David Bowie's Berlin

As we come to the time of year celebrating the life and work of David Bowie (his birthday and anniversary of his passing), since I live in Berlin, I thought you might enjoy this article on "Bowie's Berlin"

Berlin, like his later home in New York, allowed him a sense of anonymity in a creative capital city. Also like NYC , Berlin is a great city to "get lost" in. Just roaming around and noticing how one neighbourhood transforms into the next is a great experience. However, if you have limited time, there are a few "Bowie themed" walking tours to take. One such example is : https://musictours-berlin.com/...

Bowie moved to Berlin in 1976. He wrote and recorded all or part of the albums; Low (1977), "Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) in Berlin, along with writing, producing and recording with Iggy Pop (The Idiot-1977 & Lust For Life 1977).

A decade later, a three-day festival in front of the Reichstag saw Bowie (along with Eurythmics and Genesis) performing near the wall. East Berliner fans gathered to listen to "Banned" western Rock music in the DDR. Bowie reflected on this show many times, and said it was one of the strongest live performances of "Heroes" he ever performed:

We kind of heard that a few of the East Berliners might actually get the chance to hear the thing, but we didn’t realize 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 concert 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’d never done anything like that in my life, and I guess I never will again.

Here is a great article on the Berlin concert: https://www.dw.com/en/87-conce...

Much like my former "hometown" of New York, Bowie's work and life are intertwined with Berlin. If you're a fan, you'll want to retrace some of his footsteps during your visit.

The Guardian ran a bit from someone who knew Bowie at the time, reflecting on the Berlin period. I especially like the story that he jumped up a local cabaret and sang a few Sinatra songs. The audience was there for someone else, and asked him to please stop. VERY Berlin: https://www.theguardian.com/mu...

Here is a bit more about his "haunts" from his brief, but productive life in Berlin.


Photo credits: Getty Images, self, Steve Shapiro, unknown/public domain

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Berlin Building
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David Bowie MOJO 1977 Clive Arrowsmith
Pic davidbowie