(Could It Really Be?) 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.

This blog turns 10 years old next year. Those of you who have followed it for a while know that one of its (unintentional) traditions is a Christmas post in which I, the fool who runs the “Bowie song by song” site, say something like “well, it looks like X is going to be the last year for the blog. We’re almost done.”

And then something happens in the following year—new Bowie music, another slowdown in production, etc.—so that I appear at year’s end to say pretty much the same thing.

This time it’s really and truly over. Well, in a way. All the Bowie songs (as of today) have been written about: in the book, if not on here. No doubt some new song will appear soon—possibly on his birthday! (You don’t have to make that joke, really!) But whatever the situation, this doesn’t mean the blog will shut down, nor that I won’t put up new posts on occasion, especially when something new happens in Bowieland (I’m assuming there’ll be a Tin Machine and/or a “Black Tie-to-whenever” box set in the new year.)

But we are moving into a more “posthumous” period in this blog, sad to say. It feels fitting—the end of a decade, a move ahead into something new.

So, a few things:

Ashes to Ashes will be out in mid February and can be pre-ordered in all sorts of ways (see link).

There will be some fun promotional events for it early next year. Things will kick off with two New York City dates—McNally Jackson in Soho, on Thursday 21 February 2019; and Rough Trade in Brooklyn, on Monday 25 February 2019. With hope, there will be some UK events relatively soon after that in March, and other appearances in the US throughout the year.

During 2019, I’m going to start working my way towards another project (or two), in a new blog or site. If this interests you, I’ll likely have some more details in a month or so. It’ll be quite a long road, full of detours—a shocker, I know.

I’d like to say thanks again to all of you. To commenters old and new, and to anyone who bought a book or has had something kind to say about them. Happy Xmas, happy New Year, Happy “we’re still here, and doing okay.” Here’s to the future. Take care.

30 Responses to (Could It Really Be?) the Last Xmas

  1. Mark Brabazon says:

    All the best Chris always enjoyed your blog and good luck with future plans…see you on the other side.

  2. Happy solstice and keep up the good work- will look out for the books and your new adventures

  3. Scarymonster says:

    All good wishes of the season, Chris.

    Hope your possible UK events aren’t restricted to London and you find your way Up North!

    All the best


  4. Christopher Williams says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Bristol awaits!!

    Best wishes,


  5. Happy Xmas, Chris. So many bands or topics I’d love to see you cover, (e.g. The Cure), but none quite as interesting at the ark of David Bowie, that I know of.

    Looking forward to a new career in a new blog.

  6. suzyq1973 says:

    Thank you for this blog, and please allow me to cite from a previous xmas post of yours: ‘Here’s to David Bowie: you’re missed more than ever. Everyone says ‘hi.’’
    All the best.

  7. Merry Christmas to you, Chris, and to your adorable lady pup. And all the best in 2019!

  8. Matthew says:

    Last Xmas post, almost a tradition now! Seriously, great to hear you’re coming to the UK next year. Hopefully somewhere in southern England will feature.
    Been looking forward to new book so great to hear its done and dusted, added to birthday list. All the best with your new projects and Happy Christmas to you and Bowie fans everywhere.

  9. A new fan says:

    Merry Christmas!

    Just wanted to say that I “discovered” Bowie for the first time, a couple of months ago. I subsequently discovered your blog and book in the following weeks…and wow! I haven’t spent so much time poring over a book in a long time – I’m currently on my second read-through, and I’m finding it extra enlightening now that I’m more familiar with the more obscure songs.

    Thank you so much for giving us this fabulous work to accompany David Bowie’s equally fabulous music. This has brought me so much joy in the last couple of months and stirred in me an enthusiasm I haven’t encountered since I was a younger. I’m a bit sad that things are now officially wrapped up, but I’m really looking forward to Ashes to Ashes!

  10. Cat Gareth says:

    I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you again, Chris, for both sparking and guiding my journey into the mind and music of David Bowie. I’m glad the blog will still exist as it is the resource that I turn to again and again for your insight into a song and, importantly, the many links to specific versions of the songs available online. You have led me into cultural nooks and crannies I never would have explored by ferreting out Bowie’s influences and references. You also, perhaps, bear a little responsibility for my going – in the space of just two comments on your blog – from complete Bowie novice to complete Bowie know-it-all asshole! I’m hoping that in Ashes to Ashes you summarize, after 10 years of Bowie scholarship and criticism, what you believe it is about the man and his work that has turned so many of us into not only fans, but obsessives. Thanks for the trip. CG

  11. timothyreed205 says:

    Hi Chris – Thanks for your wonderful, informative blog.

    I’ve preordered the new book, however as a Brooklynite, I’d want to attend your Rough Trade event. Would I have to buy a book at the venue in order to attend?

    • col1234 says:

      i’m pretty sure not. you may need to buy a book there if you want me to sign it, tho (but there are ways to work around that too)

  12. alexandriadouillette says:

    I’m surely not the first to note this, but McNally Jackson reminds me of a very specific paparazzi photo of David that almost looks like a photoshoot of his gap years; he’s standing in his shirt and jeans, flat cap and sunglasses on, in front of the window, studying the books on display. You don’t recognize him unless you know, and it’s a beautiful picture aside from it being a pap shot.
    It seems fitting as the beginning of the end: the book tour.

  13. Bruised Passivity says:

    It wouldn’t be xmas day without me leaving a message on this blog so here it is. (and I may very well leave one here in the future even if the blog is discontinued lol)

    Wishing you Chris and all the Bowie lovers a very happy holidays and a joyful 2019 🙂

    I’ve got my pre-order in for the new book and am greatly looking forward to receiving my copy in the new year.

    All the best with your future endeavors Chris it will be interesting to see which project you take on next.

  14. Coagulopath says:

    During 2019, I’m going to start working my way towards another project (or two), in a new blog or site.

    Something Pete Townsend related?

  15. BenJ says:

    Happy Boxing Day, Chris. This site and your books have been invaluable, and I look forward to seeing what you do next.

  16. I am not arrived in the blog from the beginning, but in a few time I could lose happily my head through your beautiful entries. So, thanks again to you. Hope you don’t mind if I publish this interview you kindly gave to this little italian site. I think someone could appreciate it. https://www.davidbowieblackstar.it/pushing-ahead-of-the-dame-our-interview-with-chris-oleary/

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for everything I’ve read and learned from this blog. A veritable goldmine of information. Best wishes for your new venture

  18. s.t. says:

    Happy holidays! Can’t wait to get my copy of A2A!

  19. MC says:

    Hope everyone had a great Xmas and New Year. Needless to say, Ashes To Ashes is no. 1 on my birthday list. Cheers, Chris, and everyone on here!

  20. Mike says:

    Good luck for the book Chris..looking forward to it. LoY Mike H

  21. Anonymous says:

    Happy New Year Chris…saw your article in the Boston Globe today.!!!!

  22. marta says:

    Hi everybody! Happy New Year!

    As always, total admiration for Chris for labouring with love in this project. And, as a fellow freelancer, a deep, deep appreciation.

    Ordering Ashes to Ashes next month!

    PS – I’ve just read the Boston Globe piece. I love this part: “There will never be a last David Bowie song (…) The end of the David Bowie story is that it doesn’t end . . . May he forever keep pushing ahead.”

  23. jason dobson says:

    Best wishes and congratulations for the new book, your work has been absolutely fantastic!

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