The Thin White Duke

Photo by Jean-Luc
Life is somewhat stressful at the moment. My daughter is in the second year of her A’Levels, and it is audition and interview time at the moment, lots of travelling, stress and uncertainty, but also the promise of things to come.
I took her to the theatre on Friday night to see “Come, Been and Gone”, by Michael Clark Company.and many of the dances are set to the music of David Bowie. We were blown away by the amazing dancers. the costumes designed by Bodymap and the hypnotic lighting by Charles Atlas. I particularly loved the striped tailored jackets and red lycra suits in the piece to Jean Genie offset by turquoise lighting.
‘Sweet Thing’, ‘Aladdin Sane’ and ‘Jean Genie’ were my favourites.

I grew up listening to the music of Bowie.

Not by choice initially. I used to go and see my dad at the weekend and one of my brothers lived with him. He is ten years older than me and I used to basically worship the ground he walked on.
 His bedroom was a place of awe for my seven year old self, with guitars, records, tapes – cool stuff. He influenced my love of records and I was taught from an early age how to carefully take a record out of it’s sleeve, how to clean it whilst it was still moving on the turntable, how to gently drop the stylus onto the start of a track even in the middle of an album.
Music was his passion and he would play his guitar,write songs, record them in his room, and if I was lucky he would play them for me. He was and still is mega talented.

Bowie was one of his idols, and I grew up listening to his records. He saw him live on various occasions, and I used to think how amazing it would be to see a rock star – live.

As a teenager of about fifteen a boy once sent me a Valentine card and inside he had written the lyrics to Bowie’s “A letter to Hermione”. Very Poetic.

When I was eighteen I was camping in the South of France with some friends, Bowie was playing in Nice (his Glass Spider Tour), and one of the girls and I managed to get tickets to go and see him.
It was awesome, and I have continued off and on, to be inspired by his music.

My daughter has this same passion for music. I mentioned in this post how she had asked for a record player for Christmas, and is accumalting her own collection of vintage vinyl.

Influences – sounds, smells, images, they shape you.

I don’t see my brother much, but I am meeting him for lunch tomorrow. It will be good to catch up.


6 thoughts on “The Thin White Duke

  1. "I was taught from an early age how to carefully take a record out of it's sleeve, how to clean it whilst it was still moving on the turntable, how to gently drop the stylus onto the start of a track even in the middle of an album…" This used to be a rites of passage for all of us, certainly I can remember acquiring those exact same skills. Sadly, today, they are a dying craft.

  2. Not really a big fan of his music, always felt a bit strained and strangled but I guess that was his "thing". I did like him in that Vampire movie "The Hunger", bit naughty but all in good taste….eh, good taste, get it?, eh? oh never mind I'll get my coat. :)The last concert I went to was not in the same league but for the following week I was still singing "You can't touch this! diwwwwn nin a diww, da da, da da" (It was a long time ago, a very long time ago!) Have a great time with your brother, family is so important. x

  3. Exams and children taking them – I remember that time well. I also remember the David Bowie years and I still swoon at hearing his voice. Magic – love the man.

  4. Steve – I know, it's a bit sad, but then maybe so are we ;)joebloggs – Oh now you've done it ,all I can see is you in blinkin MC Hammer pants, stuttin your stuff,"You can't touch this!". Funnnny!Lorraine – Hello you! the university applications are stressing me out, never mind my daughter 🙂

  5. Oh wow…your description of your brother teaching you how to care for records takes me back to my youth. I loved my old record player and still have all my old records in my parents' loft – just couldn't bear to part with them…I hope you enjoyed your lunch x

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