Berlin Remnants of the Cold War 2012
Like many people and all of my friends, I’m sad and upset and unsettled by the death of David Bowie.
I was not a ‘fan’ in the usual sense of the word, but I think in some sense we are all Bowie fans – those of us who value creativity, progressive ideas, humanity. His music expressed all of these and more.
I love many of his songs but the one that touches me most is Heroes. The sentiment of the song is wonderful – “We can be heroes, just for one day” – and indeed we can. The music is soaring and dramatic and makes me shiver.
But also, the song expresses for me what it was like to grow up in that strange time called the Cold War. The song spoke to me then, as it does now, of living in the shadow of politics and folly yet being able to rise above it, and love and live.
The song (and his 3 Berlin albums, Low, Heroes and Lodger) are my favourites … but can you have favourites among such a stupendous output by such a mercurial, creative, restless genius?
In any case these albums made me want to go to Berlin, and in time I did and it stays one of my favourite cities. I suppose he kind of put the city on the map for someone like me, living in the depths of Canada… it came in to my consciousness as a place… this was probably good for Berlin, for the people there not being forgotten.
I’ve had Heroes on loop for 2 days now.