(Oh We Know It’s Not the) 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.

In the grand tradition of this blog, the Xmas post will announce “well, this could be the end—only a few entries to go!” and then a year later, we’re still here. No such silly promises this time around. The blog will still be up on Xmas 2018, and there still may be an entry or two to go! “You think it’s easy? Realism.”

Some announcements:

Repeater Books and I are getting close to nailing down when Ashes to Ashes will come out—best guess is in a little over a year’s time. I’m in the thick of editing/revising all of the ’90s chapters, pretty much at once. When that’s over, and the few remaining Blackstar pieces are written, it’s done. So, only a matter of a few (possibly nightmarish) months of work left.

Also, if you happen to be in Seattle for the Pop Conference in late April, you can see me do a presentation called “Boys Keep Swinging In a Criminal World,” which is essentially going to be a mash-up of the “John, I’m Only Dancing,” “Boys Keep Swinging” and “Criminal World” entries, with various other bits. With hope, I’ll have finished the book by then and will be in rather good spirits.

Happy holidays to all and here’s to the new year. Thanks for your patience and support, particularly to those who bought the book (or are considering doing so).

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

48 Responses to (Oh We Know It’s Not the) Last Xmas

  1. President Joan says:

    Ah, I was looking forward to this post. (And thanks for the promise of another next year.)

    Yes, missed more than ever. In our hearts and on our minds forever.

    Merry Christmas, Chris and everyone.

  2. Mark Brabazon says:

    Merry christmas and a prosperous new year chris. Always enjoy the well thought out analysis. Keep on keeping on remember time flies when you’re having fun….

  3. James LaBove says:

    Chris, happy holidays and a wonderful new year to you and all PAotD commenters! The new entries have been uniformly fantastic (needless to say), and I’m happy that the blog will live on for a while longer. Looking forward to the book, and will be vicariously happy for you to have a beast of a project wrapped up.

    And yes, he’s missed more than ever. The right song at the right time will still get to me (last night, it was Nacho’s edit of the “Life on Mars” Tonight Show performance). Peace on earth.

  4. djonn says:

    Chris, as always thank you for all the hard work and career juggling that you do and for all the happiness you bring us all in the name of someone who did much the same. I look forward to Ashes To Ashes and the last few Blackstar entries. Whatever the nightmares you go through know that there are a great many people who truly appreciate all you do. Happy holidays.

  5. Maj says:

    Have a swell holiday time, everyone! And let’s hope we’ll all see the end of 2018 in health, and better spirits!

    (Maybe next year I’ll actually do some commenting on here again!…here’s to that!)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Happy Hol’s Chris. And thank you for all the interesting reading you’ve given us !

  7. Have a very happy Xmas and a peaceful new year – many thanks for working so hard on the blog and the book

  8. Gozomoto says:

    When you wake up and realize you’re off work for the year, contemplate what to do with the day, sleepily check email and see PAotD shining among the not-quite-spam that fills your inbox, you know it’s going to be a good day. Is it wrong that I get so much pleasure in the knowledge that there are still a few more entries to come and simultaneously hoping that they never really materialize, that the end never comes? Reminds me of the old Gallagher gag about the joy of “being next.”

    Happy Holidays to all, and thank you, Chris, for keeping me happily dangling on this line for so many years (and for the flurry of 90s-era Twitter posts, too!).

  9. Ramzi says:

    Best of luck with the project, Chris!

  10. Hometime says:

    “Thanks for your patience and support, particularly to those who bought the book (or are considering doing so)”.

    Hi Chris, what does this mean? Is it possible to pre-buy “Ashes to Ashes”? As a proud owner of “Rebel Rebel”, count me in.

    Anyway, happy Xmas and good luck, looking forward to “your” Dollar days.

    • col1234 says:

      no i meant the first book, if you were considering buying it. no pre-orders yet for a book still in MS form. but thanks!

  11. Rob Thomas says:

    Happy Xmas Chris- Rebel Rebel continues to provide lines and insights of air-punching brilliance. (I doubt DB ever did anything so naff as an air-punch, but horses for courses…)

  12. floodsy says:

    Happy holidays all

  13. Ann K says:

    Chris, thanks – as always – for your work on this blog and the books. Your writing is a pleasure to read, and I look forward to more Blackstar posts. You’re doing The Dame proud.
    Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  14. Bill says:

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting your annual Christmas address to the Bowie Nation. Glad to hear you can at least sort of see the finish line of the book — the prospect is exciting and a little frightening, as I imagine it will be a monster.

    Like Gozomoto. i simultaneously want to read the rest of the “Blackstar” entries and nurture a hope that this blog never ends. Maybe after you finish, you can keep up the tradition of a holiday post that always promises to be the last one?

  15. Stolen Guitar says:

    All the best for the coming year to you, Chris, and the rest of the Bowie band.
    Glad you’re still around…

  16. suzyq1973 says:

    Happy holidays and thank you for all your work!

  17. stue1967 says:

    Thanks for your efforts in 2017. Looking forward to next year’s posts already.

  18. MC says:

    Happy Xmas, Chris! Looking forward to the final entries and the book as well. And warm wishes to everyone reading. Cheers!

  19. Thanks, Chris, for another year of joy (including the book, which I got last Xmas and am about to finish reading… and savouring every line).

    I enjoyed counting some DB references in pop throughout 2017:

    tv – Twin Peaks, of course, but also This Is Us and Stranger Things (also, did you hear/see “diamond dogs” in the “demodogs”?);

    music – LCD, obviously, but also Wolf Parade, Oxbow and (cringely) U2, and an honourable mention to the indescribably inspired Crayon Jones;

    and he was all over in street art and magazine covers.

    So he does get it, eternity, or what we make of it.

    Happy Christmas and a Happy 2018, y’all!

  20. Hi I’m the producer of Unbound, the instagram miniseries that was made to accompany Blackstar. I live in Seattle and would welcome the chance to connect while you’re here. Best, Lawrence

  21. BenJ says:

    Happy Crimble, Chris. Looking forward to what you do next, here and elsewhere.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Best Christmas gift ever…”the blog will still be up on Xmas 2018 and there still may be an entry or two to go!.” Thank you Chris for all your hard work and unfailingly brilliant insight and commentary on (in my opinion) the consummate master of artistic expression of our time DB. Your profound observations and acuity of Bowie’s ongoing musical aesthetic is second to none in revealing (as much as Bowie can be revealed) the many deep layers upon layers of this man’s still enigmatic and often impenetrable psyche. I am excited and intrigued at each and every entry and look forward to more to come.
    Yes, he is missed more than ever. Yes, it still hurts.

  23. Ramona says:

    Sorry, I hit “post” too fast. I’m not Anonymous, I’m Ramona.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Amazing site, thank U Chris.. have a Ziggy Xmas to U & Urs & all followers… ★★★

  25. spanghew says:

    Enjoy your holidays—and I very much look forward to the eventual release of the second volume of your Bowie books! It’s wonderful to have a permanent home for these great analyses!

  26. Bruised Passivity says:

    Wishing you a very happy holidays to you Chris and to all the Bowie lovers on PAotD. Thanks for the update on Ashes to Ashes progress, I’m still looking forward to holding a copy in my hands someday. All the best in 2018!

  27. StupidintheStreet says:

    Seeing one more Christmas Post today made me irrationally happy. I appreciate everything you do, Chris. All the best of the season to you and everyone who reads and comments here.
    Here’s hoping that 2018 is good to everyone. Yes, he is certainly missed more than ever.

  28. Jonesing says:

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to Chris and all his readers. Yesterday I heard the John Lennon song “So This Is Christmas” on the radio, started thinking about Mr. Bowie’s friendship with Lennon (which I had been reading about in a new oral history), and suddenly began sobbing uncontrollably, for the nth time since DB died. This loss just goes on and on and on for me, and I don’t know why it feels so personal, when I never met the man and actually ignored his work for decades in an prolonged fit of pique after “Tonight.” It’s reassuring to come here and read Chris’s brilliant feats of devotion and hear from others who are also brilliant and deeply affected too. Wishing everyone a better 2018.

  29. Thanks a lot Chris. You’re real. Merry Xmas to you too.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Happy New Year , Chris!!

  31. s.t. says:

    Merry Christmas Chris, and all you beautiful Bowie fans!

    Chris, not at all related, but something has been nagging me and I figured that you of all people might steer me in the right direction.

    I’ve been wondering about the origin and evolution of the sassy guitar strum flourish that punctuates so many post-punk tunes. Obviously Rolling Stones tunes like Jumpin Jack Flash played an important role, and Roxy’s Out of the Blue, and then Steve Jones work in the Pistols. But it’d be interesting to read about its evolution in more detail (e.g. earlier precursors like surf, and bands that possibly incorporated flamenco flourishes? Or how the trend spread across the punk and post punk movements).
    Any writer you know who has tackled this rather trivial bit of music trivia?

    • princeasbo says:

      I’d credit Pete Townshend for popularising that particular move.

      • s.t. says:

        Admittedly, my knowledge of The Who is limited, but I haven’t heard anything that’s quite the fully formed peacock punk-tuation of the Jumpin Jack Flash strum. I do hear quite a bit of the earlier power pop strum style in the Who (perhaps introduced by the Searchers, who took it from surf), and some songs that are almost straight up flamenco-inflected. Could be a blind spot on my part though. I really should listen to The Who more.

      • s.t. says:

        Progress Report: After some digging, I can agree that Townshend was a crucial influence on this strum. Basically he and Jimmy Page (first in the Yardbirds) got it started.

  32. Daniel says:

    This blog is a gift to mankind, loved every entry I’ve read and I’m defs buying rebel rebel asap. You’re the best 👍

  33. princeasbo says:

    I’m pleased PAOTD continues. In a way, perhaps selfishly, I’d like it to remain unfinished or at least responsive to ‘new’ archival releases, e.g. ‘Toy’ (but, obviously, not ‘Toy’ specifically).

  34. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday David!!

  35. marta says:

    It’s nice to think of this blog as a line between us here and DB.
    So, Happy Birthday, David!

  36. Ramona says:

    Happy Birthday Sailor, you are so missed.

  37. Do get in touch when the book is ready, I’d love to review it on movingtheriver.com

  38. John Player says:

    Great blog for knowing about various song.

  39. Gareth Power says:

    Not many people know that on a 2002 sojourn in upstate New York, DB was savagely attacked by bloodthirsty weasels.

    • BenJ says:

      That second cover was the basis for the cover of Frank Zappa’s “Weasels Ripped My Flesh.” Rather comical, given the chilly relations between Bowie and Zappa.

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