Celebrating David Bowie

Mike Garson

David Bowie’s pianist Mike Garson was afgelopen woensdag met zijn 15 koppige band in Utrecht. Wie kent niet de pianosolo van Aladdin Sane? Deze Europese tour heet “Celebrating David Bowie”.

Ik besloot alleen te gaan, met de auto. Dat vind ik altijd spannend want ik ben niet zo’n held op de weg. Je kent dat wel, verkeerd rijden en dan vervolgens te laat komen. Typisch iets voor mij. Snel liet ik die gedachte los.

Via twitter en facebook polste ik wie er ook gingen. Ik kon afspreken met Wendy dan zouden we elkaar ontmoeten bij de zaal. Wendy en ik kennen elkaar als Bowiefans al heel lang maar hadden elkaar nog nooit ontmoet. Dat zou nu dus eindelijk na al die jaren gaan gebeuren. Ik had er zin in!


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The man who shocked the World

David Bowie

On this day, one year ago, the terrible news, that David Bowie had died, reached me while I was driving my son, Carel, who has Down’s syndrome to school. In the car we always listen to Michael Jackson, “this time around”. My phone rang at least 10 times. I thought to myself: “I hope this doesn’t mean my father has unexpectedly died”. Anyway I could not answer the phone because of the stress it would give my son. So I continued my drive to school first.


After that I went to a gasstation to read the textmessage from my mother. She wrote David had died of cancer the previous night! As I am writing this, the feeling of devastation and sadness hits me hard and feels exactly the same as a year ago. I was completely in shock and was shaking and cried out “NO, NO, not David”. But I immediately knew it was true.
I turned on the radio and heard David’s music and people were talking about him to the radiohost. I really had to pull myself together to get to the office safely. When I arrived there I thought: “What am I doing here? I have to get home and turn on the telly.”

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Goodbye David

Slecht nieuws

Het is pas twee weken geleden dat het slechte nieuws kwam: David Bowie overleden aan kanker. Ik was helemaal over mijn toeren. Dat kon toch niet waar zijn? ‘Blackstar’ was net uit, op zijn verjaardag uitgebracht, twee dagen eerder. Met zijn allen waren we zo blij met deze nieuwe muziek en spraken op facebook en twitter onze bewondering voor dit meesterwerk uit. Waarom wist ik niet dat hij ziek was? Ik voelde van alles: pijn, verdriet, verlies, ook iets van ‘nooit meer’. En ik heb gehuild, heel veel tranen. Als ik niet aan het huilen was, prikten de tranen achter mijn ogen.

Ik heb een week lang als een zombie rondgelopen, zoveel verdriet droeg ik mee. Ik ben mijn ‘lifelongfriend’ kwijt. David maakte veel langer deel uit van mijn leven dan mijn partner Eric. Maar wat ben ik trots dat hij met zo veel waardigheid heeft kunnen vertrekken.

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★ Blackstar

David Bowie

I love David Bowie’s music. The moment he touched me I became a fan. That was back in 1983. His voice is soothing and the music just gets in your DNA. I love almost every song he has made. He has meant a lot to me and still does. I always say: “Bowie guides us through life.” (us, meaning his fans)

★ Blackstar

With the fear still in the legs after the Paris attacks on the 13th of November along came a 10 min. long video of “Blackstar” last Thursdaynight. I was completely flabbergasted. The music is fresh and new and David’s voice touched my heart as he always does. The music made me cry. It was overwhelming. I loved the song immediately and the vid also. What happened next, is that I was actually telling my twitter followers: “I’m a Blackstar.” I was completely sucked into the story after about 4 minutes. Shortly after that David’s warning became clear.


Own eyes

David definitely has taught me a lesson: I must remain the observer, always. The short film is actually about what is happening in the World right now, I think.

And what he is also showing us is that maybe we shouldn’t worship David Bowie like a Messiah. Of course everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but let me tell you how I see his new Blackstarvideo. Feel free to comment.


Let me explain the way I see the story: Blackstar is a religion, all its followers are called Blackstars. The followers seem possessed by Blackstar who died as an astronaut on a dark planet. There is no light because of a total solar eclipse.

Blackstar’s skull is being worshipped. We see David blindfolded with black eyes sown in. This stands for following Blackstar blindly. The black eyes only preach Blackstarreligion, nothing else.

David warns us for this blindness and sings “At the centre of it all, your eyes.”

Then David becomes Blackstar and makes fun of all his followers to see if we are really that blind. He says: “Just go with me” and “Imma take you home.” But I will take everything away from you. Only then you have the right to become a follower and may call yourself a Blackstar. All the other stars he sings of must be banned. Like: “I’m not a white star, I’m not a filmstar, I’m not a popstar” etc. There is only one star and that is Blackstar.

He sings: “On the day of execution” which means the women are ready to die in the name of “Blackstar”. We see that in a ritual dance.

The scarecrows we see are the non-believers that are being punished for not believing the religion of Blackstar.

David’s lesson

It is important to always look with your own eyes. You must remain the observer and form your own opinion. This is my interpretation: Religion is based on fear. Religion can sometimes take over completely and makes you do things you couldn’t have imagined. And worshipping Idols can lead you away from reality.

Please note that the fantastic artwork is by Jonathan Barnbrook. See Jonathan explain here. I do not own any rights.

UPDATE: after David Bowie passed away, Jonathan has released the artwork for fans to remember David by! 

Watch the short film here: David Bowie’s channel

For more info on David Bowie: davidbowie.com