Posts Tagged ‘David Bowie’

Last week I blogged twice about the unexpected death of David Bowie on the 10th of January, at the age of 69 from stomach cancer. In part 1 of this blog (see here), I mentioned that I would be posting a second part but would have to wait until I got back to Cardiff. Well, I have managed to track down the video which I wanted to post in the second part; I thought I was going to have to rip the relevant part from my own DVD collection.


David Bowie performing at Live Aid in July 1985

The clip comes from Bowie’s performance at Live Aid in July 1985. I was lucky enough to be at the Live Aid concert in Wembley Stadium, and Bowie had the same 4 or 5-song slot as the other major artists (see below). He was scheduled between Queen and The Who. Queen, with the charisma of Freddie Mercury, had whooped the crowd up into a high state of frenzy, and Bowie  continued this with a very dynamic set, ‘TVC 15’, then ‘Rebel Rebel’, ‘Modern Love’ and ‘Heroes’.

But, as he finished ‘Heroes’, with the crowd all enjoying themselves in the glorious weather, he decided to forsake his fifth song. Instead, he introduced this harrowing video to remind everyone why we were there – to raise money for people starving unnecessarily in Ethiopia. The footage had recently been taken by a film crew from the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC).

David Bowie’s set list at Live Aid

To say that the mood of the 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium changed in a few seconds would be an understatement. I have never seen so many people weep simultaneously as the images played before us; images of a famine which had shocked the western world so much over the previous 6-7 months. As a stroke of genius, the images were shown to the eery and moving accompaniment of the Cars’ hit song ‘Drive’.

Bowie, not needing the publicity that a Live Aid performance was giving to many artists, decided we all needed to be reminded of why we were really there.

I cannot say “enjoy”, as this video is not enjoyable. But, it is very moving.

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On Monday I blogged about the death of David Bowie, who died on Sunday (10th of January) of liver cancer at the age of 69. I wanted to put something up quickly, so that blog I wrote on Monday was written within 15-20 minutes of hearing the news of his death. I actually heard it breaking at 7am Greenwich Mean Time, I had been listening to the radio since about 6am.


Now I have had a few days to collect my thoughts, I have decided I will do a more detailed and complete blogpost about his death. In fact, this will be a two-part blog, on the 26th I will do a part 2, as I need to get back home to Cardiff to access something about Bowie which I want to share in the second part.

When the news broke of his death I was overcome with a profound sadness, the most sad I have felt about the death of a singer or celebrity since the tragic killing of John Lennon in 1980. This reaction surprised me, but as they were playing Bowie’s songs on the radio throughout the morning I realised that Bowie’s music had been the soundtrack to my teenage years. I always preferred 60s music when I was growing up in the 1970s but, of all the music being produced in the 1970s,  it was Bowie and Queen’s music that I liked the most. As they played song after song of Bowie’s on Monday morning, I wept for the memory of my teenage years.

I also got emotional thinking about the strong connection that Bowie had with John Lennon, who was (and still remains) my music hero. When I read Yoko Ono’s tribute to Bowie I could not contain my tears. This is what she said (you can read it on her webpage here).

John and David respected each other. They were well matched in intellect and talent. As John and I had very few friends we felt David was as close as family.

After John died, David was always there for Sean and me. When Sean was at boarding school in Switzerland, David would pick him up and take him on trips to museums and let Sean hang out at his recording studio in Geneva.

For Sean this is losing another father figure. It will be hard for him, I  know. But we have some sweet memories which will stay with us forever.

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Another very moving tribute was tweeted by Iggy Pop

David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.


Bowie was probably the artist of anyone I can think of who changed most frequently throughout his career. The chameleon of pop. He was, by his own admission, a very restless person (in fact he put it down to Attention Deficit Disorder). He would quickly get bored with one incarnation and changed to something different. I didn’t like all of his incarnations, particularly his heavy metal ‘Tin Men’ phase; but I liked many of his ever-changing styles.

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Here is a small gallery of some of his incarnations. From hippy to Major Tom, to Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to the Thin White Duke and his  ‘Let’s Dance’ period, he was the consummate restless artist. And, he will be sorely missed.

It would be wonderful to think that Bowie has reunited with his dear friend John Lennon and that they have been catching up, since last seeing each other the week before Lennon was murdered in December 1980.



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RIP David Bowie

I’ve just heard the sad news that David Bowie has died. The term ‘legend’ is overused, but Bowie was a true legend of music. One of the most influential and innovative artists of the last 60 years. 


I can’t think of a more appropriate one of his many wonderful songs to share than “Heroes” 

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day

We can be Heroes, just for one day
And you, you can be mean

And I, I’ll drink all the time
‘Cause we’re lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we’re lovers, and that is that
Though nothing, will keep us together

We could steal time just for one day
We can be Heroes, for ever and ever

What d’you say?
I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing,
nothing will keep us together

We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes,
just for one day

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away

We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day
I, I can remember (I remember)

Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns shot above our heads
(over our heads)

And we kissed,
as though nothing could fall
(nothing could fall)
And the shame was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever

Then we could be Heroes,
just for one day
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day

We can be Heroes
We’re nothing, and nothing will help us

Maybe we’re lying,
then you better not stay
But we could be safer,
just for one day
Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh
just for one day

RIP David Bowie. And thank you for the music

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Today I thought I would share this song “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop (real name James Newell Osterberg). The song was released in 1977 and is on Pop’s 2nd solo album “Lust For Life”, which he recorded in collaboration with David Bowie. In fact, Bowie also sings backup harmonies on “The Passenger”.


The song was released as the B-side of “Success”, the only single to come from “Lust For Life”, but because “The Passenger” has featured in numerous movies and advertisements it is probably one of Pop’s best known songs.

I am the passenger and I ride and I ride
I ride through the city’s backsides
I see the stars come out of the sky
Yeah, the bright and hollow sky
You know it looks so good tonight

I am the passenger, I stay under glass
I look through my window so bright
I see the stars come out tonight
I see the bright and hollow sky
Over the city’s ripped backsides
And everything looks good tonight

Singing, la la la

Get into the car
We’ll be the passenger
We’ll ride through the city tonight
We’ll see the city’s ripped backsides

We’ll see the bright and hollow sky
We’ll see the stars that shine so bright
Stars made for us tonight

Oh, the passenger
How, how he rides
Oh, the passenger
He rides and he rides

He looks through his window
What does he see?
He sees the sign and hollow sky
He sees the stars come out tonight
He sees the city’s ripped backsides
He sees the winding ocean drive

And everything was made for you and me
All of it was made for you and me
‘Cause it just belongs to you and me
So let’s take a ride and see what’s mine

Singing, la la la

Oh, the passenger
He rides and he rides
He sees things from under glass
He looks through his window side

He sees the things that he knows are his
He sees the bright and hollow sky
He sees the city sleep at night
He sees the stars are out tonight

And all of it is yours and mine
And all of it is yours and mine
So let’s ride and ride and ride and ride

Singing, la la la

Here is a video of the song. Enjoy!

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Today I thought I would share this great song “All the Young Dudes” by Mott the Hoople. The song was written by David Bowie, specifically for Mott the Hoople when he heard that they were on the verge of splitting up. I have known this song for many years, and although I knew it was not sung by David Bowie, I always felt it bore similarities to some of his work. Now I know why. It was released as a single by Mott the Hoople in 1972 and got to number 3 in the Disunited Kingdom and to number 37 in the USA.

In 2004, it was rated at number 253 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. I was reminded of the song when I blogged here about the albums from 490 to 481 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, as the album by the same name is listed at number 484.

"All the Young Dudes" was written by David Bowie.

“All the Young Dudes” was written by David Bowie specifically for Mott the Hoople.

Well billy rapped all night about his suicide
How he kick it in the head when he was twenty-five
Speed jive don’t want to stay alive
When you’re twenty-five
And wendy’s stealing clothes from marks and sparks [Marks and Sparks is slang for the DUK retailer Marks and Spencer]
And freedy’s got spots from ripping off the stars from his face
Funky little boat race
Television man is crazy saying we’re juvenile deliquent wrecks
Oh man I need tv when I got t rex
Oh brother you guessed
I’m a dude dad
All the young dudes (hey dudes)
Carry the news (where are ya)
Boogaloo dudes (stand up come on)
Carry the news
All the young dudes (I want to hear you)
Carry the news (I want to see you)
Boogaloo dudes (and I want to talk to you all of you)
Carry the news

Now lucy looks sweet cause he dresses like a queen
But he can kick like a mule it’s a real mean team
But we can love oh yes we can love
And my brother’s back at home with his beatles and his stones
We never got it off on that revolution stuff
What a drag too many snags
Now I’ve drunk a lot of wine and I’m feeling fine
Got to race some cat to bed
Oh is there concrete all around
Or is it in my head
I’m a dude dad
All the young dudes (hey dudes)
Carry the news (where are ya)
Boogaloo dudes (stand up)
Carry the news
All the young dudes (I want to hear ya)
Carry the news (I want to see you)
Boogaloo dudes (and I want to relate to you)
Carry the news
All the young dudes (what dudes)

Carry the news (let’s hear the news come on)
Boogaloo dudes (I want to kick you)
Carry the news
All the young dudes (hey you there with the glasses)
Carry the news (I want you)
Boogaloo dudes (I want you at the front)
Carry the news (now you all his friends)
All the young dudes (now you bring him down cause I want him)
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes (I want him right here bring him come on)
Carry the news (bring him here you go)
All the young dudes (I’ve wanted to do this for years)
Carry the news (there you go)
Boogaloo dudes (how do you feel)
Carry the news


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Last week, in a big media event at London’s Science Museum, it was announced that Major Tim Peake would become Britain’s first “government backed” astronaut. He is scheduled to go to the International Space Station in late 2015.


He will not be the first British person in space, that was Helen Sharman who, in 1991, went into space through a joint venture between a number of private UK companies and the Russian government. There are also several British born astronauts who have gone into space through NASA, but to do so they have had to become US citizens. Michael Foale is the most well-travelled British born astronaut.

In my opinion it is wonderful news that the Disunited Kingdom’s government is now officially getting involved in sending humans into space. Although we learn a great deal about the Universe beyond Earth when we send space probes, there is nothing which captures the public imagination more than sending humans into space. One only had to see the press coverage this announcement received to see the proof of that, and today’s teenagers will hopefully be inspired to take up a career in science or engineering through being inspired by people like Tim Peake.

Of course the title of my blog is a play on the lines in David Bowie’s Space Oddity, so it also gives me a good excuse to add a YouTube clip of that wonderful song.

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