Last Xmas


Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Live Aid, 1985).
Bowie’s 2013 Xmas “Elvis” Message.
Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy.
Peter and the Wolf.
The Snowman.
Feed the World.

It’s an established annual tradition that this blog will run a Christmas post and say, “well, this could be the last Xmas post, as we’re almost done.” And then Bowie would put out some new thing. But this time, I am very nearly sure, is the end. Even at my current slow pace (hindered now by a sprained wrist I got from falling on ice early this week—I am typing this with a splinted hand and using an enormous pencil to hit right-hand keys; it diminishes verbosity), I can’t imagine I won’t get through the last nine songs before Dec. 2017. The next entry will be up in early January, here’s hoping.

So happy holidays to all. Thanks so much for your support, particularly to those who bought the book (a royalty payment that came last week has been a great help). It’s been a tough year, no? We’ll get through the last songs in 2017; I’ll finish the second book, and hopefully do Bowie justice.

Here’s to David Bowie: you’re missed more than ever. Everyone says ‘hi.’

68 Responses to Last Xmas

  1. Rob Thomas says:

    Here’s to DB and to you Chris. And here’s something from the Paul Nash exhibition that made me think of Blackstar…”it is death I have been writing about all this time…death, I believe, is the only solution to htis problem of how to be able to fly…” Happy Xmas all.

  2. Galdo says:

    Happy Xmas, Chris! I gave myself your book this december, it was a great gift, really. Your blog and book are amazing and you deserve so much recognition for what you’ve been doing. We could only imagine how much effort you’ve been putting into this. Thank you!

    Hi, Bowie!

  3. Kento says:

    Thank you. I don’t know what I would have done without this blog, and without this music.

  4. Christopher Kelley says:

    Hyped! I’ve now read every entry of the blog. Can’t wait for more.

  5. leonoutside says:

    I’ve got a great deal out of your book and your blog this year Chris. Still not finished going through it. On second sortie at moment. Yup Here’s to Our Man. And to you Chris. Nice one.
    (Cockney Accent): Hope your wrist ain’t too painful and don’t make the holiday too tricky for ya.

  6. ecsongbysong says:

    Sending much love, wishes for a speedy recovery, and crossed-fingers for a better 2017 for all of us!

  7. Vinnie says:

    Happy Christmas, Chris. Glad to see Bowie & The Bing posted one last time.


  8. Ann K says:

    Thanks for this festive – albeit slightly sad – post. Sorry about your wrist (prayers for a speedy recovery!) but the slow pace is a Christmas gift for those of us not wanting this to end. Your beautiful writing is itself a gift, and much appreciated. Your book is on my list – hope Santa comes through 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and all, as we hope for a better 2017!

    And Mr. Bowie – we won’t forget to “say hi” once in awhile…

  9. Lee Moore says:

    I haven’t commented much, and for that I’m sorry – this is/was a great blog, and your insights have given me a much deeper appreciation of Bowie and his music. Thanks also for the great first book. I eagerly anticipate the second volume. Happy Christmas!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Drive safely Chris…see you soon..

  11. Gozomoto says:

    Ditto what everyone else has said: Re-treading your posts here and in the book has been the one bright spot in an otherwise dismal year. Thank you so much for your insightful look into Bowie and your accessible and enjoyable writing style. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    (I also slipped on the ice on a not-normally-icy Portland, OR street and am nursing sprained ribs. Please let this be the last insult of 2016 — though with 8 days left, I’m steeling myself for one more punch.)

  12. Maj says:

    Ah, yeah. Thanks for making me tear up a wee bit.

    I’ll come back btw, and make a few comments on the non-reissue posts. I’m tragically behind in all my online long form reading.

    Here’s to swift healing and wonderful Xmas to you, Chris, and everyone frequenting the blog! x

  13. Lobster says:

    I don’t know how I would have survived 2016 without your blog, Chris. I have learned so much, cried so much, and I look forward to coming back to it often in 2017. Thanks for the work and the love.
    Get better soon!

  14. K says:

    Please, keep ’em coming. Thank you so far!
    Happy holidays!
    Best, K

  15. Ididtheiggy says:

    Once again (for maybe the last time) thanks again for the wonderful blog and the work you put into it. Tough year for us Bowie fans and I’m glad I had this space to help deal with and work through my emotions. So, a heartfelt thank you to you Chris. You and your work here were instrumental in my mourning and coping with it. And thanks to all those that comment, as you helped a ton too.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Nee Year everyone. I’m glad we had each other over this last year.

  16. oh ramona says:

    Regarding Snowman, Duncan Jones tweeted this picture this morning:

  17. marta says:

    What can I say that the other commenters haven’t? I second every single word and add: I finally got the book! Yes! Still not in my own hands but flying from the US with my brother at this very moment.

    So, here’s to 2017, our first full year without Mr Jones! Hoping it will be less horrid than 2016, and hoping all the forecasts are proved, somehow, wrong…

    And… Hi, David Bowie! We love you!

  18. Stowethelion says:

    Happy Christmas!

    Thank you for being of great help and reprieve on here and Twitter this year. It’s been emotional but as interesting as ever with Bowie in 2016. January will be tough I suspect.

    Very excited for the final book.. Though I can’t wait for the Man who fell to earth soundtrack and outtakes of 7 hours to be released for you.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Happy Hollidays to you…
    I’m sure you do Bowie justice in your next book just as you did in your last book. Really looking forward

  20. Joe the Lion says:

    A friend and I met recently and decided that of all the crap events this year – Brexit, Trump, Aleppo – losing Bowie in January topped them all. We then worked out which and how many limbs/senses/eyes we’d give up if we could have Bowie back. Turns out, one eye and one ear so we could still enjoy his work. And one hand so we could still turn pages on books.

    Speaking of hands, hope yours recovers soon Chris – and thanks for all you do! Happy Christmas.

  21. Tyrell says:

    I hope will we see the release of some unheard Bowie music next year. And I am waiting for it not just for the music but for the delaying of the closing of your blog. I know it is inevitable (and that you won’t mind finishing this long journey) but I know I will be very sad reading your last post.
    I will surely buy the second book right after it will be available as I did with first one.
    Happy Christmas!

  22. “Hopefully” do Bowie justice? Absurd. You’ve already far outdone that.

    Looking forward to the upcoming year’s entries. And the next book!

    Thank you for providing such a wonderful website. Happy holidays!

  23. djmac says:

    awww those last two sentences made me choke up a bit.
    Thank you as always Chris and I hope you mend quickly.

  24. Elliot May says:

    Never commented before but I thought now would be a good time to thank Chris for all the work he has put into this magnificent blog. Stumbled across it in January amidst the avalanche of Bowie related internet articles and never looked back. Reconsidered my feelings on a number of tracks that I had heretofore dismissed as not being for me, and now I have a far richer and deeper appreciation of much of the Bowie canon. I, of course, bought Rebel Rebel, and a fantastic piece of work it is too. Really looking forward to the second volume! Overall this has just been a great place to hang out, even if I never felt able to contribute anything, not just due to Chris but because of the many insightful commentors. I don’t know any Bowie fans in real life so it’s been nice to read the thoughts of people who were as affected by his death as I was and really loved his music. Thanks to all!

  25. BenJ says:

    Sorry about your wrist, Chris. Sprain’s better than a break, but still not much fun.

    2017 does hold something for me to look forward to in the Talking Heads project you mentioned over the summer.

  26. Hi Chris
    Just want to thank you for all your work. It’s been a big part of my year. I have the book and wait for no.2.

    I discovered Bowie on the day he died. I can’t believe I missed him, having been in the same cities, the same streets, the same ‘pubs’ and the same galleries throughout my life. I am on a wonderful journey through his music and art. Currently listening to Buddha of Suburbia.

  27. StupidintheStreet says:

    God yes, this year has been shite in too many ways to count. Globally, culturally, personally…it’s been relentless. Bowie’s music, along with your writing, Chris, are a big reason why I haven’t just curled up into a ball in the corner. In all seriousness, thank you for your excellent work. Yay for new things to look FORWARD to in 2017! A very happy holiday to you and yours!

  28. smuji says:


    Thank you for all your efforts and erudition – love the writing and looking forward to your next opus. Keep up the good work and have wonderful Xmas


  29. Waki says:

    Hi, David.
    Gratitude for ever.

    Thanks, Chris, for bringing him back into my life, leading me to dig deeper into what he conveyed (and embodied), and to this community of loving, sensitive and sensible beings.

    He wanted us to be aware, awake, humane, and ACTIVE. Now, I am French and we are going to have President election… and there is a great candidate, a kind of Senders, but more seasoned when it comes to political games. Please check it out. The social media will make the difference, and from anywhere you can support the Second French Revolution he proposes to lead. No joke. His name is Jean-Luc Melenchon. Please check it out.

    Many of his speeches on youtube have English subtittles, please try them out. Here is a very short one.

    On his own website, there is a simple thing to click on, just to say you support him being candidate. Please check it out. And consider clicking. Social media will make him win. If he wins, not only France, but Europe, and the world, will gain hope.

    Hi to all, merry Christmas.

  30. WRGerman says:

    Sorry to hear about your accident. It sucks to have impairments, of any kind, but especially musco-skeletal (I well know it too…). Get well soon and thanks for the Xmas post!

  31. alexandriadouillette says:

    Hi Chris,
    from somebody who will have a blue and green behind from slipping like an old lady on Friday – first ice of the year, couldn’t miss my chance to be clumsy I guess – my warmest get-well-wishes and good luck on the future entries, as usual.
    Being old and everything, 23 going on 70 or so, I already feel very sad and nostalgic. I haven’t listened to Bowie a lot this year; last week I listened to Heathen in the car, and I listened to the Blackstar leak on New Year’s Eve and 1st January, and until the 8th, and then I never got around to it again. My total of listening to Bowie might tally at twenty hours this year, so I haven’t really had the access to his work except for your blog. I am kind of the person who always mentions it to other fans who might not know it, because I just genuinely love what you do.
    Despite nostalgia, that’s all I am gonna say now; have a speedy recovery, a happy new year, don’t get too sad between the 8th and the 10th and the 11th, and every day after, or even after you’ve finished this huge project (it’s hard, you’ll wish for it – but you’ll probably miss it at times, too once it’s over). My my, I talk like a grownup here.
    That’s all. To put it with Bowie: don’t forget to keep your head warm. It’s been a pleasure reading you.

  32. gareth says:

    Merry Christmas Chris – what you do is very important to many people. Peace.

  33. Stolen Guitar says:

    All the very best to one and all on this amazing journey through the Bowie canon. Is it really only nine more songs to go? We’ll miss you, Chris, when you finally reach the end of the road, but the music will forever have carry an echo of insight that you started. Thanks.

  34. Bruised Passivity says:

    Warmest wishes for the holiday season to you Chris and to all the Bowie fans. This has been a disturbing year all around but losing a David in January still wins the most heartbreaking news award. I’m not sure how I would have coped that night if I didn’t have this wonderful blog and it’s lovely readers to turn to. In those darkest hours and over the next few weeks this little corner of the Internet gave me place to grieve and be comforted, for that I will always be deeply thankful.

    As a holiday treat today I finally allowed myself to listen to Plan, Killing Time and When I Met You (I wanted to save the first listening for a special occasion since there likely won’t be many more opportunities to listen to new Bowie tracks in the future) – and all I can say is wow! Very much looking forward to your entries on these 3 sometime in 2017 Chris, I know your wordsmithing will be worth the wait.

    Here’s to a better 2017
    Raise your glass, raise your glass high!

  35. MC says:

    Get better soon, Chris, and have a merry Xmas. You’ve earned it! And Happy Holidays to everyone reading. Let’s drink a toast to David Bowie and to better years ahead.

  36. Mike F says:

    Happy Holidays.

    I found this in-depth interview of Bowie’s early years very revealing:

    Lots of other good stuff on the same YouTube channel.

  37. s.t. says:

    Happy holidays all, and thanks Chris for all of your efforts in tribute to Bowie and his impact on the world.

    Here’s hoping your wrist heals quickly. In the meantime, have you looked into voice command software for writing? Or is that more of a headache than it’s worth?

    This is not Christmas related, but it’s a nice tribute to three lost talents. George Michael singing Freddie Mercury, with Bowie admiring from the sidelines:

  38. President Joan says:

    Last Xmas, indeed …

    Happy (sad) holidays, all.

    And thanks again, Chris, for being a light in the dark.

  39. Salva says:

    Happy holidays! It’s been a pleasure and I’m in love with your blog!
    Just ordered your book from Barcelona, Spain!

    • col1234 says:

      Penman’s about as good as it gets, music writing wise. Even if this blog possibly gets a slight knock in his piece (not by name)

      • Stolen Guitar says:

        Thanks, Christopher Williams, for posting the Penman review. A great read and absolutely on the money.

        Yes, Chris, he’s just a brilliant writer, music or otherwise. I remember being completely baffled and mystified by Penman and Morley in the NME of the late 70s as they introduced me to Barthes, Lacan, Lyotard and the rest of the French gang. I didn’t have a clue what they were on about but I liked the way they were saying it. At the time I just wanted someone to tell me how good a record was…ha-ha! No chance of that now, thank goodness!

        Don’t know if your familiar with Geoff Dyer, Chris, but he’s another great writer of a similar vintage to Penman. His love of jazz just seeps out of every page of But Beautiful, but it’s his style that I admire so much. Certainly worth a look if you’ve never come across him before. Here’s a link to the book:

        And he’s definitely right about the Morley book; it does show that it was written hastily, which is a shame because Morley definitely has it in him to capture the meaning of Bowie, especially the 70s version(s), and his cultural impact on Britain at the time. He lived through the period, as I did, and had access to all of the artists, unlike me!, that were directly or indirectly affected by Bowie.

        Used to see Morley a lot on the 192 night bus from Piccadilly Gardens to Stockport after a night in the Bowie/Roxy Room at Pips; he was a lot skinnier then and always had a gorgeous girl draped over him. Should have asked him then, I suppose, what the heck he and Penman were on about!

        I don’t think you should worry about any obscure pop at your work, Chris, whether perceived or real. I’ve not found anything to match your work on Bowie in the manner that you’ve approached it. If Revolution In The Head set a benchmark for this type of criticism, then I believe you’ve more than matched it.

  40. Sigmata Martyr says:

    Happy New Year! Rebel Rebel lives on the arm of my sofa and I revisit it constantly.
    Thank you for all that you do, and I hope your wrist feels better soon.

  41. Dang69 says:

    This blog is an absolute light in my life. Thank you so much for all you’ve done. Happy Holidays!

  42. suzyq1973 says:

    After more than two years of going through the entries I still learn something new about Bowie whenever I visit this blog. Thank you again for all your work, Chris! I’m so happy to have found this place and ‘Rebel Rebel’, of which I just bought my second copy. All the best for the New Year!

  43. James LaBove says:

    A belated best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year to Chris, PAotD commenters, and lurkers alike! 2016 was a wash; 2017 will be better. Hopefully.

  44. Michael says:

    I’m sure most are aware, but tonight in the U.K. on BBC Two is the Last Five Years documentary, which – if anything like the first – should be a wonderful piece of programme making.

    Also, lots of coverage tomorrow on 6 Music.

  45. Anonymous says:

    A great website, a splendid (first) book and all in all a honorable job you’re doing, Chris! All the best for the new year!

  46. oh ramona says:

    Happy birthday, David.

  47. verdelay says:

    Yes, happy 70th birthday David Bowie. How’s the Bardo? I guess we’ll all soon know.


  48. Mr Tagomi says:

    Why no “Blaze” on the new EP? That’s what I want to know. It’s got to be released sometime, as part of something.

    My DVR failed to record the final few mins of The Last Five Years. Disgusted.

  49. Palescue says:

    Hi, I came across you by a mention in the blog Nachos Videos ( who does a great job in editing and publishing videos of Davy Jones.
    Hope your hand is getting better by now so can work again on that great blog of yours (“start typing, you…!). I see now you mention a book. Will look it up and probably order it.
    I mention Bowie now and then on my own WP blog ( but it’s in Dutch and his death has creeped inevetibly in some poems of mine, also published there…Well, my personal Bowie in a nutshell: he came about with the Scary Monsters LP, and although I didn’t really follow him closely in the nineties, he always stayed at the background as a artistisc and maybe even spiritual elder brother. His take on the arts influenced me enormously I realise now, ever since the music and lyrics of Scary Monsters hit me puberal brain.

  50. filipvandenhende says:

    What can I add? Thank you Chris. Looking forward to second book.

  51. zsani says:

    Thank you,Chris!Your blog was the most important thing one year ago when I tried to ease the missing.And a great and essential work!Best wishes

  52. Anonymous says:

    Bowie is not dead, he’s just turned to ashes and scattered around the soils of Amlapura. Not exactly “dead”, but not exactly in a productive state either.

  53. Crinkle says:

    Can’t wait for this. The work here is fantastic.

  54. matthewtkk says:

    “I can’t imagine I won’t get through the last nine songs before Dec. 2017.” Things we wish we hadn’t said! Of course the entries for this year have been deep and fascinating, very hard going I know, and always worth the wait.

    • col1234 says:

      i don’t regret it. life gets in the way; i’m nearly done finishing the book; the entries will get done either in the book or here.

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