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David Bowie dead at 69 (Read 26,488 times)
Gazza
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #75 - Jan 13th, 2016 at 5:05pm
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Starbuck wrote on Jan 12th, 2016 at 11:16pm:
Anyone know what ever became of ~~aZQb /TaSty FoAM~~?

I had never listened to Bowie before, but about 10-15 years ago over at Lew's joint, she ordered me to go out and procure a copy of ziggy, which i did. didn't like it the first spin....but by about the third time through, it was as if someone turned on a light, and it made perfect sense....like that scene in the wizard of oz when dorothy steps into technicolor for the first time.

not a bowie die hard - i'm only have five or six of his albums - but several of them are as complete an album as exile or abbey road....

which brings back the original question....did ~~ make the transition?



I was in regular contact with AzQB (Chrissie) up until about a decade ago, as was Ginda, but she seems to have voluntarily disappeared off the radar.  Last time I spoke to her, she and her husband were running a car hire company somewhere in NJ. I met them both before the NY shows in 2002. They were lovely people.
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #76 - Jan 13th, 2016 at 5:09pm
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Some light relief. I dont what its like anywhere else, but when a global megastar passes on, you can always count on the regional media outlets to try and get in on the act with a story on them which has some (very often tenuous) local angle.

This one from the Croydon Advertiser (a reasonably sized town just south of London) really takes the biscuit though. They managed to track down a man who delivered Bowie's milk in 1969 for an exclusive interview.

http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Old-Coulsdon-man-delivered-David-Bowie-s-milk...
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #77 - Jan 13th, 2016 at 8:31pm
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Second header with Brian

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Two-two Jones with Lulu 1973
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #78 - Jan 13th, 2016 at 8:31pm
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Third header, with Keith

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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #79 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 3:57am
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Gazza wrote on Jan 12th, 2016 at 5:16pm:
hmmm.



This is the original version of the Elvis song "Flaming Star". Elvis re-recorded it when the movie was re-titled at the 11th hour.  (It wasnt released until the mid-90s)

If you know the song and the movie, the significance of the title deals with Elvis' character riding off to his offscreen death having seen the ominous Flaming Star (or Black Star) of Death.

There have been a few theories about a deep literary significance to the title of Bowie's final statement to the world,
(see here for a good one :
http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/bowies-blackstar-reappraised-the-clues-most-o... )

but the connection may very well be as simple as this.

Elvis' character in the movie comes from a bi-racial family (Bowie's marriage is inter-racial).  Both artists were on RCA.  Both share the same birthday (January 8th) - the date on which the Bowie album was released.

Also probably no coincidence that this was the first Bowie album ever not to feature his picture or image on the front cover.


And although the whole world knows their names it often mispronounces them (Prez-ley; Bough-ie).
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #80 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 5:53am
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #81 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 6:06am
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #82 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 11:09am
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From NY Post - Richard Johnson's column - 1/14/16

David Bowie had a great sense of humor. Art critic Charlie Finch recalls driving down St. Marks Place with him in 1999 when they spotted a T-shirt in a shop window showing Bowie with the words, "I F - - ked Mick Jagger." He stopped the car, told me to buy every shirt, and then handed them out to passers-by.
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #83 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 11:17am
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David Bowie Planned Post-'Blackstar' Album, 'Thought He Had Few More Months'


"His energy was still incredible for a man who had cancer," longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti says. "He never showed any fear"

BY BRIAN HIATT January 13, 2016


...

Longtime David Bowie producer Tony Visconti recalls Bowie's last months and says the singer was planning a 'Blackstar' follow-up - Jimmy King



About a week before his death, with Blackstar[/i[ nearing release, David Bowie called his longtime friend and producer Tony Visconti via FaceTime, and told him he wanted to make one more album. In what turned out to have been the final weeks of his life, Bowie wrote and demo-ed five fresh songs, and was anxious to return to the studio one last time. Bowie had known since November that his cancer was terminal, according to Visconti, but if their final conversation was any indication, he had no idea he had so little time left. "At that late stage, he was planning the follow-up to [i]Blackstar," says Visconti, that album's producer, in an interview conducted Wednesday for a Bowie memorial package in the next issue of Rolling Stone.

"And I was thrilled," Visconti continues, "and I thought, and he thought, that he'd have a few months, at least. Obviously, if he's excited about doing his next album, he must've thought he had a few more months. 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." Visconti has been working with Bowie on and off since 1969's Space Oddity, producing numerous key albums, among them 1970's The Man Who Sold the World, 1977's Low, 1980's Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), and 2013's surprise comeback The Next Day.

Visconti first learned of Bowie's illness a year ago, when he showed up for Blackstar recording sessions in New York. "He just came fresh from a chemo session, and he had no eyebrows, and he had no hair on his head," says Visconti, "and there was no way he could keep it a secret from the band. But he told me privately, and I really got choked up when we sat face to face talking about it."

"In November, [the cancer] had spread all over his body, so there's no recovering from that."
Around the middle of 2015, however, Bowie's prognosis seemed to improve. "He was optimistic because he was doing the chemo and it was working," says Visconti, "and at one point in the middle of last year, he was in remission. I was thrilled. And he was a bit apprehensive. He said, 'Well, don't celebrate too quickly. For now I'm in remission, and we'll see how it goes.' And he continued the chemotherapy. So I thought he was going to make it. And in November, it just suddenly came back. It had spread all over his body, so there's no recovering from that."

Bowie had already finished Blackstar by November. But even before then, Visconti noticed the tone of some of the lyrics and told him, "You canny bastard. You're writing a farewell album." Bowie simply laughed in response. "He was so brave and courageous," says Visconti. "And his energy was still incredible for a man who had cancer. He never showed any fear. He was just all business about making the album."

As far as Visconti knows, rumors of additional health problems between Bowie’s 2004 heart attack and his cancer diagnosis 18 months ago are false. "When I met up with him in 2008 or 2009," he says, "he actually had some weight on him. He was robust. His cheeks were rosy red. He wasn't sick. He was on medicine for his heart. But it was normal, like a lot of people in their 50s or 60s are on heart medication, and live very long lives. So he was coping with it very, very well." In the time between the heart attack and the 2013 release of The Next Day, Bowie even took boxing lessons.

When Visconti learned of Bowie's death, the producer was on the road with Holy Holy, a Bowie tribute project that includes former Spiders from Mars drummer Mick "Woody" Woodmansey. "We deliberated whether we should continue the tour because we were all knocked sideways," Visconti says. "Monday was the worst day of my life. I gotta say. But we talked about it and said, 'We’re musicians, this is what we do. David would like it.' We played for the first time since his death last night to a very, very enthusiastic Toronto audience. There were people crying, but there were people smiling and clapping and jumping around. Listen, it was a wonderful experience to be able to acknowledge him, to celebrate his life."

Visconti and many other Bowie friends and collaborators reminisce about the musician in the next issue of Rolling Stone.



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/david-bowie-planned-post-blackstar-album-...
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #84 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 4:47pm
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Edith Grove wrote on Jan 14th, 2016 at 8:22am:
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Big names to honor David Bowie


Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NEW YORK CITY --
A concert that was planned prior to David Bowie's unexpected death will continue now as a memorial show.

And some big names in the world of music will take the stage to remember their fellow performer.

Cyndi Lauper, The Roots and Ann Wilson of Heart had already been announced to appear at the March 31 concert called "The Music of David Bowie at Carnegie Hall."

Now, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger will also pay tribute to Bowie, The Mirror reported.

It is also said that Elton John will be part of the lineup, according to The Mirror.

Bowie died Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer.

He had released his 25th album just three days before.


http://myconnection.cox.com/article/trending/aHR0cHM6Ly9pZGVudGlmaWVycy5jbWdkaWd...



McCartney's publicist has already denied that hes playing this show.

To be honest, the whole thing reads like a tabloid writer's wishlist - a bit like all those British superstars (including the Stones and Bowie - neither of whom were active at the time) who were mooted to play at the London Olympics.

There's been some serious bollocks written in the tabloids in the last 3 days - which you'd sort of expect about a celebrity who doesnt do press interviews.  Tony Visconti today dismissed as rubbish a former biographer's 'exclusive' on Monday that Bowie had suffered about half a dozen heart attacks in the last few years (saying that he had even started taking boxing lessions about four years ago) and just a few hours ago Bowie's official instagram and social media account confirmed they were still preparing for a private funeral - even though several UK tabloids stated this morning that he has already been secretly cremated without even any family members being present.
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #85 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 6:48pm
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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #86 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 7:04pm
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http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/from-left-to-right-singers-mick-jagger-tina-...

no stones....but this would be fun to be at, no?

this, i believe, was the entertainment for gazza's bar mitzvah.

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« Last Edit: Jan 14th, 2016 at 7:06pm by Starbuck »  

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Memorial concert
Reply #87 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 9:16pm
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Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney 'to play David Bowie memorial concert in New York'


The two legendary musicians are expected to lead the way at The Music of David Bowie at Carnegie Hall in March

David Bowie will be honoured with a tribute concert in New York later this year, with some legendary musicians set to take to the stage.

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are amongst those expected to remember the star.

The event - named The Music of David Bowie - was already set to take place at Carnegie Hall before the singer died on Monday, but following his passing, the 31st March event will now be a memorial show.

According to the Daily Star, The Beatles and Rolling Stones legends are expected to join the likes of Sir Elton John as part of the line-up.

Meanwhile, a statement on the event's website reads: "The unexpected death of David Bowie has turned this tribute, which we have worked on for the past 7 months, into a memorial concert...

"This year's concert will certainly be remembered as a poignant celebration of his music by his friends, peers, and fans.

"We are deeply saddened by the news. The timing of our public on-sale date is bizarre in its timing and the show is taking on many more emotions. RIP David and may God's love be with you."

Bowie Tribute Concert to Have a Second Night, at Radio City
By ANDREW R. CHOW JAN. 14, 2016


Shortly before David Bowie’s death, Carnegie Hall announced a concert honoring the singer on March 31. Now, the event, part of the City Winery founder Michael Dorf’s annual tribute series, will be reframed as a memorial concert, and a second show has been added at Radio City Music Hall, with Michael Stipe, Laurie Anderson and Cat Power joining one or both of the lineups.

The Carnegie Hall show will feature Mr. Stipe, Ms. Anderson and Cat Power along with the previously announced artists: the Roots, Jakob Dylan, the Mountain Goats, Bettye LaVette, Perry Farrell, Robyn Hitchcock and Ann Wilson of Heart. The bill for the April 1 concert at Radio City Music Hall includes Cat Power, Mr. Farrell, Ms. Wilson and the Polyphonic Spree. The house band for both shows will consist of longtime Bowie collaborators: the producer Tony Visconti and drummer Woody Woodmansey, both of whom were original members of Mr. Bowie’s Spiders From Mars.

Tickets for the April 1 concert will go on sale on January 15 at 11 a.m. at musicof.org. Tickets for the Carnegie Hall date are officially sold out.

“This year’s concert will certainly be remembered as a poignant celebration of his music by his friends, peers and fans,” reads a statement on the concert website.

Several of the acts had personal relationships with Mr. Bowie, including Ms. Anderson and her husband, Lou Reed, who died in 2013. In 1998, Mr. Bowie and Ms. Anderson collaborated for an exhibition called “Line” at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and Mr. Bowie enlisted Ms. Anderson for the High Line Festival in 2007.

Mr. Stipe penned a tribute to Mr. Bowie on Facebook on Tuesday, writing, “Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off its axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost its orbit.”

The Polyphonic Spree, a Texas indie rock band, opened for Mr. Bowie on his Reality Tour in 2004. “He’s the first guy who took real interest and initiative and brought us over there,” its frontman, Tim DeLaughter, told Guide Live this week. “He changed our life.”

Both shows’ set lists will likely be stocked with familiar covers. Jakob Dylan’s band, the Wallflowers, played “Heroes” in 1998; the Polyphonic Spree performed “Five Years” in 2002; and Cat Power recorded “Space Oddity” in 2008.

On Thursday, Mr. Bowie’s family posted an official note on his website, indicating that arrangements were being made for a private ceremony honoring the musician’s life. “We are overwhelmed by and grateful for the love and support shown throughout the world,” the note reads. “However, it is important to note that while the concerts and tributes planned for the coming weeks are all welcome, none are official memorials organized or endorsed by the family. Just as each and every one of us found something unique in David’s music, we welcome everyone’s celebration of his life as they see fit.”

A version of this article appears in print on January 15, 2016, of the New York Times
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #88 - Jan 14th, 2016 at 9:28pm
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RE: today's header...howe often did bill play a hofner?
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #89 - Jan 15th, 2016 at 4:16pm
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Guys- what's that Bowie tune that goes- "ooh somebody save me, somebody, somebody"? I really want to hear that one, I don't know the name.
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #90 - Jan 15th, 2016 at 4:40pm
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David Bowie was true to his art, and himself, to the very end


BY KEITH SPERA

KSPERA@THEADVOCATE.COM
Jan. 13, 2016



David Bowie died the same way he lived: On his own terms. He was a pop culture icon for more than 40 years, but wanted to — and managed to — keep his terminal cancer secret for 18 months.

He also unveiled a new album, “Blackstar,” on Jan. 8, his 69th birthday — only two days before a Facebook post announced his passing. His enduring creative spirit was undiminished to the end.

Labeling Bowie a “rock star” seems inadequate. He was a sophisticated, fearless, multi-dimensional artist. His work was far more daring and diverse than what usually flows from someone operating at his level of commercial success.

In his early Ziggy Stardust period, he craved, and thrived on, attention. His outlandish appearance(s) — going eyebrow-less is a surefire way to achieve an alien, otherworldly look — fed that need. It was all designed to challenge perceptions and norms while exploring themes of alienation.

The end result could be outlandish, but his inspirations and aspirations were not that different from many of his British rock star peers. His earliest show biz dream, he told more than one interviewer, was to play saxophone in Little Richard’s band. On his 1983 album “Let’s Dance,” he featured a then-unknown blues-rock guitarist from Texas named Stevie Ray Vaughan. Bowie loved earthy American roots music, even as he framed it within the sleek pop of “Modern Love” and “China Girl.”

Long-ago bouts of drug-fueled decadence aside, he adhered to a refined decorum, a sly bad boy with impeccable British manners, smarts and style. His “Little Drummer Boy” duet with Bing Crosby, the oldest of old-school entertainers, was decidedly traditional and sweet. The much-viewed video reveals an obvious affection between these two men of very different generations and mindsets.

Similarly, Bowie dutifully played his assigned role during a 1980 appearance on “The Tonight Show.” Host Johnny Carson, a fan of big band jazz, didn’t quite know what to make of Bowie, who gamely smiled and hit his marks like a pro.

His preening, posturing and flamboyance couldn’t mask an unmistakable vulnerability in his voice, songs and acting. It enabled him to play a marooned alien in the “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” and Joseph Merrick, “The Elephant Man,” in a touring Broadway production.

But he was anything but vulnerable when he commandeered the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans on April 30, 2004. It was the last of his very few Louisiana performances. On “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars” tour in 1972, he hit the famously grungy Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas, a ticket costing a princely $4. He headlined the LSU Assembly Center in Baton Rouge in April 1978. He staged his massive Glass Spider production — underwritten by Pepsi in an early, and somewhat controversial, example of corporate tour sponsorship — at the Superdome on Oct. 6, 1987, with his school chum Peter Frampton on lead guitar.

Seventeen years later, Bowie compressed what felt like an arena-sized show into the Saenger. Ray Davies, the voice of the Kinks, and Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor, both New Orleans residents at the time, were in attendance, indicative of the breadth of Bowie’s appeal.

Backed by an equally compelling band, he was charming, engaged and absolutely in command as he rocked nearly 30 songs over two-and-a-half-hours. He opened with the classic “Rebel, Rebel” followed by “New Killer Star,” from his then-current “Reality” album. That pairing served notice that this would not be a greatest hits recital. He intended to treat newer, more challenging compositions as equally worthy.

Much of his output over the past 15 years has left me cold. But that night, he made the newer songs feel as vital as the classics. The room was absolutely combustible; Bowie and the band lit the fuse. He was on fire from start to finish.

That show felt like a victory lap. It also turned out to be one of his last.

That summer while on tour in Europe, Bowie underwent an angioplasty procedure on a blocked artery. He canceled the final month of scheduled concerts and never toured again.

Instead, he largely withdrew from public life. He apparently spent time at a wooded spread outside New York City, away from the prying eyes of paparazzi. He occasionally stepped out with his wife, the supermodel Iman. Cameras sometimes caught him on the streets in the city, hidden by sunglasses and a cap, a dapper older guy trying to go about his business anonymously.

He released new music only intermittently, and with little warning. Such was the case with “Blackstar.” Much has been made of “Lazarus,” a track that includes the lyrics, “Look up here, I’m in heaven/I’ve got scars that can’t be seen/I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen/Everybody knows me now.”

Did he intend the album as his own, Bowie-esque obituary? It would be just like him to incorporate his final act into his final art.

But even as he sought to make one last artistic statement, he didn’t feel the need to make his illness public. As he once sang, “Don’t lean on me, man. You can’t afford the ticket.”

None were available to the last chapter of his life. Ultimately, even the man who sold the world wanted to keep some of it for himself.


The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and members of Arcade Fire will lead a memorial second-line parade in Bowie’s honor on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. It will depart from Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter Street, at 4 p.m.

Follow Keith Spera on Twitter, @KeithSpera.



http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/features/14563384-32/david-bowie-was-an-art...
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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #91 - Jan 15th, 2016 at 5:52pm
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I LOVED THE MAN & THE MUSIC.
BUT TO ME I'M MOST IMPRESSED WITH THE DIGNITY HE LIVED HIS LIFE,KEEPING HIS BUSINESS TO HIMSELF & TO HELL WITH THE BEGRUDGERS.

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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #92 - Jan 15th, 2016 at 6:16pm
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Some Guy are you talking about "Blue Jean"?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LTYvjrM6djo
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #93 - Jan 16th, 2016 at 10:06am
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Marie wrote on Jan 15th, 2016 at 6:16pm:
Some Guy are you talking about "Blue Jean"?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LTYvjrM6djo



That's It!!

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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #94 - Jan 16th, 2016 at 10:56am
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Bowie also collaborated with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.

And, also check out his collaboration with Iggy Pop- Idiot and Lust for Life
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #95 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 12:41am
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Young Armenian, oh-ho-ho yeah
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #96 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 11:31am
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #97 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 11:36am
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I like this poignant take on the 'Lazarus' video. "Time waits for no one",  indeed.

It’s staggering how differently a piece of art can be interpreted both before and after someone’s death. In the case of the late David Bowie’s music video for “Lazarus,” what may have been viewed as an innocuous 4 minutes of trippy entertainment turns into a disturbing, emotionally raw, premeditated goodbye letter.

I appreciate the impact “Lazarus” — and by extension the entirety of Bowie’s final album Blackstar — has and will have on his fans. We now understand that it was always meant as a final gift from Bowie to his fans.

But for me, that video is a warning.

There’s a scene about 3 minutes into the “Lazarus” video that’s difficult to watch. Scratch that, the entire video is difficult to watch now. Let’s call this scene harrowing. Bowie sits at a desk, frustrated and seemingly impatient to find the right words to jot down in the notebook in front of him. Suddenly a brief smile lights up his face and he begins enthusiastically scrawling on the pad in front of him.
A few seconds later, it’s as if Bowie is overwhelmed. He’s frantically writing now, face wrinkled in concentration, writing so furiously that his hand spills off the page and down the front of his desk.

To me, it’s screaming that Bowie had so much left to say. To contribute. To create. But time has run out.
There’s sage advice embedded here, a thinly veiled warning: Do not waste any more time not expressing yourself. Say what you need to say, boldly and without reservation. Nurture your creativity and don’t be shy about it. Stop constantly consuming and start creating before it’s too late, and that dark, mysterious wardrobe into nothingness consumes you.
Leave your mark. Start today.


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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #98 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 11:47am
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David Bowie's last days: an 18-month burst of creativity


Over the last months of his life, the singer was able to shake off late career doldrums and, despite his illness, find a final creative surge



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This picture, published for the first time, was taken by David Bowie’s longstanding photographer Jimmy King in September last year and captures him on the set of the video for Blackstar in Brooklyn, New York


For more than a decade before his death David Bowie seemed to disappear. Beset by ill health after an on-stage heart attack in 2004, he largely withdrew into a life at home in New York, becoming a ghost in the city where he had lived for a quarter of a century.

Yet as the world comes to terms with his death this week, admirers are digesting a remarkable late burst of creativity, a dramatic 18-month flourish capped by an apparently exquisitely well-crafted exit.


At 69, Bowie reasserted himself both as a musician – Blackstar, the album released two days before his death, is topping charts around the world – and as a questing creative figure whose vision is still playing out on the New York theatre stage.

How did Bowie pull this off from the penthouse duplex he shared with wife, Iman, and 15-year-old daughter, Lexi, in the Nolita section of downtown Manhattan?

The singer’s encroaching frailty meant he kept his life local. The theatre where his play Lazarus is running is no more than a few minutes walk away; Magic Shop, the studio where he recorded albums Blackstar and The Next Day, is even closer, on Crosby Street.

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Magic Shop recording studio in Manhattan where David Bowie recorded Blackstar
Photograph: Hannes Bieger

Each place would offer Bowie a last opportunity to work in the musical and theatrical worlds that he had specialised in amalgamating throughout his career. “He wasn’t any single thing,” longtime collaborator Mick Rock told the Guardian. “He was the great synthesizer.”

The picture that has emerged over the past few days is of a man who was able to shake off late career doldrums and, in spite of declining health, find a final, focused burst of creativity.

First, in 2013, came The Next Day, an album that was a stylistic tour of his career; then the V&A’s David Bowie Is – an exhibit of 300 objects of Bowie memorabilia revealing the consideration with which he had preserved the artefacts of his career; the play Lazarus, now set for London’s West End; and finally Blackstar, a jazz record that launched with a video that appears to anticipate his death.

According to Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti, Bowie had known since at least November that his cancer was terminal. But even in his final weeks, Bowie had no idea how little time was left and was talking about a Blackstar follow-up.

Pictures from the opening night of Lazarus on 7 December last year showed Bowie still handsome and immaculate but possibly showing signs that he may have been unwell. Theatre producer Robert Fox, who worked with him on Lazarus, said Bowie never complained.

“The work was great and working with him was wonderful but it wasn’t great that he wasn’t well. It was not good at all. Some days he just wasn’t able to be around, but whenever he could be, it [his cancer] didn’t interfere with his contribution. It was just horrible for him, rather than difficult for us.”

Fox believed the work was not specifically coloured by Bowie’s sense of his own mortality. “The struggle with mortality goes on whether or not you’re unwell. People write about that stuff even when they’re in perfectly good health,” he said. But Fox, who helped Bowie find a director and cast the actors, concedes it must have had some effect.

“He would talk about his illness only to the extent that it affected his work. Not in any other way. He never grumbled. But I don’t think he planned on not being around. He was optimistic that something (a treatment) would come along that meant that he could be.”

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David Bowie arrives at the premiere of the musical Lazarus. Photograph: BR/ dana press/PA

Bowie had been battling cancer for six months when he entered Magic Shop’s expansive studio facilities in January 2015 to record his 25th album. The studio, which has also been used by Coldplay and Arcade Fire, was already known to him; he had recorded much of his previous album The Next Day there. But instead of rock musicians, he brought seven demos to progressive jazz saxophonist Donny McCaslin.

The sessions were short and light-hearted, typically running from 11am to 4pm over three sessions of a week through to March. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem came in to add synths and percussion and the tracks were finished off in Visconti’s own studio in April.

Visconti, who produced the album over the first few months of 2015, told Rolling Stone that Bowie showed up for some Blackstar sessions without eyebrows or hair after undergoing chemotherapy.

“There was no way he could keep it a secret from the band,” he told the magazine. “But he told me privately and I really got choked up when we sat face to face talking about it.”

Bowie’s affliction had not dulled his enthusiasm for work. “His energy was that of a very young person diving into everything with fearless joy and abandon,” said recent Bowie collaborator Maria Schneider, the orchestral-jazz composer. “Not to say he wasn’t serious. He was very clear about what he did and didn’t like.”



Annie-B Parson, of New York’s Big Dance Theater company, was the choreographer on the Lazarus musical and worked in close proximity with Bowie from September until the opening night in December.

She said she did not know he was ill and did not think the actors knew either as they worked quickly to develop the show in a tiny studio at the New York Theater Workshop.

But the director of the musical, Ivo van Hove, told her something that she only now realises the significance of. “At the beginning, he said this was the saddest piece he had ever worked on,” she said. “It’s deeply connected to death and a person contemplating his own existence from the first moment we see him.”


During rehearsals, Bowie sat quietly, elegantly dressed in grey sweater and white shirt, writing with a stub of pencil on a piece of paper. Physically, “all criss-crossed”, the choreographer noted, his slender arms and legs twisted about each other in concentration. Bowie would not intervene, but the creative team would get feedback.

“He insisted on spectacle. What struck me was that Bowie was from some other place, he wasn’t of this planet and he was cool with that,” Parson said.

It only occurred to her with hindsight that a person’s knowledge that they may have limited time left might fuel their creativity. Bowie was suddenly prolific, driven. “There was almost an insistence that he had so much to say. He needed to get out these songs in time. And he did,” she said.

Speaking on Friday from Warsaw, van Hove said: “The first thing that struck me when I met in a room in New York with David and Enda [Walsh, Bowie’s co-writer on the piece] and they read it to me and played some of the music was the existential theme – life and death and is there life after death or can you go on living just in your mind or your imagination?”

When Bowie told van Hove, in strictest confidence, in November 2014, that he had cancer and might not survive the project, the songs he was writing became deeper, especially Lazarus, the song of the eponymous musical and single.

“It is like his testament,” said van Hove.

Bowie’s creative surge was stunning. When he was feeling ill after treatment, he would stay away from rehearsals, but was intimately involved when in attendance and a genuine collaborator who thrived off his cohorts’ ideas, van Hove said.

“He was private about the details of his health situation. I didn’t question him, but I knew he did not want to die. He was in a struggle for life during those 18 months,” he said.

Some of the songs in the musical convey huge inner rage and a protest about violence in society, overlaid with poetry and layers of sound. “But in person he was always the perfect gentleman,” van Hove said. As Bowie became sicker, later in 2015, van Hove said he saw fear in his eyes. “He was fragile,” he said.

After the opening night of Lazarus, Bowie had to sit down backstage with van Hove and Iman, exhausted after taking his bow. “I escorted him to his car and I somehow knew it was the last time I would see him.”

Music video director Johan Renck was already thrilled to be working with his childhood hero last July on the title track of the diamond heist TV drama The Last Panthers that he had directed in England, when the British pop icon told him there was more to the tune they had just recorded. A lot more – a version that turned out to be Blackstar, the towering single from the album Bowie had been writing.

“I flew from London to New York and met with him at his office in Soho to listen to the full track. He put his hand on my shoulder and said with a grin – ‘I must warn you, it’s 10 minutes long’. There was no way I could say no. He had this warmth and this infectious smile and I knew it would be an interesting journey,” Renck said.


The two began a fiercely intense and, as it turned out, all too short collaboration.

“Over Skype he said ‘I feel I have to tell you this. I’m very ill and I may not make it’. I had been in this playful mood, pitching ideas back and forth with him like giddy 12-year-olds and I was absolutely shocked. He said: ‘I don’t even know if by the time we shoot this video you will have to have a replacement for me to perform in it’,” Renck said.

Bowie gave Renck no details of his cancer, only that he would be in cycles of treatment that meant he would have “my good periods and bad periods”, the director said. Bowie asked Renck not to tell a soul – this is the first time he has spoken publicly since Bowie’s death.

When Bowie and Renck came to shoot the video for Blackstar in September and, in November, the next single Lazarus, the mood was exuberant.

They shot Bowie performing for one day for each video and just five hours on those days in a studio in Brooklyn. That was all his health would take, Renck said.


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Dsvid Bowie as Button Eyes in the Lazarus video. Photograph: handout/Handout

Bowie wanted it to feature an isolated village, then Renck came up with the idea of rituals that mixed the occult with a celebration of life. Bowie also wanted a scarecrow in the video, Renck said, and sent Renck his sketch for the macabre character Button Eyes that he plays in both videos. The sketch showed a bandaged head, buttons for eyes and just a small strip of a Mohawk for hair.

“Bowie didn’t know if he would have hair left by the time of the shoot,” said Renck.

In fact he did, a splendid shock of silvery grey hair – though he had to be careful or it came out in tufts because of his cancer treatment.
   
Unlike the sweeping anthem Blackstar, Renck described Lazarus as a little gem. Bowie reappears as Button Eyes, tormented on a hospital bed.

“I just thought of it as the Biblical tale of Lazarus rising from the bed. In hindsight, he obviously saw it as the tale of a person in his last nights,” said Renck.

While working, Bowie talked of his family but kept himself quite private, while being very easygoing and friendly with the small crew that worked on the intimate shoot.

He would arrive so suave in suit and fedora and sip cups of tea, Renck said, Despite the warning, he did not realise the star was so gravely ill because he seemed so spritely while shooting. He would get tired and take breaks, Renck said, but he seemed so happy.

The video of Lazarus shows Button Eyes and also Bowie’s other “character”, a dancer in a slick suit, gyrating in classic Bowie camp style then writing frenetically, a man desperately running out of time. Finally the figure retreats into a wardrobe and shuts the doors behind him.

It’s haunting but also witty, mocking death, Renck said.

“So British, the wit, like a guilt thing, making sure it’s not coming across as too serious or pretentious – and yet that enhances the humanity of it.”

Renck and Bowie also agreed that the joke was that the star, legendary for his gender-bending and fluid sexuality, was going “back into the closet”.

“The closet, or coffin, if you will,” said Renck.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jan/15/david-bowies-last-days-an-18-month-...
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Re: David Bowie dead at 69
Reply #99 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 4:06pm
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Factory Girl wrote on Jan 16th, 2016 at 10:56am:
Bowie also collaborated with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.


That was an amazing tour IMO...I really felt like I was witnessing something that would become legendary

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