Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Bowie

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  • Stupid,

    Awesome Russell... I can nearly see it through the tears... x

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stupid,

    Aw, man. There are a lot of my friends I want to give a hug to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    "I had to phone someone so I picked on you. Hey, that's far out so you heard him too"

    Tonight I'm okay with being a lyric bot. Other stuff not so much.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    What's been happening tonight on social media is unprecedented. Tweets that aren't about David Bowie seem a bit rude, frankly.

    What I love about it is that it's all of us getting to talk about how art moved and made us. We don't do that often enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Holy shit, this is fantastic. Bowie talks about the internet to Jeremy Paxman in 2000.

    Paxman's gurning in the cutaways adds the crucial element of comedy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What I love about it is that it’s all of us getting to talk about how art moved and made us. We don’t do that often enough.

    We're also really shit at saying what artists mean to us when they're still around to care. I really hope Bowie knew how much he's loved and respected, not only by his musical peers, but by people whose lives he was the soundtrack to -- and bloody grim and lonely ones a lot of them sounded like. (As a sidebar, I'm very pleasantly surprised Bowie managed to keep his cancer secret for eighteen months and sincere kudos to everyone who respected his choice and privacy.

    Tonight I've been reading and hearing endless variations on "I was the fat kid, the smalltown queer, the girl with the mousy hair, and David Bowie told me it was going to be OK. I believed him. And he was right."

    I just can't articulate what Bowie means to me because he's both too big a presence who's been around in one way or another my whole life, and far too intimate and tightly wound around so many moments. But it's nice to know I'm not alone in that either.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Morris,

    I went to that Stages concert in Chch shown in the photo. Living in Wellington at the time but flew down just for it. The night was quite foggy. The stage was surrounded by these vertical tube lights, that flashed so it looked like they were in a cage. When he played Station to Station, the echo came back from the New Brighton area. Made that song very eerie. I remember my ears rang for a long time afterwards so the noise must have kept a lot of local residents up.
    I also saw his tour at Athletic Park 5 years later - not the Glass Spider one. A lot better stage performance but not as much soul there.

    Taupo • Since Jan 2016 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Chris Morris,

    When he played Station to Station, the echo came back from the New Brighton area. Made that song very eerie. I remember my ears rang for a long time afterwards so the noise must have kept a lot of local residents up.
    I also saw his tour at Athletic Park 5 years later - not the Glass Spider one. A lot better stage performance but not as much soul there.

    During the the long picnic-like wait as the sun went down at Western Springs in 1978, I remember someone saying that what we were about to experience would probably be as good as we'd ever get. Looking back, I think they were right. This from ten days later seems close enough to the finale of the NZ shows from that tour. Some sound to go with Stuart Page's great photo. It's too late to be grateful, but boy were we privileged.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart,

    Heard the news on my way to Jamie xx last night, and it coloured my evening somewhat. I came across this video recently, recorded live at the BBC in 1972 but not broadcast for another 10 years. Bloody fantastic.

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 70 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    I hope you all were with friends when you heard the news. I'm damn glad I was.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I think a little bit of me died last night. It was not because I was at this Christchurch concert but whilst Bowie was busy being born, so was I on the other side of the world. Irrelevant to him but increasingly important to me. Maybe it is intimations of mortality but also a shock.

    Sorrow

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    Words are inadequate.

    A couple of tiny memories: working out the lyrics to Life on Mars by stop-starting my cassette player and writing down the words phrase by phrase; and going into a hairdresser's with a black and white photo of immaculately blow-waved Bowie, and demanding to be made to look like this. Both these memories would have been from 1979.

    When Jamie XX played Let's Dance last night through that stonking sound system it was one of the most moving and exhilarating moments I have known.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    When Jamie XX played Let’s Dance last night through that stonking sound system it was one of the most moving and exhilarating moments I have known.

    Yes. I pretty much lost it. But, then, so did everyone else. It was so joyous.

    And that 33 year-old Nile Rodgers production sounded incredible through that big, modern dance music PA.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    My 11 year old son asked to go to sleep listening to Bowie last night. I've done something right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Richard Stewart,

    Heard the news on my way to Jamie xx last night, and it coloured my evening somewhat.

    But don't you feel lucky to have been there for what happened with 'Let's Dance'? I certainly do. I'll never forget that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    RNZ National will be playing Bowie songs in chronological order from 12.30 pm today (Matinee Idle).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1319 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    social media

    Because it's times like these we really are social.

    Bowie was special, so many of his works took you straight back to the time you first heard or saw them. So many of his songs were so very new and very powerful that they marked a moment in time.

    His death means there won't be any new Bowie moments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to simon g,

    RNZ National will be playing Bowie songs in chronological order from 12.30 pm today (Matinee Idle).

    ALL of them????

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    A photograph from another day. Jordan Luck's sister Miranda posted this pic of the (then) Dance Exponents meeting the man before playing support for Bowie at Western Springs in 1983.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Stewart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I have to say i was surprised at how emotional I felt - more like losing a personal friend than the passing of an admired artist. And yes I lost it when Let's Dance flooded the room last night.

    Pt Chev • Since Feb 2012 • 70 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What I love about it is that it’s all of us getting to talk about how art moved and made us.

    Yes! The intellectuals are starting to kick in now, which dismantles that visceral charge of being in my suburban bedroom, listening to 3ZM and hearing the thing that makes sense of your mind, and knowing this was the door opening. I was 12 1972, and all in one year: Changes, Starman, John I'm Only Dancing, Jean Genie.

    By the time Diamond Dogs came around in 1974 or 75 I got hold of the poster and put it up on my bedroom door, facing into the hall. My mother shuddered, and removed it. I stuck it up again. We came to a deal: inside my room: that was when she lost the battle for my soul. Then found Transformer because of Bowie. And the rest.

    By the time of Heroes I spent the next school holidays with my head by the speakers: away with it all.

    Then that QEII concert - the best stadium concert I've seen, ever. The lights, the music, and Bowie. In person. Mind-blowing. A perfect concert night and the sun going down, the bars of neon and black bars of sky... I clearly remember them ripping through TVC15 as an encore. Rebel Rebel and Heroes and I just about died. $9.50 to float for a week and never forget.

    (Oddly I didn't know on FB last night that the picture-taker Stu is Stu Page, who I didn't know much later in Wellington but so many of my friends did. For years saying, "you've gotta meet Stu"; "Stu did/said/played/was at...")

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    My 14 year old daughter has just been getting into Bowie with no little help from yours truly. We listened to Hunky Dory together on holiday last week and it was great to see her and her younger sister enjoying one of my favorite albums from beginning to end. When news broke of his death last night I spent a teary eyed 40 odd minutes listening to it again and reflecting on the early 70's when I first listened to this extraordinary album. From Changes to The Bewlay Brothers every track is an individual gem and collectively for me as an album Hunky Dory remains his finest work.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    George Kay's interview with Bowie for Rip It Up in Christchurch in 1978, before the show. Pics by Laurence Aberhart.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I was also at the '78 Christchurch show ... the echo was because some bozo had set up the stage directly facing the grandstand .... where we were it was terribly annoying ... though at one amazing point Bowie started to sing to/with the echo

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Noelle interviewed Hugh Lynn, who toured Bowie here three times, on RNZ earlier this morning. He made passing mention of Bowie's stage rider and she moved him on and I was all Noelle, ask him what was on the rider!!

    And then I remembered that I knew, because there had been a news report about it. If I recall correctly, Bowie's rider called for sushi.

    We eat it at the mall now of course, but back then it made him seem impossibly exotic and sophisticated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

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