Vale David Bowie

January 12, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Modern Music | 0 Comments |

(photo by Adam Bielawski)

David Bowie (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016)

He was a total original, part of the vanguard of the synthesiser revolution, a singer-songwriter of genius, an innovative producer and arranger (e.g. Transformer), a rather odd but always compelling actor (he is appropriately weird in The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Hunger), and, in the best sense of the term, a trend-setter.

photo by Helge Øverås

photo by Helge Øverås

From avant-garde to Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, through Young Americans, the Berlin trilogy of Low, “Heroes” and Lodger, and Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), he mesmerised with his masterful changes of style, change of persona, angelic voice and the sheer exhilaration in his art.

Photo of the Thin White Duke by Jean-Luc Ourlin

Photo of the Thin White Duke by Jean-Luc Ourlin

Despite the exotic, varnished outer shell, the immersion in drugs and flirtations with various ‘isms’, one senses that he retained the basic common sense of David Jones from Brixton, about the only man brave enough to level with drug fiend Lou Reed, telling him ‘to clean up his act’, the gesture of true friendship that he was immediately made to regret.

The Varnished Culture’s all-time favourite Bowie songs are:

Absolute Beginners

Always Crashing in the Same Car

Ashes to Ashes

Boys Keep Swinging

Cat People


Cracked Actor

Diamond Dogs





The Jean Genie

John, I’m only dancing

Life on Mars?

The Man Who Sold the World

Modern Love

Oh! You Pretty Things

Rebel Rebel

Rock & Roll Suicide


Space Oddity


Suffragette City

Young Americans

Ziggy Stardust






The Varnished Culture went to the best pub (The Leicester) – got a little drunk and listened to the man – went home and played more Bowie into the night – and a friend asked whether we had heard Lazarus – we now have and it sounds like classic res gestae – a dying declaration by a true Giant – what a guy!

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