen100 says:

    Am a late-comer to this site, via the book Rebel Rebel, which I downloaded from Amazon as an early birthday present to myself, a week before Blackstar’s official release (still waiting for my clear vinyl to show up here via German Post, but that’s another story).

    Woke up on my 55th birthday, Jan. 11 and the first thing I saw was Mikal Gilmore’s post on F’book about Bowie’s death. Went through me like a bolt of lightning. Was so devastated that I didn’t answer my father’s “Happy Birthday” e-mail.

    Two days after that, my mother called me in Germany in the wee hours of morning to tell me my father died suddenly that afternoon.

    From now on, my own birthday will be an occasion for sadness, for the death of my biological father, and in many ways, my spiritual one as well (DB played such a role for millions of his fans, some of whom started writing & recording their own music). As for me, I would have never written my 2 part novel about German reunification if Bowie had not moved to Berlin and recorded Low & “heroes” on his own, and The Idiot & Lust for Life with Iggy.

    I actually got into Iggy first, via David’s mix of Raw Power, an album I borrowed when I was 15, and then the next months I spent going backwards to Funhouse and the s/t first LP. I was not into David back then, though I knew a fair number of Bowie’s early to mid-70s tunes via a great AM radio station in my hometown of Knoxville, TN, call letters WROL–they played everything from “Changes” and “Suffragette City” to “Fame” and “Golden Years” before being bought out and going disco, 24/7 (which sucked, big time!).

    Via Iggy, I got into punk, and that was my thing for the last 2 years of high school. Ramones, The Clash, the Pistols, Siouxsie and so on. I did hear the song, “heroes” a few times on a distant FM station in Johnson City, TN called WQUT, but that was it.

    It wasn’t until I went to university that I accidentally got what Bowie was on about. My freshman roommate started going out with this girl, and I had nobody at that time. so that put me in an awkward position. On visitation nights, I had to leave them to their makeout sessions, and head to the Undergrad library. Ironically, looking back, I got the better end of that deal.

    Turned out the Undergrad had a really fine listening lab, reel-to-reel tapes of really cool albums like Born To Run, Exile On Main Street, the Velvet Underground’s Loaded LP, plus The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust. After I finished with my calculus or German class homework, I would plunk down my university ID and get a pair of headphones at the reception, and make a request of which album I wanted. As a result, I got exposed to a lot of great music that I still love to this day.

    And Ziggy worked its magic and forced me to buy the rest of his albums, one by one, though I never did get his Deram debut. A lot of it was, “hey, I know that tune! They used to play it on WROL!”, but when I got to Low, especially side 2, that took a while to take root.

    But when it did, late at night, alone in my apartment after my first girlfriend dumped me for my best friend, the side 2 of Low fired my imagination of a city walled in on all sides by slabs of concrete, searchlights and a Death Strip of anti-tank barriers, guard dogs and machine gun nests. Side 2 of “heroes” only intensified that picture in my mind. Plus there was the fabulous machine grind of Iggy’s The Idiot and the kick in the butt exhilaration of Lust For Life to chew on for the hours before sunrise, coming down from what passed as nightlife in my youth. Some Weird Sin, indeed.

    Fourteen years on, I found myself actually living in Germany and traveling to Berlin for the first time. The Berlin Wall was by then, almost gone, save for a few chunks in Potsdammer Square that I sat on, posing for a photo that later ended up being the cover art of my 4th novel.

    David Bowie’s greatest legacy is his music, but arguably just behind that in importance is the inspiration he sowed, in places as diverse as in dreary industrial towns in England, and at university campuses in the USA and in the art scenes all across Continental Europe and even as far as Australia. Plus exposing us to such great artists as Scott Walker, Iggy, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. I could go on and one…

    His death marks the end of era, nothing less. We were damned lucky that he finally found success and was in a position to create such a magnificent, even towering, body of work.

  270. JB says:

    I don’t know where to begin. I’m struggling and I don’t know why.

    I’m an 80’s kid and grew up with his typical 80’s airplay of “China Girl” and Let’s Dance,” but wrongfully dismissed him as a singer whose songs didn’t make sense to me or I naively didn’t want to invest my time into finding out why he was popular.
    I think I had seen that “Blackstar” had just come out the day or two previously and wanted to check it out. And then I read the news and was in shock. I watched the videos for “Blackstar” and “Lazarus,” but I was still confused. What were they trying to show me? Then I repeated them and they grew on me. It progressed into uncountable album repeats followed by a complete listen of each album from very beginning to end. I’m proud to say I finished that run in 3 days, even though I may have delayed listening to “Blackstar” a little bit.

    With each passing album, I quickly started to realize why he was so amazing. So genius. Brilliant. And with each passing album, I became sadder knowing that the next would be one closer to his last.

    I now have a near 100-count playlist that I have been obsessing over. Research on song lyric interpretation has given way to the “behind the scenes” and what made the songs come about.

    I don’t even know this man and I have been crying at least a couple times a day for the last couple weeks. Maybe I’m having trouble finding closure from regret. Why did it take his death for me to start this musical exploration? I never went to one of his concerts and I’ve been realizing I have missed those opportunities. I wish it would’ve clicked sooner for me. I’m envious of those that it did.

    Am I the only one going through this even though it’s been almost a month? I feel lost all the time. I think everyone might think I’m crazy if they knew how I felt.

    Thanks to the admin for this awesome blog. I love it.

    • Gozomoto says:

      Maybe try to let go of the regret and look forward to all you have before you. Three weeks, even heads down, only scratches the surface of the treasure you’ll enjoy for years to come. If you can, try to hit the DB is exhibit (currently in Groningen, NL) before it packs up for good. Maybe the next best thing to seeig him live at this point.

    • Merav says:

      You’re not alone by any means. I’m still reeling from the news of his passing, and the sadness isn’t anywhere near from going away. It just takes on different forms as time passes.

      I think it’s awesome that you’ve just discovered our Main Man, although I feel your regret for missing out so far. But in a way you are also to be envied for the blown-mind effect he has on you when you first experience him. I had it when I was 14, you’re having it as an adult, which is a very interesting experience I should imagine. You still have so much to look forward to!

      It’s comforting for me as a fan to know it’s still possible to be hit by his music as a grown person for the first time, it means it will keep happening for generations to come.

      Bowie’s gifts will not cease to be given, and we’ll all have to learn to live with the knowledge that he is no longer on this planet, at least not in the sense we can grasp.

      His death for me has been an emotional learning experience, as besides the Bowie binge I’ve been on since he passed, it’s made me reconsider so much in my personal life.
      I try to take from him not only the genius of his art but also his infinite kindness, graciousness, humor, fearlessness and never-ending love of life.

      • JB says:

        Very well said, Merav. I’m guessing you went to at least one of his concerts. I think that’ll be one experience I’ll beat myself up for the most. I can only imagine what his performances were like. It hurts that I’m just now getting into his stuff but that he won’t be making any more. Just seems so unfair when you have all the useless celeb garbage like the Kardashians all over the place and the “higher ups” had to take Bowie. Why him? Why now?

      • First of all, I really really hope that exhibition will NOT pack up. I hope it comes back to the V&A and stays for a while. I bet they are working on it, seeing as they are fans of DB over there and the show has made them a lot of money.
        Secondly, I totally understand you. I was a kid when Let’s Dance came out and aside from thinking he was hotter than July, I didn’t really fancy the songs. Then a friend of mine made me listen to Life on Mars and Changes and I was sold. I have spent a lifetime following Mr Jones and his artistic triumphs and missteps and his voice had made me happy when the going was really rough (depression, death of family members, etc). It sounds silly to some, but he made a huge difference to my life. Not only did he give us marvellous songs, but opened so many doors into unknown worlds of knowledge and emotion. Losing him means losing that universe. There are things I would have wanted to know: what plays he was seeing, what concerts, what films he was watching. And now I will never know. So, yes, we are crying and it doesn’t matter how long you have loved him for, it doesn’t work like that.
        Think yourself lucky that you do understand how great he was, because many people,, even musicians still do not.
        Love on ya and remember: you are not alone.

      • Gozomoto says:

        100% agreed on the exhibit (and I too hope that they extend, too; I spent 8 hours in it over two days and still left wanting more … and this was before he passed!). I, sadly, also saw him only one time and it wasn’t even a full-fledged Bowie concert, but part of an extended lineup at the Bridge School Benefit in the Bay Area, CA. Still it was wonderful to see him and that appearance reignited my passion for him. Talk about regrets, JB, I “left” DB behind in about 1984 as my musical tastes were changing and I wasn’t so keen on Let’s Dance at the time. I kick myself for that unnecessary decade away!

    • Merav says:

      I did go to a concert in ’96, it eas the Outside tour. I even managed to sneak backstage and get a handshake and an autograph! I already described it here so won’t repeat myself.
      Also caught the V&A exhibit in London when it first opened. What a thrill. Reccomended indeed

      • JB says:

        A handshake?! I’m definitely jealous now! Congrats on the successful sneak. A couple of my songs on my playlist are from Outside. I have Thru These Architects Eyes, I’m Deranged, a couple others. Miss him even though I didn’t know him.😦

    • Merav says:

      Outside is a wonderful album. I loved it when it came out, truth is I haven’t really listened to it since the 90’s. Something else to look forward to as I go through his work. I also really dug Earthling, I disagree with the bad reviews it gets.
      I don’t know how I had the balls at 17 to ask him for a handshake, but I guess I felt I had to touch him somehow… what I really wanted was a hug🙂 I do regret not telling him I loved him. It’s corny but I don’t think he would have minded. He was so kind and beautiful and shiny.
      I couldn’t sleep from the adrenaline for two days after! Then I experienced a real down, surprisingly. As if I had already had the ultimate exhilaration and anything else from now on would just be dull in comparison.

      Of course you miss him. He was yours. He is yours. He is our beloved David.

    • Matthew says:

      Don’t think you’re crazy its just some people might not understand, I’m not very good with words or emotions so I explained maybe like losing a favourite uncle but that doesn’t really cover it. David Bowie was part of the way I defined myself if that makes sense. The last few weeks have been hard for all us fans. I’m glad you found him and this blog, as I said previously it’s been an immense help.

      • JB says:

        >>Not only did he give us marvellous songs, but opened so many doors into unknown worlds of knowledge and emotion. Losing him means losing that universe. There are things I would have wanted to know: what plays he was seeing, what concerts, what films he was watching. And now I will never know. So, yes, we are crying and it doesn’t matter how long you have loved him for, it doesn’t work like that.
        Think yourself lucky that you do understand how great he was, because many people,, even musicians still do not.
        Love on ya and remember: you are not alone.

        Didn’t get a chance to respond to hermione00801! Yes, I’ll miss seeing what interesting perspectives he would’ve come up with next. But I guess I can think of what he might say on my own. And I think it would also be cool to see, like you said, what plays, books, movies he was into. And thanks for the words of comfort. It’s slowly helping talking to all of you. I don’t think I’ve been crying as much.
        —————————————————————————

        Gozo: His second “tremble like a flower” in “Let’s Dance” gives me goosebumps. It’s so great! I’ve been listening to his 80’s stuff a lot more. But have also been bouncing back and forth between 70’s and 90’s. it’s nice finding some solitude in songs across decades. I’ve listened to Blackstar album but it hurts too much so I haven’t been able to listen to his more recent things. But seeing his interviews and reading lyrics, you can tell how authentic an artist he was and not just a studio fabrication which is what I love most about him. You don’t see that very often anymore. And even getting to see him on stage in some capacity would be something, so count yourself lucky.
        —————————————————————————-

        Merav: I also like his Earthling album. I remember when his “I’m Afraid of Americans” video came out and I just remember cracking up seeing Bowie running from Reznor. I don’t know why but I always laugh when I see that video still. And if you’re that close to someone who is that intelligent, you’d have to get a handshake at least in my opinion. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep either! But I can understand the down settling in after that. And I think you summed it up best: >>Of course you miss him. He was yours. He is yours. He is our beloved David.
        —————————————————————————–

        Matthew: Yes, losing him is hard to explain especially to people who might not understand. But I guess as long as I know and get it, that’s all that matters. And the same goes for the rest of us. I’m glad I found him too, just wish it would’ve been sooner.

    • Gozomoto says:

      @JB: Man, this thread is complex! Not sure why I hadn’t looked before, but I just now checked on YouTube and sure enough, someone posted a link to DB’s set at BSB, which I think was the only one he played. I only went to 4 or so of them. Anyway, if you want to see what I saw (and this was also my introduction to both Reeves Gabrels and Gail Ann Dorsey):

      • Gozomoto says:

        :::feeling shame:::
        Sorry about the link, Chris … I can never recall if you want it coded or not, and I didn’t bookmark your very clear desires. Thanks for the fix.

      • col1234 says:

        no it’s not a big deal. just on the long threads i figure it’s easier not to have direct links that’s all

      • JB says:

        Gozo, complex how? Am I posting too much? lol

        And thanks for the link, you guys! I’m totally loving this!!

      • Gozomoto says:

        No, no, you’re fine. I just got lost in the various replies. Long day. Glad you like the video. He is charming here, isn’t he? Watching it brought back a flood of memories and made me both smile and feel that hole in my heart widen just a bit.

      • JB says:

        Yes he is very charming. Now I understand why everyone that met him loved him. He’s very charismatic.

  271. Ramona says:

    Oh no, JB, you’re not alone. Far from it. As with so many here, Bowie has been a constant and steadfast companion for many of us, giving poignant and sometimes disturbing voice to his and our deepest anxieties, fears and hopes. His decades-long attempts to “understand” the whys and wherefores of our existence has mirrored my own feeble expression of these common themes. He’s commented many times in many interviews that he’s been asking the same few questions again and again since he was a young man, each time approaching from different creative angles. I believe he was still questioning and searching as Blackstar and Lazarus so movingly depict. I am so completely saddened by his untimely death. Yes, he seemed to transcend the laws of nature that we ordinary people are subject to in this life. He was my otherworldly guide into the mysteries of my own soul. I feel lost in my search without his abiding presence. His light continues to shine within this wonderful blog. I welcome you and know that the deep insights and quirky anecdotes found within this blog will afford some comfort as we mourn our beautiful Bowie.

    • JB says:

      Thanks Ramona. I’m still learning how to interpret him, but it’s been really interesting so far. And this blog has helped me immensely.

  272. I found this blog only after Bowie’s death. What can I say but that he has been one of those artists who has provided a soundtrack to my life, from the moment that I lay down and began listening to my 3-CD _Sound+Vision_ set in my teenage bedroom?

  273. Fredrik Lundén says:

    Shame on me for only discovering this great blog like Randy above after Bowie passed away (such great information here, with info about not just only the most famous songs). I really was in a state of shock that first day when the news broke, but then Bowie has been my favourite artist for so very long, ever since I developed my own taste in music. At first I was drawn to the sound of the glam rock Bowie with all the great easy on the ears songs and found it difficult to get to terms with the drastic changes of genre, for instance the Berlin period. However, as most of you probably will agree, that is one of the things that really set him apart, trying so many things and for the most part doing them great, Other artist/group that started out in late 60’s usually did not change much once they found a sound that worked. Many of them seem to have peaked in about 1973 (Rolling Stones, Elton John, Rod Stewart), but for Bowie it had just started and there was so much more to come.

    Let’s celebrate all his great work, whether it be in music, films etc. There won’t be any more (unless there are some unreleased demos or scrapped albums even…), now it’s time for us to finally catch up with him since he was so far ahead.

  274. Gozomoto says:

    Ran across this lovely tribute from Amanda Fucking Palmer and Jherek Bischoff (and others) today, so I thought I’d pass along.

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