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Podcast Trilogy Rock

// Grabat el dissabte 5 de març de 2016.

Homenatge a David Bowie

// Tamany: 84MB // Reproduccions: 160   
// Duració: 184 minuts // Descarregues: 41   
Programa especial d'homenatge al David Bowie, que com sabeu ens va deixar el passat 10 de gener.

L'Eduard Serra, activista cultural i musicòleg, com a bon coneixedor i seguidor del músic anglès, és qui porta l'eix central de l'especial, amb les contribucions de l'equip habitual del Trilogy i la presència també als estudis de Ràdio Sant Joan d'en Kevin Taylor, un altre gran admirador de l'obra del britànic, i que com a complement de les seves aportacions durant l'especial ens va deixar un molt interessant escrit amb una serie de reflexions personals sobre la figura del David Bowie.

Aquest és l'escrit del Kevin:

A Series of Factual ‘BowieDotes’

This man has been a constant in my life, since I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. First by hearing him indirectly through my brother Mike’s obsessive, fanatic discovery - Yes! There is such a thing as a ‘Bowie Fanatic’ in this world. We are many, we could form one of the biggest armies on earth and unleash an apocalypse of creative changes, all in the name of Lord Bowie. Obsessive Religious Fanaticism is nothing new, after all. Part of the artistic process is stealing from your influences a little piece of their best work and making it your own - Leading to me asking him one day, “Where’s the Bowie?”. My brother, at this point was trying to release himself from the grip of this mans’ art. As an artist/musician/composer himself, my brother was feeling suffocated and needed a break to collect his own thoughts, search out original ideas for his own projects. His reply to me was, “You won’t find them. I buried them in the forest!”. The mysticism deepened! I don’t actually know if he buried them or not. Probably not. I think he was just being a ‘shit-head’ brother at the time, coveting his treasure, keeping it from the sticky hands of his ‘little-shit’ brother! Childhood, hey! We got away with murder, seemingly. Mike’s not like that at all now. He’s a perfect brother to me!

Such was the power of this man’s ability to enter one’s psyche. Magnetise your mind like a modern day ‘Piped Piper’. Draw you in like the ‘Child Catcher’ in ‘Chitty Chitty Band Bang’. What are these stories, what are these sounds, what is he wearing, look how he moves so strangely, his face is painted, his eyes are different colours, he looks like two or three different people all at the same time, conjoined triplets in perfect symmetry. This man was not a pop star. What was he singing about? Should I follow him? Of course I should. Does he have any more sweets for me? Will I be ok? From that moment on, I never was!

David Bowie propelled me into space, lead me down streets, introduced me to backstreet bars full of strange characters. All the while spinning these yarns full of mayhem and sonic enlightenment. Influencing me to think like this, sample that. Fill me up and free me all at the same time. Reduce me to tears, make me laugh, turn me on and make me dance in the fantasy of his making. Never boring me, never letting me sleep, not dare look away in case I missed something new!

We all have our stories about David Bowie. We all feel connected to this guy in some way, shape or form, either through his music, fashion, film-work, art or much more. David has always been the elusive super-cool entity at the world party that we wanted to sidle up to and say hello, pick his brains. ‘He's Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature’ all rolled into one. The truth is few of us ever had the opportunity to meet him in person. And so we rely on media reports, quotes, interviews and hearsay about who we think this man actually was. We’re all still trying to find that out, aren't we! That to me was always his most redeeming quality. We will never know for sure. To me David was a sonic, visual, iconic character, full of surprises just when you thought you were beginning to understand his mind and pigeon-hole it. He is a person that you can never really label one thing or the other. In reality we are all like this and David was simply the master of disguises in regards to his true persona! What follows is a series of what I will label ‘BowieDotes’, a pun on ‘anecdotes’, because they are certainly not ‘Spreading rumours and lies and stories they made up’, and because they only apply solely to him in his, shall we say, private life. I will relay them to you chronologically as I heard them second, third or fourth-hand from the people he interacted with and touched.

Bowiedote 1 - The Inclusive Doting Father

It’s 1987 and I’m underage drinking in a Harpenden pub with my bandmates from ‘Beneficial Gene’ after a rehearsal session. We’re all teenagers kicking back and sharing stories. We all liked Bowie of course, but I was known as the obsessive of the group. So I’m supping on my rum ’n’ coke in the corner of the pub when my fellow bandmate Dan drags this ‘thin white youth’ from the bar to my table. The youth is a friend of another from the town we’re drinking in, who was fortunate enough to be privately schooled in Switzerland. Harpenden is an affluent town to this day.

During the summer of 1986 David had relocated back to Switzerland briefly to spend time with his son Duncan for the holidays. I assume Duncan, as well as the aforementioned friend of the ‘thin white youth’ from the bar I heard this BowieDote from, were school mates at the time. David, the non-stop creative alien he has always been, used this summer to work on the recording of his next album ‘Never Let Me Down’, as well as spend time with his son.

So there they all are working and playing together. David the doting father suggests to Duncan one day that he might like to bring a couple of friends into the studio to keep him company, whilst daddy has to work. So Duncan invites a couple of close friends including the friend of the ‘thin white youth’ to spend the day with him and his rock-god father. It’s all quite normal isn't it! Most parents have to juggle work and children and Bowie was no different to the norm in this respect. During the session David has an idea. He needs a choir of young voices to do some screams and backing tracks and so he invites Duncan and his mates into the recording booth to give it a go. Well my ‘holes in the brain’ memory doesn’t serve me well as to which actual song of the album they appear on, but they did make the final cut, so I was told and do actually appear uncredited, singing and screaming their little hearts out on David’s ‘Never Let Me Down’ release. After hearing this at the time I remember thinking to myself… ‘So Bowie is a little bit human after all!’ a grounding experience for me that allowed myself to fall deeper in love with this man and wish he could be my father too!

BowieDote 2 - The Elusive Fashion-Suit Designer

As we already know our beloved Mr. Jones was a ‘hands on’ kinda guy when it came to his creativity. He always had an angle on things that he wanted to express himself through. Though not always skilled in achieving his ambitions alone, David was a fiercely determined man who through collaboration - some people think it was manipulation - sort out the right people to work with and thus realised his dreams. Which brings us to Bowie the ‘Fashionista’ and suit designer.

In my home town of St. Albans there lived, possibly still lives, a tailor of fine gentlemen’s suits and accompanying apparel. His first name I never knew, but I think I’m right in remembering his name to be a Mr. Kerr. The name rings a bell, because this ‘Champagne Charlie’ lifestyle of a man - his house apparently never had a fully functionable kitchen, only a refrigerator full of wine, beer and of course Champagne. Apparently the family survived on eating out in restaurants or ordered take-away food to be consumed at home thus saving the need for a kitchen to be installed - had a son he had named ‘Wayne’. Cruel I know, but even gentlemen outfitters seem to have a twisted sense of humour like most of us. I felt and still do feel sorry for this young boy whose father had aptly given his first born son the name ‘Mr. Wayne Kerr’. Let us also not forget that David’s first born Duncan was initially introduced to us through the media as ‘Zowie Bowie’. So both men, if true, had this ‘comedic child naming’ in common with each other!

Wayne was an acquaintance of a friend of mine at the time called Mike. The year I heard this ‘BowieDote’ was 1990 I think and Mike, me and our circle of friends all lived in each others pockets that summer, as teenagers so often do. Mr. Kerr ran his business based in London and so would meet his famous clients at their homes or hotels when they were in town. A bespoke tailor offering a bespoke service indeed. David and Mr. Kerr’s meeting began around the time of ‘Let’s Dance’. ‘And so the story goes’ they designed the clothes together, that David wore in his stage concerts and media appearances at that time.

Bowie was an extremely sexually driven man, like most rock-stars and men with free time on their hands, and would often have to be tracked down to some unknown girls London flat and be reminded of his appointment with Mr. Kerr. So I was quite amused when hearing this story, to imagine this tailor sitting on a lavish sofa in an expensive hotel suite on Park Lane possibly, waiting for Mr. Jones to finish his necessary business in some tiny little flat on the other side of town, having lost all track of time, like we all do!

BowieDote 3 - The Enthusiastic Art Collector

David Bowie had many and varied interests that allowed him to be influenced in the construction of his own art and being. As well as being a continually evolving artist in his own right, he had to be a keen observer and collector of other artist’s lives and work. We all probably know that Bowie had a obsessive liking for all things from the Orient, Japan especially.

This ‘BowieDote’ is particularly close to my heart, as it comes from the mouth of a man I consider to be one of the most beautiful people I have ever had the good fortune to truly call my friend. His name is Grae and like Bowie is a songwriter, singer, musician and performer as well as being a community driven youth worker in his job pursuits. I think we’re talking mid to late nineties, was it Grae?, that you experienced this event first-hand from a young ‘obsessive Bowie nut’ girl, that you had been teaching a music workshop in her school at the time.

So Grae, in his roll of a ‘Music Animateur’, had been invited to give a series of music workshops to the kids in a Hemel Hempstead senior school. The students would have been around 14 years of age. This one young girl, the ‘Bowie Nut’, had been inspired in the class by Grae to write her first song, which included the lyric… ‘I’m going down, down, down in a mutha-fuckin’ nosedive!’. That right there is a lyric straight from the conscious of a young person in the throws of suffering her teenage angst and thus healing herself through the medium of song. It seems more Cobain than Bowie to me, if a comparison was needed, but speaks volumes about the hormonal changes we all go through as teenagers evolving into adulthood.

So ‘The Next Day’ this young girl comes running into the workshop screaming Grae, Grae I have to tell you something and you’re probably not gonna believe it’s true! Catching her breath she begins to relay how her parents are obsessive ‘Oriental Art Collectors’. Obsession runs in her family it seems. They weren’t rich people by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a pursuit that as a couple they were devoted to. This being the case they were not able to collect and keep their rare art finds for eternity and would buy and sell their coveted art pieces on a regularly basis. So they devised a life in which they would purchase expensive, for them at least, only a few objects of their desire. These art pieces would remain in their home and be loving admired, swooned over and cared for until it was time for them to release them back into the world so they could own the next jewel for a short while.

So this young girl, with her room decked out in Bowie posters and accompanying vinyl - hopefully she was wearing a Bowie t-shirt at the time under her school uniform - living and connecting with her hero the only way she knew how, must have been completely stunned, shocked amazed and speechless to go home from school one evening only to find David and Iman sitting on her parents sofa. The Jones’ and her parents were drinking tea and discussing/negotiating the price David was happy to pay for a rare Japanese sculpture that they must have been heartbroken to be selling from their present collection. Imagine this young girl and her parents together with David and Iman, all enthusiastic obsessive worshipers of culture and art together under one roof for a brief moment in time. Mind-blowing!

BowieDote 4 - The Dutiful Son Saying Goodbye

The one certainty that eventually happens to us all is death. All of our collective deaths wait there for us. The clock ticks methodically as time rushes through us seemingly never ending until one day it does. As for all of us left behind in the wake of David Bowie’s death we too must relinquish our grip on the reality we call life one day. Once again David has shown me how to deal with what life throws at me. If David Bowie can die peacefully so can I one day.

I was in bits and pieces when I first heard the news of David’s passing in January 2016. I’m still hurting now and am beginning to cry whilst reminding myself that he is truly gone, back to the stars he loved so much. It’s unthinkable that this man who has had such an impact on my life will never release another song to sooth me, will never perform live again to entertain me, will never appear in another interview on my television set, influencing and educating me in the understanding of what it is to be human, thus making my own life a little less alienating at times.

So this final ‘BowieDote’, which I remind you are all written in chronological order, as they had been shared with me throughout my life to date, is one of another person’s funeral. This person I speak of was David Bowie’s mother. Of her life I know very little in comparison to her sons. The most important thing I know about her is that she was a mother. That she gave birth to my hero who will always remain in my thoughts from now and each day until my own death. As well as my own mother of course, with out who this text could never have existed, I want to take a moment and thank both mothers, my own and David’s mother Mrs. Margaret Mary Jones for well, just being ‘Mothers’.

Margaret Mary Jones born October 2, 1913 in the borough of Tunbridge Wells, England. She led a life of relative obscurity thanks to the efforts of her son David in shrouding her life in privacy from the greater world of notoriety he helped shape and influence for us. She had lived her last years in a nursing home situated near my birth town St. Albans. She died, seemingly unnoticed by the greater world, for one of her life’s best efforts, that of being somebody’s mother. I for one am glad she lived and will always be immensely thankful for the gift she gave to the world and me.

Her funeral was held at a crematorium on the edge of St. Albans. How do I know all this, you may well ask? It is because of another fine mother from the district of St. Albans that I know. Her name is Mrs. White and she is the mother to six boys and one girl, all of them incredibly talented in musical ability and song, such as herself. It was on this spring day on April 2, 2001 that Mrs. White did her duty as a choral singer at strangers funerals. Only this day was a little bit different from most. Upon arriving at the crematorium she had been vetted by a series of security personal. She knew she was about to sing at an important persons funeral. She took her place with the choir facing the attending mourners and waited for her time to sing. Looking around she noticed a thin gentleman sitting on the pew at the front reserved for grieving family members. He was respectfully very well turned-out in an obviously bespoke hand-made somber suit and black tie, but his hair was long, almost shoulder length. So he must be the important person who needed the security outside for protection and this must be his mothers funeral, she thought. He didn’t look like a politician with his long hair, he was obviously successful and well dressed, but who was he? On cue Mrs. White sang like always, from her heart, to this man his relatives and for the deceased’s attending friends, then went home.

At dinner that evening Mrs. White told her family about the funeral she had attended that afternoon. She hoped that her telling of the event might allow her family to find out who he was. Her description of the important man at the front was quite good and, as music fans themselves, her children began to show her images of famous musicians and singers on the internet. As each face appeared and was subsequently discarded as a no, finally one face appeared on the screen and she shrieked ‘That’s him! That’s the guy, definitely him, no doubt about it, but he didn’t have orange hair today!’.

Thank you David Bowie and thank you Mothers everywhere!

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