David Bowie passed away last Sunday.
In the face of such loss, we felt that it was only appropriate to hold a special Album Club in honour of the great man who once was. Someone whose career spanned over 4 decades and who spent almost all of that time in the spotlight, only to retreat in his final years to find some much needed quiet and peace.
Yet he wasn't done. And two days before he died, he released his final album, Blackstar (★), as a last goodbye for his fans. His magnum opus for the millions of people around the world whose lives were touched by his music.
Between 1976 and 1979, he lived in Schöneberg, a neighbourhood in what was previously known as West Berlin. As the founders of Sunday Album Club live in Berlin today, this connection we share with him is especially meaningful and we are reminded of when he performed here in front of the Reichstag on June 6, 1987, which was right next to the Berlin Wall. At the time, the city was well and truly divided. But in that moment, the wall didn't exist, as thousands of East Berliners pressed up against it to hear David sing and shout back the words.
“I will never forget that. It was one of the most emotional performances I've ever done. I was in tears. They backed up the stage to the wall itself so that it was acting as a backdrop. We kind of heard that a few of the East Berliners might actually get the chance to hear the thing, but we didn't realise in what numbers they would. And there were thousands on the other side that had come close to the wall. So it was like a double concept, where the wall was the division. And we would hear them cheering and singing along from the other side. God, even now I get choked up. It was breaking my heart. I've never done anything like that in my life. And I guess I never will again.”
Not a day goes by where this divisive period in the city's history isn't magnified in some way. But through the power of music, David was able to transcend through such barriers to reach those who felt as if they were being left behind. And what he found was a group of people who desired the same things as everyone else. Peace, understanding, and some good old fashioned rock and roll.
Remember and raise a glass to him in tribute here.
Rest in peace.