Where Do We Go Now?

david-bowie2

It’s been two days now, and I’ve barely started to process the fact that he’s gone. As Ned Raggett said, seeing Bowie referred to in the past tense on Wikipedia seems wrong, in some way. But we will have to get used to the world seeming wrong.

I’ve stayed out of the way on the “in memoriam” post and let you talk; I’ve done enough talking on this blog over the years. It was your turn, as it was in the poll. Which, eerily, served as a commemoration of Bowie’s body of work in the weeks before he died. I wondered if he ever read the blog, but didn’t think he did. But I hope that maybe someone told him about the poll, so he could see how much you loved him.

I hope the blog’s helped; I hope using the Twitter feed as a Bowie radio station and news service has helped.

The plan was, way back when in happy early January, that I would write the last Next Day entry, “Heat,” and then take a hiatus until late spring or summer. Because it felt like Blackstar was the start of something new, and that there would be more songs, and more developments to come, and I needed time to absorb it all and try to think about the songs.

And that’s more true than ever now. I am so grateful that I didn’t write about “Sue” yet, or the Lazarus songs, because they’ve all changed radically now for me. Bowie’s entire comeback, starting with the morning that we found out about “Where Are We Now?” seems to be one whole work: the greatest piece of performance art of the 21st Century. Or the last.

So: there will be a long time before the next entry. At some point later this year, hopefully sooner than later, I’ll turn the lights back on, and we’ll start with “Heat” and go through to the end. Which is not the end. I hope that Duncan Jones or whoever runs the estate will keep authorizing releases of dozens of unheard Bowie songs annually for the rest of my days.

I saw someone saying somewhere that I was always “complaining” about Bowie releasing new material. I wasn’t. It was a joke. I was the butt of it: I was Bowie’s straight man. He will always be pushing ahead of me; I’ll never catch him.

Take care. Talk soon.

CO

233 Responses to Where Do We Go Now?

  1. Jack Womack says:

    Here for this blog or any blog of yours when you come back. We’ll talk no doubt meanwhile.

  2. I have never listened to Young Americans in its entirety, I was keeping it for after his death, to have something new to listen to. Now, I don’t think I’ll ever will. I can’t bear to.

    • MikeB says:

      I recommend going for it. Among his most joyful works. To newly discover “Right” and “Win” and “Fascination” at this moment… how lucky for you!

      • rob thomas says:

        yes- the three killer tracks on the album (plus the Disco ‘John’, which I think Chris was rather hard on…)

    • dm says:

      If you manage it, listen to the deluxe edition- Who Can I Be Now is one of the most essential things he recorded in those sessions

    • Paul O says:

      As is “It’s Gonna Be Me,” my personal favorite. I’ve been listening to every version of it I can find since Sunday…over and over…

  3. tom says:

    This is the saddest reason ever why your blog will be coming to an forced end…😦

  4. Jaf says:

    Thanks Chris, this blog has been like a beacon of light for a lot of us over the past few years. I’ve been a fan since 1972 but your writing has made me hear things in Bowie’s music that I’ve never heard before and you have alerted me to records I didn’t know existed.

    Take care pal, come back when you’re ready

  5. Nervous Ned says:

    ‘Bowie’s straight man’? … I can think of worse jobs!
    Take care Chris … and everyone else.

  6. heynongman says:

    Thank you so much, Chris.

  7. tarff26 says:

    Thanks for the update Chris, and for the ‘in memoriam’ thread. That became my kind of default online home over the past 48 hours.
    Enjoy a deserved and necessary break.

  8. David Robert Jones might be gone but David Bowie will be with us forever.

  9. PriSol says:

    Thanks for everything, Chris. Your blog has been instrumental in re-igniting my passion for Bowie over the last three years (or, rather, taking it to a new and profoundly satisfying level). So, in a way, your blog has allowed me to feel the loss and sorrow over the last few days all the more keenly. For that you deserve my deep appreciation. And thanks to everyone else – this little community here is something wonderful.

  10. Phil Obbard says:

    Thank you. Your twitter feed has been a great resource for a fan in mourning these last two days. And your plans make perfect sense — hence my tweet about people already talking about leftover/unreleased material from Blackstar — I just want time to savor what DB left us and let it sink in. This is what he wanted his final statement to be, and it’s magnificent — personally, I want to give it my attention and proper due and worry about what else he packed away (if anything — he’s given us more than enough) for the next day and the next and another day.

  11. djonn says:

    Thank you so much Chris for your time, your sacrifices, your generosity and your insight.

    I can’t remember exactly when I started following the blog but it was before Where Are We Now so the excitement of when that hit was palpable because suddenly there were so many people to share it with thanks to you.

    The same is true for the memorial page- to be able to share thoughts and express equal parts grief and joy with so many people again has been a wonder, so again thank you for that.

    I look forward to your return.

  12. Patrick says:

    Chris, obviously the terrible knowledge of the last few days will give a chilling insight into the tracks you had yet to cover and write about.
    The title of your intended follow up volume “Ashes to Ashes” now has an even more tragic resonance.
    A great pity is that some many of us didn’t discover your blog and comment til later on in the chronology. A classic and well loved song ( as evidenced by its ranking on the recent poll) like “lady Grinning Soul”, for example has a measly 12 comments.
    We all need time but when I feel ready, I’m going back to re read your entries and the richness of insight here. That will take plenty of time. Sadly, completely out of your control of course, your tribute here (and that next volume) has become a memorial.

  13. gcreptile says:

    Hey Chris,

    thanks for it all. Your analyses basically doubled the effect of every single Bowie song for me. Now there was a reason to listen to them again, with all the new context and input in mind. In a way, you doubled the number of Bowie songs I could listened to.

    As I said before, intellectually, the rest of the blog will become easier now. The context of all these new songs is now strikingly clear.
    Also, my theory that Bowie had some more songs but knew he wouldn’t finish them in time and would only water down Blackstar is getting confirmed:

    http://www.nme.com/news/david-bowie/90747

    And there’s the new SpongeBob song, which, according to the internet, also exists.

    The fact, that he’s still having output, that we still have to digest his art, feels as if he isn’t really dead yet. He’s still challenging us, and right now possibly even more than ever before. He was a magician that way.

    I cheekily thought that Bowie’s last ever recorded song would be a duet with Scott Walker. An artistic life fulfilled, so to say. The stone monument, as you described Walker from Bowie’s point of view, not only speaking back, but letting his disciple enter the inner circle. From Bowie’s point of view almost becoming part of the pantheon himself. Now Heat is definitely the last chapter of this “storyline”. I should be happy that there is now a bit of a gap until it comes up, because my opinion on it is not going to be kind.

  14. Dreamer9177 says:

    I just found your blog through a reposting and wish I had known about it sooner. Bowie was/ is an inspiration to me because of how well he lived. He became his art throughout his career, and this allowed him to maintain a dignity that so many other “stars” lack. He wasn’t perfect but none of us are. He overcame his obstacles and demons with style and grace. We should all be so fortunate.

  15. The Mekons says:

    Thank you for the remarkable job you’ve done. It has brought me and many others so much closer to his work – and in turn to him.
    I always felt his interviews and pronouncements along the way were ‘in the moment’ David Bowie. Impressionistic reflections on what he was up to, a sprinkle of PR opportunism – great copy, but a deflective strategy. Just the power to charm, if you will.
    The real clues to David Jones were in the songs and you have truffled through the work with respect and a clear head. You will need that clear head to help us decode the final chapter.
    Thankfully I was on an 11hr plane ride within 3 hours of the announcement so I avoided a lot of the media frenzy. I have felt very selfish about this death. Why are these other people so sad? What’s it got to do with them? He’s ‘mine’.
    Last night I listened to him for the first time since Sunday night – Blackstar, of course. Yes, I shed some tears, but also felt invigorated, hopeful, weirdly proud. He was just the fucking best and signed off with what will go down as one of his greatest albums (even in the fug of grief we know this will be a piece of work that will stand the test of time).
    Reading interviews with the musicians he worked with in the final year, the coded farewell emails to friends (see extracts from a recent note to Derek Boshier here http://goo.gl/FNKZnC), what comes across so vividly was that he was just a man. Not a ‘legend’ or a ‘genius’, just a very remarkable man who hoovered up life, constantly questioning, constantly learning. In these strange days, it is that which is inspiring. That was his final gift: ‘Please, don’t fuck about, there’s not a lot of time. Life is To Be Played At Maximum Volume.’

  16. Allan Scott says:

    Thanks for it all. I hope this doesn’t delay publication of the second volume. x

  17. Angus Durer says:

    Dear Chris. I can only add to the thanks here. For so many of us whom Bowie helped shape and form your words have become an eagerly awaited and unparalleled treat. Pushing Ahead of the Dame has enhanced my appreciation of his work immeasurably. Entertaining, incisive, mercurial and playful. Not unlike the man himself. RIP DB we miss you more than we thought possible. Rest up Chris. We look forward to your return. Love on ya.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for all your hard work. I stumbled on your blog awhile ago and it changed my experience of David Bowie’s songs. It also led me to new-to-me songs. I watched the Lazarus video this past weekend and listened to Blackstar in its entirety. To the very last he was making new art. Reinventing himself. We didn’t know it was the last time. I look forward to you coming back someday and sharing your insight and knowledge with us again.

  19. Galdo says:

    Maybe I already had posted this in this blog, I don’t know. The first Bowie album I’ve heard after years of indiference was ‘The Next Day’. The closer ‘Heat’ caught my atenttion, and in the lastfm, someone said it was a very ‘Outside’ track. And days after I got hear ‘Outside’ and was stunned by the album. I started searching about the album and I got here. It was on ‘Earthling’ days, I guess the newest post it was ‘The Last Thing You Should Do’. As I read the blog and started to wait for new post, my passion about Bowie only growed and growed till I could call myself a fan. I thank you sooo much, Chris. I would never be able to get understand a lot of things of Bowie work. Interesting I will have to wait for that track which made to come here.

    After his death, I realize now, he released a album which will remain influential even years and years after. Transform his death into a concept and letting us know by dying. This is the most beautiful thing and I think olny he could make this way. I don’t know if I will be able to listen to ‘Blackstar’ for a while, today I want to give a chance and for me, ‘Lazarus’ (and ‘Lazarus’ video too) was the hardest to get. These days, ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’ is on my head fulltime. His swan song is as moving as optmistic for me. This album already became one of the most important I will hear for my entire life. And I was here to see. And I thank him for that. But I don’t know when It’ll be a less painful listening.

    Sorry if it escapes from the topic of the post, somehow.

  20. Trevor Mill says:

    The next book will have a heart rending but wonderful last chapter.
    A life of creativity. Better than Croydon…

  21. V2David says:

    I certainly hope David stayed far, far away from the message boards. He created Blackstar & Lazarus as his final departing gift. He did it exactly how he wanted it to go down, and even in death he executed it artistically & flawlessly. I am sure David knew how much he was loved and that is partly why he kept everything so secret. So he could go out with the privacy he had enjoyed the last decade.

  22. Abby says:

    As so many others have said, thank you for this blog and for all the work you’ve done to deepen our appreciation of Bowie’s art. I was just a casual fan until less than a year ago. I started getting deeper into the catalog and wanting to learn more, discovered your blog, and have become a fanatic. I’ve read several of the books you cite, and I’ve also become interested in learning more about some of Bowie’s influences and those he influenced. I am discovering Iggy Pop for the first time. I am re-discovering Lou Reed. Thank you for helping to bring all of this into my life.

    With this last act of his creation, David Bowie, David Robert Jones taught all of us how to face the most difficult and painful of circumstances with dignity, generosity, and grace. I hope I can handle myself half as well when my own time comes.

    I look forward to your future posts, when you’re ready. Thank you again.

  23. Take care, Chris. Thank you so much. x

  24. Deanna says:

    There’s so much tragic beauty to the whole thing, the blog included. Not just the poignant timing of the poll, but the fact that we’re at the end of TND, at the beginning of the end. It would feel almost rude if we were only in the middle of Black Tie White Noise or something. And I imagine it would be much harder to write about the remaining albums if that was the case.

    I watched a performance of The Voyeur of Utter Destruction this morning, and it was actually very nice. Nothing felt wrong or different. But waves of sadness crash in randomly; I started sobbing when I read Tom Mulcair (a Canadian politician) refer to himself as “Major Tom” in his goodbye tweet. I looked at my Nothing Has Changed box and felt very empty.

    It will sink in, of course, but only after I keep acknowledging it. It’s comforting to know that even though he may be gone, his story is not over. We can, in time, go through Blackstar after the dust has settled and face his goodbye message.

    Imagine that, he gave us a goodbye message. I keep remembering that.

    This blog is a nice reminder that we get to go through this together, as a community. Being sad about it alone would be so much harder.

  25. There’s no denial involved in referring to David Bowie in present tense. David Bowie Is.

    (Thank you for everything, Chris.)

  26. MajorTomCat says:

    «I was Bowie’s straight man». So true Chris. But then, if ★ must be read (as it must be) as a concept album about death – «the greatest concept album of all time»* – I think it’s fair to acknowledge that not even death could push ahead of DB.
    This blog and the books are a unique, path-breacking masterpiece in popular culture criticism and I’m sure that many of us share in the hope that it will be going on forever, like the song in Lady Stardust. As I know that many of us will be happy to follow you in your future writings and project. Here’s to you. Thank you.

    * Yes, using the Twitter feed as a Bowie radio station and news service did help a lot, many many thanks also for this!

  27. princeasbo says:

    If the point of PAOTD/Rebel, Rebel was to get people *really* listening to David Bowie, you’ve succeeded in spades. I was very happy, as it seems you were, to listen to ‘Black Star’ as another strong step on the journey; we must now listen to it as the remarkable destination of that journey.

    • Ryan S says:

      Agreed. I’ve loved Bowie since I was 14 years old (circa Outside, 1995). I had been on a Bowie hiatus but finding this blog (I believe I was googling Scott Walker when I found it) caused me to reexamine and rediscover his discography. Thanks for everything, Chris and Bowie.

  28. Iain says:

    Hey Chris, You are a Prince, I have nothing but love in my heart for you. Thank you so much. Hope to be there when you switch the light back on.

  29. Chris says:

    Chris, I hope you’ll find it in you to keep writing about Bowie and sooner rather than later. You take your time, though. I’ll always be grateful for your masterly unpicking of 1. Outside – an album I just couldn’t get my head around until I read this blog, You did this fan a great service there.

    This afternoon I have been grooving on down to ‘Tis Pity… and the utterly *honking* sax work starting at 3:35, with Bowie whooping it up in the background. Marvellous.

  30. MikeB says:

    I’ll fill the time between now and ‘Heat’ with my copy of Rebel Rebel, which just arrived.

    When you do take on the Blackstar music, I know the writing will be tremendous.

  31. henry_8 says:

    Many thanks for your amazing blog Chris&also Rebel Rebel,Will wait patiently for the next book&Blackstar entries.
    I miss him already

  32. Bowietie daddy says:

    Thanks.

  33. Trish says:

    Thank you so much Chris. I never posted before the last couple of days although I have been reading this blog regularly for about 18 months since I first discovered it. I really regret that I didn’t find it when you commenced it.
    Like for others it has encouraged me to go back and listen again with new insight and appreciation. It is a truly magnificent tribute to the man’s body of work. It is worthy of his art.
    As to your hope that the blog has “helped” in the last couple of days, it has. And I thank you for that too…
    Take care of yourself.

  34. Dave L says:

    Thank you, Chris.

    THIS:

    “Bowie’s entire comeback, starting with the morning that we found out about “Where Are We Now?” seems to be one whole work: the greatest piece of performance art of the 21st Century. Or the last.”

    • pramsey342 says:

      Endless unfolding. Incredible.

      Thank you, Chris, for illuminating so much about an artist I’ve known all my life, or thought I’d known. There was and is so much more.

  35. I have to thank you for this wonderful blog. As I have said to you on Twitter, it spurred me to finally check all his records and that is how I began to take a path on a fantastic journey that is Bowie. I was aware of him and his influence, but I passingly listened to him. Once I did that completely, I discovered so many things. Really, Bowie was my gateway to many artists I adore and I must say, Mr. O’Leary, so are you.
    Where was I when heard about his death? I was at the rehearsal for the reading of my play, which, coincidentaly, shares its title with one of his albums and then I heard it. I was shocked, but the day didn’t end there. You see, I also lost a very good colleague of mine on the same day. You could imagine I spend the entire Monday running on empty, cause it was too much. I was glued to my computer, checking social media and I kep getting reminded of Bowie and my colleague. Suddenly, I went out that evening and it was raining quite heavily in Ljubljana. It was as if the sky was crying as well.
    Like everyone here I understand your decision regarding this blog. Take your time. Once you’ll return, I know you’ll do a great job.

  36. smallritual says:

    chris, thanks for everything you’ve done here. have a good break. I will be looking forward to your return.

  37. roobin101 says:

    Good luck. Thanks for the blog. Take it easy if they’ll let you.

  38. Bryan dott says:

    Awsome post the best way to deal with it. We will be here waiting patiently

  39. Like so many other posters, I really just want to use this moment to thank Chris for this great blog. I’ve been reading it for years although I’ve only rarely commented.
    Over the last couple of days I’ve been listening to as much of the Great Man’s recorded output as I can and I wonder if I’m alone in feeling that I’m hearing them at a different level now that I know his work is done. This applies especially to the less favoured works which I hadn’t listened to as much – having given them a fresh listen, I find them to be more enjoyable than they might have been even a week ago. I’d be fascinated to know if the poll that’s just been completed would still look the same in, say, six months time after we’ve all immersed ourselves in the inevitable retrospective re-evaluations. For my own part, I suspect I’ll end up having a much higher regard for the post-70s oeuvre than I have at the moment.

  40. King of Oblivion says:

    Thank you Chris! Your blog and twitter feed have really helped us get through this. Enjoy your break!

  41. ragingglory says:

    Thanks for the blog Chris, and definitely looking forward to the Heat entry, one of the most intriguing tracks on TND. Like a lot of others I have been reading and re-reading the In Memoriam thread since DB passed… I have come to realise that he fulfilled a kind of big brother role for me, when I was young all my friends had older siblings so my friends always knew more about music and books than I did from the influence of their older brothers and sisters. Bowie sort of did that for me, just through his music he showed me the work of other musicians like Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, soul music, etc, and I first heard of guys like Nietzche and Dostoevsky through him. All the best with the blog and a well deserved break.

  42. Chris, many thanks for all you’ve done for us. Whether it is your excellent writing on here, on twitter, or just plain keeping this community together, I am eternally grateful. Enjoy your break and time off.

  43. Brian says:

    Thank you for your work on this blog.

  44. Billy says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s got something squirreled away to be released on his 70th birthday, sneaking it out when no one expects it. Subverting everyone’s expectations and adding another layer of mystery and intrigue. At least it would be nice to think so.

    Past few days have been intense, I rinsed Blackstar at the weekend but haven’t felt able to listen to anything other than the odd clip on TV or the radio since hearing the news when I woke on Monday. Weirdly the amount of love and respect being shown has been quite uplifting and if anything deepens my affection for him and his work. So much I knew already thanks to the blog, but the personal anecdotes of kindness given or even off the wall stuff such as he inadvertently invented the sleng-teng rhythm has been a great comfort.

    I look forward to the blogs return and a time when we can listen to him again without the current feeling of grief overwhelming us.

    • SoooTrypticon says:

      I agree. The “finality” of Blackstar may be only a step down the path. Approach with caution, and watch the skies.

      Chris, thank you for all your insight and hard work. It may be the end of a meeting- but the conversation can only move forward.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the great blog Chris, it was the second thing I thought of after hearing the news, so I read the Ashes to Ashes entry again. I keep having an image of Bowie and John Lennon in heaven swapping stories and Bowies story ends with ‘and my last single was called ‘Lazarus’!’, sad and funny at the same time, very bowie..
    Looking forward to more entries, thanks so much

  46. Iain Tweedy says:

    Thank you Chris for this blog. I’ve read through each post and have come away with great perspectives on songs that I hadn’t heard before. I’ve never commented before, but reading the open thread and then seeing this has compelled me to toss in my two cents. Thank you thank you and thank you again for this space, and thank goodness for David Bowie for making this necessary…

  47. audiophd says:

    I feel like this blog has become more important to me than ever, these past few weeks. Starting with the song polls, then the album poll, then the Blackstar release, and finally when the newsguys finally wept and told us what we’d always feared to hear. Though I don’t post often, or post very long comments when I do, just coming here makes me feel like I belong to a community that shares my most celebrated passion. I wasn’t always a Bowie fan, but his music helped me through my awkward teenage years and has since been with me my entire adult life. When the news of his passing broke, I found no solace in “the real world”, as no one I came into contact that day (aside from some Facebook friends who knew my love of Bowie) seemed to even know any better. How dare they not know that the universe had been forever changed overnight! My wife even got the dreaded “Who’s David Bowie?” when she was explaining the event to some of her undergraduate trainees (she promptly sent them home with the assignment of answering that very question; she’s a neuroscience researcher, BTW). But the ability to come here and read my exact thoughts, as written far more eloquently by others who felt the same way as I did, has made this whole process much more bearable. So thank you Chris and to my fellow PAOTD brethren. And to DB…everyone says ‘Hi’.

  48. RLM says:

    Chris, thank you so much. The blog has brought a great deal of joy to my life. Your insight, diligence and love for the music has created a whole new level of appreciation for Bowie’s oeuvre, unlocking new ways to hear and enjoy. It is a wonderful achievement and gift, and for my part I feel very sure that Bowie himself was a reader, and a fan. Of course he would have appreciated such a wonderful alchemical project, one that shines light on his music while, wonderfully, leaving its mystery and magic intact.

    Thank you too for your memorial thread and the Twitter feed. Although I haven’t posted in the former I have avidly followed both, and found it very helpful and grounding at such an overwhelming time. It is nice to see the internet seemingly in total agreement for the first time in history.

    I have realised that every time I listened to a Bowie song, I always took a small delight in thinking of the man still being out there, cooking up something new, or perhaps just catching up on his reading and watching TV – but it was always a comforting and inspiring thought that this most wonderful self-created entity was out there living the life of his choosing.

    I won’t be listening to Blackstar again for a while. Couldn’t listen to any music the night the news broke in Australia. The next morning I woke too early after a lousy sleep, and drove out to the beach to have a swim and watch the sun rise. On the way I put on Fantastic Voyage and had another cry, then Low from A New Career… through to Subterraneans. The music does sound different but it is still wonderful of course, and in the spirit of the man and this blog I look forward to seeing how our feelings and readings and favourites change and develop now that the body of work is complete.

  49. Bruised Passivity says:

    The words “thank you” don’t feel big enough or strong enough to express my gratitude to you Chris. This blog has been a shinning becon of light in my life over the years and has been the source of immeasurable comfort the last few days.

    Please take all the time you need, as a break was already well deserved before now. Breath, live life and when you returned know you return to a place of love.

    Take care.

  50. BenJ says:

    I love coming to this site and don’t think I could stop if I tried. Whenever you’re ready to start again, I’ll be here. Peace.

  51. Ramzi says:

    Adding to the thanks given by everyone else. Your twitter feed was very comforting during what was a quite difficult day. Also, your writing on here. I visited the post on Everyone Says Hi. Songs that I discovered the full magic of from here, Win and Untitled No. 1, were among those that brought me close to tears. Thanks for the words, Chris.

  52. Thanks for your good work. I totally agree with you about what you wriote about the last part of Bowie’s project being the greatest piece of performance art in the 21. century. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that instead of exposing his disease and private life in the usual “celebrity” way, he used it to create such sublime art. I was in awe after watching the video for Lazarus before Bowie died. The thougth that it might be about himself and that he might be seriously ill struck me, but it was too unbelievable and too hard ot comprehend. Knowing now that he planned everything is both heartbreaking and strangely consoling. I just don’t understand how he found the strength and courage to carry it through.

    I have been thinking the last few days that it is sort of strange walking around feeling such profound sorrow for a man I never met or knew. But it feels like I have lost a brother or very close friend. I have never before and will never again feel the same for an artist.

  53. ellethekitty says:

    This blog has been a great source of information regarding some of the more cryptic Bowie references that I was unable to sort out for myself. I’ll never forget how hard I laughed when I read the line about the marionette the in Be My WIfe video. Hope you will come back to sort out the more relevant interpretations on Blackstar. I think he has staged his death as a piece of performance art in a remarkable way, and I am dying to sort out all of the layers of meaning.

  54. Merav says:

    I’m feeling so much love for everyone here, Chris, thank you so so much for this blog, for your love for our David. Thank you for thinking of us and allowing us this space to properly mourn.
    I echo every single one of the comments on this and the in memoriam thread.

    In Jewish tradition, when a loved one passes, the family sits “Shiva”, which means “Seven”; for seven days they all stay in one house (usually the loved one’s), and just mourn together. People come to the Shiva to visit, to comfort, to talk, to share memories. During this time, the grieving family doesn’t have to deal with the fact that the world is spinning on.
    I am not religious whatsoever but this is one tradition which makes a lot of sense, and really helps the people in mourning to make it through. After seven days they “rise” from sitting Shiva and try to begin to move on.

    But as this is not a family member or close friend, we – who are truly in mourning – have no space in the real world to share our grief. We have to go to work, deal with everyday life as if nothing big happened, but it has. So this place is where we sit our virtual “Shiva”, mourn our loved one together.
    Also, seven songs on Blackstar.
    “I’ve got seven days to live my life, and seven ways to die…”

  55. danmac says:

    Chris – can only echo everyone else’s sentiments here. You’ve done a great job and this place has been a real respite in the last few days. Thank you and take care

  56. steven says:

    i slipped a copy of the book, rebel rebel, into my bag a couple days ago and have been carrying it about with me.

  57. chris, i have been reading your blog for many years and wanted to take this moment, devastatingly sad though it is, to say thanks for writing it. take care and rest up for you do have great work to complete here.

  58. billter says:

    I hope it’s sooner rather than later; I’ve been looking forward to that entry on “Heat” for while now. But I certainly understand your desire to step back and get some perspective on things at this juncture. And I’ve been holding “Rebel Rebel” in reserve for just such an occasion as this. And, hell, it’s probably time for me to start writing my own stuff instead of letting you do all the work. Take care and see you down the road.

  59. cansorian says:

    Since Monday, other than coming to this site and reading all the heartfelt comments, I’ve had to impose a bit of an Internet blackout to keep from feeling so sad. Coming here has definitely been helpful. I wish I could add more than the single word comment I left on Monday morning, but I’m just not eloquent enough to express how I feel.

    I’ve also had to stop listening to music, not just Bowie’s, but also any music. In these last two days of self imposed silence the thing I’ve come to realize is that I don’t have to listen to Bowie’s music in order to hear it. I’ve been listening to it for the last 44 years, It’s in me, it’s now part of who I am, and bits and pieces of songs just keep floating to the surface.

    This morning while waiting for my bagel to pop up I started singing Your Turn to Drive to the toaster, as one does. Although I know I’ve read it before, I couldn’t quite remember what you had to say about that song, Chris, so, of course, I went back to read the original post. For some reason the excerpt from the Peanuts strip that’s at the top of that particular post made me think of you. Maybe it’s because Marcie is trying to coax Peppermint Patti out of the sad lonely rain and I think of writing as such a lonely profession. And then I started to think about how bad you must feel with Bowie’s passing. I’ve lived with his music for over four decades, but there have been days and weeks, possibly even months, when I went without hearing one of his songs, but you’ve been immersed in his life and music probably every day for five or six years. You must feel especially close to Bowie, I can only think that these last few days have been incredibly difficult for you. I honestly feel that I need to offer you my condolences.

    So, although you’ll be missed, I’m glad you’re getting out the sad lonely rain for a bit and going home. We’ll be here whenever you decide to come out into the sunshine.

    And, to answer Peppermint Patti’s question of, “We had fun, didn’t we, Marcie?” for her: Yes, thanks to you Chris, we did.

    • King of Oblivion says:

      I weirdly haven’t been able to listen to any music either. I’m sure I’ll be back to normal in a few days, hope anyway.

      • Matthew says:

        I know what you mean. Unless I’m concentrating hard on something snippets of songs swirl around my head all day.

  60. s.t. says:

    He definitely read your blog, Chris. There’s no way he didn’t.
    But regardless of that, the work you’ve done here all these years is immense. Bowie cemented his own legacy, but you’ve made it so much easier for everyone to actually reflect and appreciate. Even the fucking Laughing Gnome! Mr. Bowie’s genuflecting from above for that one.
    We’ll be looking forward to all of the entries to come.

    Cheers, once again.

  61. fantailfan says:

    Three Bowie non-picture books (yours, Peggs’s, and the awful one) are out of stock on Amazon US.

    • col1234 says:

      yeah, everything DB related is wiped out. It’s being restocked, and the price is being reduced: please, do NOT buy it from some speculator who’s asking some ridiculous price for it. I wish I still had copies: I’d sell them myself.

  62. Huge Bowie fan. Like all of us, he was the background music of my life, for decades.

    Now I have to ask: He released Blackstar on Friday. He died on Sunday (“Where the fuck did Monday go?”) Did he die by euthanasia on Sunday? Not a natural death, but a pre-ordained death? To give more impact to his final statement?

    • col1234 says:

      i don’t think so. read the new Visconti interview. He had a 15-yr old kid, he wanted to make another record. He wanted to live.

      • I’m not aware of a new Visconti interview, so can’t comment on that. I’m sure he did want to live, but Blackstar sounded like he knew he was dying. It just seems to me like the timing is awfully on point. Absolutely no disrespect meant. I loved the guy. But I do feel like he decided to die that Sunday. I also wonder if there’s a video for I Can’t Give it All Away that’s going to be released in a week or so. Again, absolute respect for you Chris, and for Bowie. But I think Bowie decided to die on Sunday, and his family agreed.

      • billter says:

        It’s not unusual for people who know they’re dying to find the strength to hold on until some particular date, or until some particular goal is achieved. Bowie wanted to make it to his birthday, wanted to see the record released, and he did. After that he was ready–would be my interpretation. All guesswork of course.

      • To Billter: What you say makes sense. But I think if you manage to hold on until a certain event, you still don’t have the power to calibrate the exact day you’ll die. I do think Bowie agreed to be euthenized on Sunday, a rock and roll suicide, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Blackstar was clearly a performance art, and his death on the Sunday following its release (“What the fuck happened to Monday?”) could only be reliably achieved by eutheneshia.

      • col1234 says:

        no it’s quite possible: maybe he was in agonizing pain? i’m not judging him in the slightest: i’d do the same.

      • Absolutely agree with you, Chris. I cried telling my wife he was dead. But I do think he decided to end his life that Sunday, family gathered around. And I absolutely respect him for that No judgement at all. But I do think the timing of his death was decided by Bowie. As it should be. He committed suicide, and as you say, who can blame him with the pain he must have been experiencing.

      • Dave L says:

        Per the Internet, euthanasia is illegal in New York, though I suppose he could have taken life-ending drugs himself.

        It is uncanny how it was timed. Here’s what Visconti said recently, from BBC news:

        “Although the record features lyrics such as “Look up here, I’m in heaven,” its producer Tony Visconti said the star had written and demo-ed five new songs in recent weeks. Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, Visconti said Bowie had called him about a week before his death and “at that late stage, he was planning the follow-up to Blackstar”.
        “I was thrilled,” said the producer, who worked on key Bowie albums including The Man Who Sold the World, Low and 2013’s surprise comeback The Next Day.
        “I thought, and he thought, that he’d have a few months, at least. So the end must’ve been very rapid. I’m not privy to it. I don’t know exactly, but he must’ve taken ill very quickly after that phone call.”

      • To Dave L: I did find the interview and read it. As you say, Visconti states they recently recorded 5 songs for a future album. But prior to that, I thought I read somewhere that there were 5 outtakes from Blackstar that might be included on an extended CD of the album. So are these the same 5 songs Visconti brought up, or another 5 songs? If euthanasia is in fact illegal in New York, and euthanasia was in fact used here (I have no idea if that’s the case or not), then Visconti’s statements that Bowie was planning another album would certainly help support the family’s argument that Bowie’s death was by natural causes (whether that was true or not.)

        I’m beginning to feel I showed poor timing in bringing this speculation up so soon after Bowie’s death. We’re all mourning the death of one of the greatest public figures of the last half century, and perhaps it’s not appropriate of me to speculate publicly about the circumstances of his death. It may just be that I think so highly of him that I wanted him to decide when he would die, rather than cancer deciding.

      • col1234 says:

        yes: confirmed that
        a) 5 (+?) leftovers from Blackstar (inc. the 3 other Lazarus songs)
        b) 5 “last” demos.

      • Thanks, Chris! So we have even more music awaiting us in the future.

      • Ryan S says:

        Perhaps they will see the light of day soon, although it would be a shame to see half-finished songs released as his final legacy, but then again some of his best tracks were demos or outtakes such as “Candidate.” Perhaps Duncan will approve some form of outtakes/”oddities” collection in the near future.

      • Vinnie says:

        I’m on the fence. Read the new Visconti interview this morning. The idea of Bowie wanting another album is great. The idea of 5 more demos is great. What state they’re in? Who knows. That Bowie and Eno wanted to make another album (.2.Contamination ?!) is telling.

        I will only listen to any of this is there’s full support from Bowie (whether in letter/will form)/Visconti/Bowie’s family. The idea of Bowie getting the ‘treatment’ like Kurt Cobain (Montage of Heck) makes me want to throw up a little.

        I like the few bonus tracks we got on the Ryko disk reissues; maybe Blackstar: Extra will have some other songs. Otherwise, no thanks.

    • Iain Tweedy says:

      It’s the exact thought I had when Bobby Womack died.

    • Galdo says:

      It’s so eerie to think about the ‘Sunday’ song and the fact that ‘Monday’ was four days after the release of ‘Lazarus’ video.

      • Steve M. says:

        Going off on a tangent here but Bowie did a lot of referencing of the day of the week in his work. There’s at least another Monday song, there’s Love You Til Tuesday, Thursday’s Child, Friday On My Mind, Drive In Saturday, Sunday – I’m drawing a blank with Wednesday but I bet you there’s something!

      • s.t. says:

        Wednesday features prominently in the word salad of “Leon Takes Us Outside:”

        Valentines Day, 25, June, 16th, Wednesday, July 6th, 20, 0, 20, 15, Martin Luther King Day, June 18th, June 6th, Wednesday,
        August 18th, 9th, 1999, 12, Nicholas, August, Wednesday, 13th, Sunday, 5th, March, October, January, October 13th,
        Wednesday, Martin Luther King Day, afternoon, in view of nothing, 20, 0, 1, late winter, Martin Luther King Day, 12, 16, August, Wednesday, 13th, Friday, 7, June.

      • Sparkeyes says:

        How about,
        Where the fuck did Monday go?
        Love you ‘Til Tuesday
        The Next day
        Thursday’s Child
        Friday On My Mind
        Drive-In Saturday
        Sunday.
        That works😉

      • Sky-Possessing Spider says:

        In the live version of The Jean Genie at the Nassau Coliseum (on the 2 disc bonus set of Station to Station) he rushes out the line:
        “Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday” mid song. In cockney of course….

    • tarff26 says:

      Given the most recent Visconti interview – where he states that he facetimed with Bowie in the week before his death and they discussed the next album and future plans – I can’t see the euthanasia theory being true. He had plans, a family: if his health deteriorated so quickly after the conversation with Visconti then I think ending his life prematurely to fulfil some artistic statement would be the last thing on his mind.

    • fantailfan says:

      This is disgusting. Keep your speculations to yourself.

      • col1234 says:

        given that this topic is entirely speculative, disturbing to some people & is disrespectful to the Bowie family, I think it needs to be curtailed.

      • Vinnie says:

        Let’s cut this out. Go start a mad-Bowie conspiracy theory Tumblr. Keep it classy, World.

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

        As I said further up this section, I understand my public speculation might have been done too soon after Bowie’s death for many of you. Chris, my apologies. I was discussing the odd coincidences of “Where the fuck did Monday go”, the timing of the death, etc. I won’t post any further.

  63. I’ve been messing with literary criticism for years (the old one – XIX cent.), but only while reading your blog I’ve understood why it is necessary, quite acutely so.
    And it would be much more difficult to survive these days without this place.

  64. dm says:

    Thank you so much for this blog, Chris. Is it at all sad that two of the highlights of the last year or so have been: being the first one on this blog to point out that Time riffed on All the Young Dudes (something my ex realised), and winning a copy of Rebel Rebel for renaming Diamond Dogs (Homage to Catatonia- part of me suspects that as the competition wasn’t well publicised I may have been the only entrant, alas)?

    I first heard of your blog when you did a guest post on Phil Sandifer’s Tardis Eruditorum. Bowie and Doctor Who are inseparable as my native mythology- the Ashes to Ashes video has always been a compilationg of excerpts from a lost story, as far as I’m concerned. For whatever reason, I didn’t follow up and start reading until much later.

    I moved to london at the beginning of 2013 and, in a jobless haze started reading this. It’s been so wonderful feeling engaged with a fan community whose obsession was uniquely unlike that of Mojo-reading dadrockers (I’ve read Mojo plenty, I just can’t get on board with their breathless eulogising of Classic Rock). The effect the blog has had on my listening, as I suspect it has for many others, is to bring certain songs and albums to life in ways that we hadn’t managed before. It’s a lonely experience trying to decode 1.Outside or Buddha of Suburbia, albums which I felt I had an affinity for but didn’t feel equipped to actually understand before.

    Analysis and endless discussion are not necessary for the enjoyment of pop music. In fact, it can so often ruin it. Not here, however. You’ve shone a light on a lot of great details, building on the work of Bowie scholars before you, and brought together a wonderful little community of weirdos. You’ve also bravely shared yourself with us- the Sound and Vision entry is so illuminating and brilliant, and can’t have been easy to publish.

    PS Thank you, also, of course, to Momus. I first heard your music on a Creation records compilation and had no idea what it was doing there butting heads with Apple Boutique. But it started an obsession. Bishonen and The Homosexual mean a great deal to me.

  65. Gary Hunt says:

    After 3 days of knowing he is gone, reflecting and struggling, all the tributes only serving to remind me of his greatness and of what we have lost, and what he has given me in my life to be grateful for, I have one abiding feeling – how can I say “Thank you”?

  66. lofric says:

    I can completely understand how you feel but this must surely not be the end. For a start I think it has become clear that Bowie in his final days did not want there to be an end. I’m sure there will be more music. Visconti WA quoted as saying he was planning for a further album just before his death.

    Of course we must grieve, take stock, appraise and absorb but there must come a light and blogs like this have been so much a part of the past they have a significant role to play in future.

    I can’t tell you what you should do ngor do I myself know what to do after my hero has died after spending 50 years in my life.

    All I know is we gave his music and life still to celebrate and I hope you and your blog will still be around to do that.

  67. lofric says:

    The idea expounded above of suicide appears on the face of it to be crazy – Blackstar was finished in November, he seems according to Visconti to have been wanting to record more and he was apparently on experimental drugs – yes it is all hearsay but why end it with that backdrop? I don’t see it

  68. SuNray says:

    I’ve been reading you since just about the beginning (and must thank you for introducing me to that amazing Cayetano Veloso (?) song) and listening to Bowie forever. I’ve only posted a couple of comments along the way, but wanted to thank you for and congratulate you on the magnificent job you’ve done.
    A friend, Bing Selfish, another artist and Renaissance man said: ‘We all die … but to die and leave something beautiful behind, that’s living.’
    I listened to * for the first time on Sunday afternoon then worked until early morning then slept, waking at 11 Monday (where the FUCK did that go?) to the news.
    I got through Monday thanks to:
    1 working till midnight;
    2 having a 20 track favourites session with my 19 year old (Fame is the one that does it for him);
    3 Listening to * again and again, which I’ve been doing ever since. It’s a wonderful work and one that I believe will still be being studied when all of us who follow your blog are somewhere with the man himself, a man who has moved, thrilled, turned on, intrigued, influenced, taught and entertained us for so long.
    So thank you, Chris, and it’s freaking me out that I got that same hat for Christmas. Doesn’t he look fucking AMAZING!?!?!?!

    SuNray

    • Dave L says:

      I agree – I think Blackstar is a monumental work, it keeps growing in significance every time I think of it. The only thing I can compare it to is Mozart composing the Requiem as he was dying … (if that was indeed the case)

  69. Paul O says:

    Thanks again and again, Chris. I found this blog after a search for more information about “It’s Gonna Be Me,” which more or less coincided with experiencing a renewed passion for Bowie’a music, seeing the “David Bowie Is…” exhibition in Berlin and all that has happened since then. Perfect timing.

  70. particledots says:

    Thank you Chris
    All you have done here is greatly appreciated

  71. James LaBove says:

    I can’t remember what exactly led me to Pushing Ahead of the Dame. I wish I could remember the first entry that I read; it wasn’t Liza Jane. But I was instantly hooked. I’ve gradually read the blog from start to finish three times since then, and I’m in the process of doing so for a fourth time now. Not a moment was wasted.

    This blog is the single greatest online resource that a Bowie fan could ask for, full-stop. It makes me hope for the existence of counterparts to Chris in every fandom. I’m relishing the thought of someday introducing a newly-converted Bowie fan to this blog, almost as much as I am showing them the deep cuts. Pushing Ahead of the Dame means that much to me, and it’s that intricately tied up in my appreciation of Bowie. I can’t separate the two.

    And everyone who has contributed their thoughts and responses to the blog’s comment section is a huge part of the draw as well. It’s been wonderful to get your thoughts and reactions, both to the songs and to Chris’s take on them. I have a few friends who are Bowie fans, and a good number more who are casual appreciators, but I still have to bite my tongue to keep from looking like a massive dork over Bowie (as previously mentioned, this was really hard when Blackstar came out, and I’m sure I bored some people to tears over it). Even though I’ve only contributed a handful of comments here, it stills feels like it’s been an extended conversation with a group of kind, thoughtful people whose lives have been touched by Bowie to the extent that mine has. Thank you all as well, sincerely. It’s been a privilege to share your memories and experiences surrounding these songs that mean so much to me. It broke my heart to hear about people mourning Bowie’s death without having someone to really share in the loss the same way they did. I know this is goofy (and I’m days late), but if anyone reading this still feels that way I’d consider it a pleasure to geek out over him with you personally. I mean it. http://www.facebook.com/james.labove

    I’m still not over his passing. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it completely. It destroyed me. Even today, just before I visited this blog, I wept a little after watching the VH1 Storytellers performance of Thursday’s Child. Certainly, I don’t expect another musician to ever take his place as my absolute favorite. And I’m alright with that, but also… not alright. It’s a big world out there, but it feels a lot smaller and less interesting this week. I’ve tried listening to some random new bands and some of my lesser-played mainstays (to keep from listening to Bowie and feeling down), and it just all sounded bland to me this week. I don’t know. There’s so much more I could say, but you know how it goes because you’ve just lived it too. I miss him so much. At least we have so many great songs to remember him with. They will always be the soundtrack to my life.

    Chris: Thank you, again, for everything you’ve done. For giving voice to feelings about Bowie’s work that I couldn’t articulate myself. For giving the songs context that I wouldn’t have even known that I wanted/needed. Introducing me to songs I’d never heard, making me reconsider songs I disliked. Learning so much about my musical hero. Just like diving into Bowie’s back catalog for the first time, it’s been a hell of a ride. Come back to the blog when you’re ready, on your own terms, or if circumstances change, don’t come back at all- with no regrets. But I and a whole lot of other people would be more than happy to dive back in with you in the indeterminate future.

    (And Chris: I’m thread-hopping now, but thank you too for the kind words about my boyfriend following my gushing over Blackstar. He is indeed a mensch. I don’t know what I would have done without him on Monday. Or, indeed, any day since I met him. Thank god for him. And for family and friends. For Bowie; for you, for all his fans. For music, art, beauty, everything– the whole enchilada.)

  72. NiggyTardust says:

    50 years ago today: the first single release under David Bowie name: https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/cant-help-thinking-about-me/

  73. Remco says:

    Chris, I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful writing. Your insights have made me look and listen to Bowie in completely different ways. This blog has been one of my favourite things on the internet these past few years and it’s been a comfort in these last few days. All the best to you and everybody else here.

  74. Elijah says:

    Great blog Chris. The polls show that the Bowie Fans “here” truly understood a little of him. He was a mystery to himself I suspect. “StationToStation” is the European equivalent of “Papa was a rolling stone”. I was pleased to see this song so high in the poll. His legacy will live on because the general public only knows him for the hits. When they mine deeper they will discover the gems: Sweet Thing, Always crashing…, We are the dead, Panic in Detroit, Who can I be, Scream like a Baby etc. The greatest songwriter of the past 50 years. A special artist

  75. rob thomas says:

    I rarely have a conversation about music that doesn’t refer to this wonderful wonderful blog. Thanks once more, Chris.

  76. Take all the time you need, Chris. You deserve it. When you decide to come back, we’ll be here, eager to read on.

    I discovered this blog about two years ago. Though he was already my favorite artist, your deep and critical insight, along with your exhaustive research, have helped expand my understanding and admiration of his work tenfold. It has also showed me how vital and important to our contemporary culture can online analysis and criticism get to be.

  77. col1234 says:

    thanks everyone. I did some interviews in the past couple days, which helped me process some thoughts. Last night, as part of a wake for Bowie on WFMU:

    http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/64588

    & earlier with Phil Sandifer, which, as you’d expect if you know Phil, rambles all over the place and goes into Doctor Who episode parallels with Bowie.

    http://www.eruditorumpress.com/blog/eruditorum-presscast-chris-olearydavid-bowie-memorial/

  78. Jason Das says:

    Take your time, Chris. Thanks for making this wonderful thing. Even without new posts, I’ll be reading—online for newer stuff, in the book for older stuff. Even though I’ve read it all before I sure can’t remember it all, and your Bowiesongs writings keep on giving.

  79. billter says:

    It just now occurred to me — the timeline says Bowie knew his diagnosis when assembling “Nothing Has Changed.” Casts that project in a new light.

  80. billter says:

    I always hoped Bowie would find the time to actually write an autobiography one day, but I think he was too restless an artist for that. The field is open now for a “definitive” Bowie biography — you want the job?

  81. ConradZ says:

    An autobiography? Who knows? He might have already written it.

    Whenever you’re back, I shall be reading.

  82. Merav says:

    Is anyone else hearing “By the time I got to New York, twinkle twinkle Uncle Floyd” in their head..?

  83. Don’t ever close this blog. it’s an unique piece. best blog of all time.

  84. Every essential thing that a person should know about David Bowie is here. All the questions I asked myself about his music, it’s here. Thanks

    • waki says:

      Yes this blog is fantastic. Having heard about Bowie’s use of social media i cannot imagine he never read it. And possibly even commented here and there.

      I am nobody to tell but would argue that Tony Visconti was not an intimate friend of David Bowie. Or maybe i should correct ‘of David Jones’. He is a great and gifted musician, a wonderful sound ingineer and producer, and creative and smart and everything that made him a favorite colleague and at times co-creator of Bowie’s music. But when it comes to private motives and inner life of David I am not sure we can rely on his words. At all. I could even imagine Bowie using him to spread rumors… Tony appears quite naive to me compared to the sophistication and complexity and dark sides of the Black Star…

      Back to your post. Bowie in the 1990s stated that he was miserable in the 1970s including in Berlin. Obviously Berlin was a time when his cocaine addiction continued, now combined with growing alcoholism. Being in love with a fabulous creative transgender (Romy Haag) and having to conceal it (to have a clean divorce and other reasons like a career in the USA…) did not make things easier. He was in Berlin to be with her not because Berlin was drug free or fun. Berlin was not fun.
      It seems that behind the coverup Bowie’s Berlin period was no fun and no detox but obviously these were indeed very intense years with great inner and outer explorations… Producing great albums.
      And my favorite album might well be LOW… from Berlin. Which has a title that may mean something…

      Where Are We Now is a song dedicated to someone in Berlin if you check. Who is that? Why is the song so sad?

      I think Coco may know a lot more than anyone else and that may be the reason why she does not talk at all. Great. She was an intimate friend. The gift of a million dollar in the will is an aknowledgement of their special personal connection and possibly of the value of silence.
      I would respect it and could observe it but sometimes knowing what David was going through personnaly in his flesh and heart helps me appreciate his songs even more. They are more human and therefore closer to me, challenging and moving me even more. Think of Heroes in this light…
      What Visconti reports is very helpful to understand the technicalities …. more than the soul, it seems.
      I hope this is not offending to anyone.
      David had certainly excellent reasons to keep his inner life private. The gift of his music is far generous enough. What else do I want?
      The gift of this blog is also wonderful. I am sure he loved it and was impressed.
      He once said others are better than himself to analyse his songs. That is a pretty convenient statement. But his genious was in part to open wide doors that could have blocked our ways and that probably meant he left us free to imagine and err. So here we are trying to receive the magical keys.
      Unending unfolding.
      His natal astrology chart suggests among other traits a core of relentlessness in the hidden or innermost realm — mysteries, concealment and trials — that shines in the world through creativity, beauty and art.
      Well to me, this makes sense.

      • waki says:

        Oops this comment was not meant to be posted here at all. But on another page of your blog about Where Are We Now.

  85. roobin101 says:

    Ok, everything he has done this last eighteen months has been very deliberate. It might be nothing but I noticed when rewatching the clip to Lazarus Mr B was writing with his left hand.

  86. Matthew says:

    After 4 days I’ve managed to find some sort of acceptance, and can begin to look to the future again. I know I’ll be able to listen to his music again bit by bit (so far only Low has suited my mood). Thanks to you Chris and all of you posters for a lifeline. I hope you’re getting there too.

    Chris, I don’t know what your long term plan for the blog is once you have finally finished all the songs, but I feel that apart from the amazing resouce of your writing this blog is now some sort of record of the last few days and I’d like to think we could come back and re-read posts in 10, 20 or more years. So no matter how old we get we wont forget, and we could point others, maybe too young now, here to learn and understand.

    Finally a crazy thought that’s kept me going (you may call me delusional!) It seems Bowie managed the last year very very carefully and I feel it would just like him to have done something to be released posthumously, so I’m waiting for that one last revelation.

    Take your time,

    Perhaps you’re smiling now
    Smiling through this darkness

  87. I came here just to see if I could find some like-minded souls dealing with this tragedy. Found this site last summer and glad I found it again. Really amazing site and I plan to contribute. For now, it’s just “Sons of the Silent Age” over and over. Seems to help.

  88. MC says:

    You know, my first thought looking at this photo of Dave was how much it reminds me of Leonard Cohen. Indeed, I was sure that DB would go on making wry, ruminative albums into his 80’s, as Leonard has done, and that you would continue to write amazingly about them. What a sad year 2016 has been so far.

    Yet, it is consoling to know that PAOTD will be back and running in the not too distant future. Chris, I completely understand the need to let the dust settle a bit. And yes, let the unreleased music keep on coming as well (though I’m not all that comfortable right now at the prospect of hearing the last 5 demos – I’m thinking sketches for Black Hole Kids and the like.)

    All my best, Chris. Cheers! And to everyone on the commentariat: drink, drink, raise your glass, raise your glass high!

  89. s.t. says:

    Is anyone going to the Bowie Singalong in Union Square Park tomorrow? I’m thinking about it.

  90. Stolen Guitar says:

    You, perhaps more than most of us, including old gits like myself who’ve been Bowie fans since ’72s Lift Off With Ayshea, must be numb with shock at this moment. You’ve been completely immersed in the world of David Bowie for the last 5? 6? 7? years and have obviously invested a great deal of your life into this project. I wish you luck in the immediate future and I’m sure, as others here have attested, that I’ll be here when you do eventually return to unfinished business.

    On a parting note; I hope Bowie did follow the blog, or at least dip in every now and then, because the poll would surely have gladdened his heart. If, however, he never read it, well, I don’t think that matters too much.The real point here is that your work was worthy of the man and, now more than ever, serves as a great tribute to him.

    If, as I stated in the ‘in memoriam’ thread, we shan’t see his like again, then I think it’s also unlikely we’ll ever have a project like yours again. It’s a terrific achievement, Chris, and will surely be considered amongst the greatest of this type of work. Well done and come back soon.

    PS Thanks, too, to all the commentators and followers of the blog. You’ve done sterling work here and are responsible in great part for its stunning success. Looking forward to your comments nearly as much as Chris’ return…!

  91. robodoll says:

    I was brought here from your interview with Evan Funk Davies, on WFMU. Glad I did. I’ve been listening to Bowie ever since I bought a copy of The Man Who Sold the World, due to an interview of the album in the LA Free Press in 1970, and followed him ever since. Of course, I saw the two nights of Ziggy at the Santa Monica Civic in October 1972, and those shows were life changing for me. Never to be forgotten in my mind. Bless him.

  92. Thank you and take care of yourself!

  93. Best Website Ever. Still.
    Hang in there Chris.

  94. Heisenboggs says:

    We go where we go.

    Bowie may have left us, but his work and his words and his legacy remain.

    I only found this blog after he died and am sad that I missed the excitement here when he was alive. You have done amazing work. Keep doing it, Take all the time you need.

  95. Mike says:

    Played Blackstar in its entirety today for the first time since last Friday (when the world was very different). Dollar Days = beautiful and devastating!

  96. Ramona says:

    Thank you Chris for this remarkable site. I’ve been so shaken since the news of his passing. PAOTD has been my emotional oasis as I’m sure it’s been for so many of us. Bowie’s beautiful spirit lives here now. I truly believe he was an avid reader of this blog. As he wrote in Dollar Days: “Don’t believe for just one second I’m forgetting you”.

  97. Trish says:

    Chris, I’ve already posted my thanks to you further up this thread but I can’t help myself from sharing some thoughts to you, and all here, on David Jones, the man.
    The details of the length of his illness, treatment, relapse in November and cremation which have emerged over the last few days say much about him as a human being.
    For someone who was so prescient as to the impact of the Internet/social media (and embraced it), he knew the downsides. Remember the interview he did many years ago about it?
    The point I’m trying to make is how, for the sake of his family, he was determined to keep it all as private as he could.
    Not for him an announcement on social media in 2014 that he was ‘being treated for an illness’. Imagine how much more difficult it would have been for his family if they had to deal with the endless intrusions that would have brought whilst they were dealing with his devastating diagnosis, treatment and the realisation in the last weeks of his impending death.
    Just a simple announcement, confirmed by his son, of his passing. Not even acknowledged on his official website for some days.
    Nor, because of the immediate cremation, did his family have to deal with the enormous pressure to have a public funeral with attending celebrities, politicians etc, whilst they are trying to come to terms with their loss.
    His actions speak for themselves.
    They demonstrate an intelligent and dignified man.
    A loving husband and father.
    A man not to be admired just for his creative genius, but simply as a man.

  98. Trish says:

    Since posting above I’ve noted your responses to some previous posts. I hope that you don’t take my post as disrespectful to him or his family.
    On the contrary, it was meant as a very respectful comment on the quality of the man. I admire him immensely as someone whom, faced with the undeniable public exposure as an ironically self discribed “rock god”, did everything he possibly could to minimise the impact on his family of his illness and death.
    Personally I don’t like the speculation vis a vis his his last actions.
    I think his public persona was the very last thing on his mind.
    As the very intelligent man that he was, he knew what was coming and he sought in every way he possibly could to minimise the impact on his family.
    That was what I was trying to convey.
    My respect for the man.
    I feel pity for his family grieving for him with the extra burden that his public persona brings.
    His actions speak for themselves.
    Our loss is nothing to their loss. Let’s try to keep it dignified as is fitting for the man.,

  99. Noggin says:

    Thanks again Chris. We are all through the other side of the looking glass now.
    Tim

  100. paulairblogs says:

    Thank you Chris for your outstanding work.
    Here are a few thoughts on the cultural significance of David Bowie – including an alternative best of – 15 gems that are little known (that is, except by you and most readers of your blog)
    https://paulairblogs.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/davidbowie-the-universal-elitist/

  101. Mr Tagomi says:

    I’m really struck by that beautiful final hanging chord on I Can’t Give Everything Away. It seems right that he should close out with something that doesn’t quite admit the end.

    Then there’s the harmonica quote from A New Career in a New Town, which I take as wry humour about passing from this earth to whatever might follow it, if anything.

  102. Alon Shmuel says:

    Thank you Chris, for everything.

  103. princeasbo says:

    Did Chris ever share his Top 30 Songs and Top 10 Albums? If so, could someone link me to the source. If not, it would be lovely if Mr O’L could oblige us.🙂

  104. col1234 says:

    a commenter asked if I would on occasion “repost” links to older song entries that at the time had very little comments. would this appeal to anyone? it’s not much work for me, so let me know. could be a way to fill the months this year.

    • MC says:

      Sounds like a good idea. Would love to contribute my two cents to some of the earlier entries.

    • Merav says:

      Yes please. This community has proven far bigger than the sum of its parts.
      I’d love to revisit older posts with new insights.

    • Thank you, it’ll help to live.

    • princeasbo says:

      It’s a good idea. I’ve be reading over some old ones as DB songs come up on the stereo and was wishing there were some more comments/challenges/etc.

      We could call them ‘Re-issues’.

    • Patrick says:

      Yep, the recent poll gives us ( and you) an idea of what songs are popular yet as I mentioned elsewhere, since many of us didn’t find you til later in the chronology, a gem like Lady Grinning Soul has a measly 12 comments at last count, also as well as the obvious you could flag up the more obscure worthy stuff.

    • youri says:

      excellent ! very good idea ! if it is alright for you chris…

    • Jason Das says:

      Would you also refresh the posts themselves? You wrote so much more about the earlier songs when revising them for the book. I’d very much respect not wanting to put all that extra stuff online for free, but it would feel weird to promote discussion without it.

      • Matthew says:

        I think we should all buy the book and then we could cross reference the post to any updates in the book, listen to the track and talk about it. Wow something to look forward to.

      • col1234 says:

        no, dont think so. but will mention what’s in the revision & what got cut.

      • Patrick says:

        Chris, I know you wont be thinking about promotion of the blog or the book(s) but there’s gonna be even more of an online hunger and interest of DB now and your work should be at the forefront of the search results so a revisit or slight revise (since Google ranks recently updated sites often more favourably) will keep here from dropping back given your break on new entries. The cream needs to rise to the top. I expect quite a few less well meaning and accurate ( ie cash in) biogs will be published in the next few months.

    • Matthew says:

      Yes please, it would keep us all in touch and maybe help some ease back into listening to the great music again. I, for one did not relish the thought of the posts getting fewer and fewer until you were ready to tackle Blackstar. Thanks again

    • Bruised Passivity says:

      That would be fantastic, yes please.🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely Chris. It not only will help fill the long months ahead but add even more depth to an already compelling compilation.

    • Paul O says:

      What a marvelous and thoughtful idea, especially for those (relative) newcomers to the blog. Maybe any song that received a No. 1 vote on the poll and/or the songs that ranked highest without getting a single No. 1 vote and/or the top 25 songs overall? Or whatever…

      Thank you in advance.

    • King of Oblivion says:

      Would love it!!

    • suzyq1973 says:

      as one of the lot who missed out on the first years of this essential blog: yes, please!

    • col1234 says:

      ok, will put one up on Monday

  105. Galdo says:

    Yes, this will be recieved with warmth.

  106. Ramona says:

    Yes Chris it would help a lot. I’m still reeling from the loss of our great Bowie. Have not been able to listen to Blackstar since last weekend when it all seemed a deliciously puzzling indication that Bowie was back in true form, confounding us with his genius once again. Today I’m still reeling, as I think we all are, over this tremendous loss. He gave us so much more than a mortal human being ever could. I am ever so grateful.

  107. Trish says:

    Yes please

  108. Andrea says:

    I read today that Before he died Bowie told Visconti that he had plans for another album after Blackstar, he said he had 5 songs ready for it. Have you heard this? Amazing man; amazing drive and attitude.

  109. Blackstar is a phenomenal album. I follow the jazz musicians that played on it. I’m also a big Mark Guiliana and Jason Lindner fan.

  110. Ramona says:

    Just a thought. “I Can’t Give Everything Away”. Anyone think it refers to songs he withheld because he actually was planning a follow-up album to Blackstar as is speculated? That does sound like Bowie.

    • Steve Mallarmy says:

      I hear it as a response to the expression “You can’t take it with you”.

      • I don’t usually suggest things like this, but I think it could be part of a coded message. He and Eno were notorious for that sort of thing. I think Bowie is telling us to figure something out, or that he may have a message for us, maybe more music. I am pretty sure those strange characters under the big star on the album cover are letters. I want to know what they say.

      • Steven S says:

        Zachary, I don’t want to disappoint you, but those characters spell out B O W I E.

      • Anonymous says:

        Haha, yes thanks Steve. I just noticed a bit ago. Very clever!

  111. billter says:

    After almost a week, finally got my head clear enough to have some coherent thoughts about Bowie’s passing. Thought you guys might relate:

    http://thephilter.com/2016/01/let-the-thousand-bowies-bloom/

  112. rodrigoquinan says:

    I’m a regular reader of this blog, though this is my first comment
    After what happened last Monday, I felt I need to write this

    Thank you, Chris. This blog is absolutely brilliant and just like BOwie, you helped me throught many times in my life – both understanding Bowie’s music and providing me a fascinate, intelectually brilliant reading to occupy my head with something

    I still have many and many hours of reading to do in this site, and I will do it non-linearly as I’ve been doing for years.

    Thank you a lot. You were one of the fans that most got inside Bowie’s head.

    And about that David Robert Jones geezer… I will meet him again one day, man. I promise. Until there, you have work to do. Your view on the Blackstar tracks will be your masterpiece, the pinnacle of everything you did here.

    Then it will come the b-sides, the demos he sent to Tony just before his death, and lots of more unreleased tracks. This blog will never die, even if you finish writing about every single song he made, then you can talk about films, albums, Omikron, Bowienet… David Bowie provided us things to analyse and talk about forever and ever

    Thanks Chris, thanks Bowie. Love you two

  113. paulairblogs says:

    For those who have Spotify, 11:15 hours of David’s music:

  114. Teunis says:

    Dear Chris,
    Although I have been reading your blog for a long time, I don’t think I ever had anything to add, but now I’d like to say thank you very much for your invaluably enriching work.

    In an attempt to offer something in return, I’d like to share a recording of a very special tribute concert that took place this morning in my home town of Utrecht: For one hour, city carillonneur Malgosia Fiebig was playing nothing but Bowie songs on the carillon of the Dom Tower. Hearing those familiar melodies fill the air above the medieval city, accompanied by his voice in my head, was a truly moving experience.
    Some of this magic has been captured in a youtube video. While the first songs may be a bit hesitant, as soon as she gets to Life On Mars? at 15 minutes, I think it’s breathtaking. And when I heard Where are we now? and Lazarus, you can imagine I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes.

  115. wirestone says:

    Chris, if I might offer a suggestion for the future — entries covering the officially released live albums and concert videos would be most welcome. Obviously not song-by-song, but perhaps an entry or two apiece.

  116. comicalArchitect says:

    Anyone wanna join me in doing a Bowie album month this February? Listen to one album every day, going chronologically:

    1. David Bowie
    2. Space Oddity
    3. TMWSTW
    4. Hunky Dory
    5. Ziggy
    6. Aladdin Sane
    7. Pin Ups
    8. Diamond Dogs
    9. Young Americans
    10. Station to Station
    11. The Idiot
    12. Low
    13. Lust for Life
    14. “Heroes”
    15. Lodger
    16. Scary Monsters
    17. Let’s Dance
    18. Tonight
    19. Never Let Me Down
    20. Black Tie White Noise
    21. Buddha
    22. Outside
    23. Earthling
    24. ‘Hours…’
    25. Toy
    26. Heathen
    27. Reality
    28. The Next Day
    29. Blackstar

    I just feel like this would be an appropriate sendoff, reviewing his whole career to properly and fully appreciate what he gave to the world. We can talk about the day’s album here in this comment section. If you wanna do this with me, tell your Bowie-loving friends about it so we can really get this going.

    • Bruised Passivity says:

      Yes, I’m in. It will take me that long before I can listen to Blackstar again anyways. Thanks for the suggestion.🙂

    • billter says:

      It’s a great idea. How about swapping out “Lust for Life” and “Toy” for “Early On” and “The Deram Anthology,” to get some early Bowie in there?

      • Ramona says:

        Yes absolutely. I agree with Bruised Passivity that it will take me quite some time before I’m able to listen to Blackstar without tears. Love the Bowie month idea.

    • s.t. says:

      Great idea.
      I think it makes sense to collapse the Bowie/Iggy ’77 songs into one month, as well as replacing “David Bowie” with the Deram compilation. Then, perhaps use the extra slot for Tin Machine I & II?

      • comicalArchitect says:

        I don’t wanna collapse the Iggy albums for chronology’s sake (having Idiot after Low or Lust before would be weird, and I don’t own Deram, so instead, I’ll just collapse the first two. My new order, and the one I’d recommend so we can all be doing it together:

        1. David Bowie+Space Oddity
        2. TMWSTW
        3. Hunky Dory
        4. Ziggy
        5. Aladdin Sane
        6. Pin Ups
        7. Diamond Dogs
        8. Young Americans
        9. Station to Station
        10. The Idiot
        11. Low
        12. Lust for Life
        13. “Heroes”
        14. Lodger
        15. Scary Monsters
        16. Let’s Dance
        17. Tonight
        18. Never Let Me Down
        19. Tin Machine I + II
        20. Black Tie White Noise
        21. Buddha
        22. Outside
        23. Earthling
        24. ‘Hours…’
        25. Toy
        26. Heathen
        27. Reality
        28. The Next Day
        29. Blackstar

    • col1234 says:

      happy to set up open threads for this, if that worked.

    • Jukka Ollikainen says:

      What a lovely wonderful idea. Already looking forward to #bowiebruary! Still got time to buy the Tin Machines + NLMD.

      • Gozomoto says:

        I need to add Tonight to the cart, too🙂 February, ever the shitty month (except for that fearful little groundhog), now offers something joyful.

  117. Galdo says:

    I’m totally for it. But I would suggest to add the ‘Tin Machine’ albuns, as they’re important too.

  118. BenJ says:

    Hi Chris. I just wanted to congratulate you on your appearance on EFD’s show at WFMU, which I just listened to a couple of nights ago. I liked hearing you talk on-air about Bowie and his importance.

    Look forward to your return to blogging, on any subject. Even if it didn’t look like Marcello was walking away, your voice would still be a welcome one.

  119. Bowieknowssomething says:

    This Blog is interresting,fair to the Artist and thoughtful with technical insights . Bowie will have heard about it. I imagine him eating cereals on a rainy, boring day,smiling over our efforts to love him even more-in an intellectual meta-Love way.

  120. Lux says:

    I’ve had a very busy work week with days starting far too early by the gas company jackhammering the street. I’m frustrated and even angry that I haven’t had a chance to mourn. I just wanted to curl up and listen to his music and read more on line. Thank you Chris for giving us the “Bowie radio station and news service” via Twitter, it helped enormously. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the polls. It sparked great conversations and relistening at my house. I’m grateful that we had that indulgence before the finality of last Sunday. From the title to the most current post, Pushing Ahead of the Dame is a treasure.

  121. andyf67 says:

    dear Chris, I feel compelled to add my ‘Thank you’ to this ever growing list. A fan from the mid 70s onwards when my bedroom walls were plastered with as many music press articles/photos/lyrics etc as possible I am devastated by our loss this last week. So you can imagine my feelings when I finally received a copy of your book on my birthday last week….. Whilst in mourning your work is bringing me closer to the great man himself. It’s therefore a very heartfelt ‘Thank you’ which I send. Your work is meticulous and enthusiastic whilst remaining a pleasure to read. For me it is THE reference. I look forward to your next publications. Take care,

  122. President Joan says:

    This blog is fantastic, Chris! I remember reading Ian McDonald’s “Revolution in the Head” and whishing he would have written something like that about Bowie. For some reason, I missed your blog for several years, but I´m really glad I found it last. It is so rich! It feels like I found a huge treasure hoard; I´m overwhelmed.🙂

    You certainly deserve a break now, before taking on the last part of Bowie’s catalogue! And of course, this would also allow us new-comers to catch up with some of the blog. Now, I assumed I would have to do the catching-up on my oddy-knocky, but with your idea of re-posting and with comicalArchitect´s idea of a Bowie-month, I know I will have company. I look forward to this, a light in the dark …

  123. Jen L-G says:

    Thank you, Chris. For so many things I don’t even know where to start….

  124. westiedad says:

    Without reading others’ messages, I’m sure I’m echoing their sentiments by saying how helpful your site has been for the past eight days. I feel among friends here. Your site is a fitting tribute.

  125. Chris says:

    Lovely interview with Carlos Alomar amongst others, here: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jan/17/david-bowie-as-seen-by-deborah-harry-chris-kate-bush-stein-carlos-alomar-julien-temple-edwyn-Collins

    Interesting interview with Robert Fox, the Lazarus play producer. The Lazarus video was apparently filmed on 20th October last year.

  126. type40ttc says:

    Thank you, Chris. Your blog continues to be fantastic read (and in many cases, re-read). I’ll keep enjoying ‘Rebel Rebel’ and look forward to the time when you return with new entries. Like everyone else, I’ll gladly wait and happily welcome you back. Cheers!

  127. John says:

    I never listened to his first album containing Space Oddity. I just got it on vinyl. I will listen to it shortly. I received also the clear vinyl Blackstar, but that will wait, it’s a bit tough. The Lazarus video was enough for a while.

  128. Mark Funnell says:

    If you’re looking for a new project, Chris, how about Joy Division? About time someone did them justice, and you’re the man for the job!

  129. paulairblogs says:

    A few more thoughts on the significance of David Bowie:
    The “Bowie Moment” – A historico-cultural perspective
    https://paulairblogs.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/the-bowiemoment-a-historico-cultural-perspective/

  130. Sparkeyes says:

    If you haven’t heard it already, I very much recommend ‘Adam Buxton On David Bowie’. Recorded March, 2013, it’s a lovingly irreverent celebration of the man and an absolute antidote to the sadness when you’re ready to laugh.
    Still available on BBC iPlayer Radio 6 Music, it’s the work of a true fan.

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