Although its been two years today, it’s still hard to fathom that one of the world’s most inspiring and beloved creative forces is dead. David Bowie died on this day, January 10th, 2016 with little fanfare, after a long illness, leaving fans and music lovers everywhere reeling.
He made more than an impact on 20th century culture – he was essential to the shaping of music, fashion and style in numerous decades in the mid to late century. His unique style, non gender specific expression and incredible talent are still inspiring young dreamers today.
A small but significant portion of his life was spent in Berlin so the city has always retained a place in its heart for him and his legacy. Moving to Berlin in 1976, Bowie spent three years here sharing an apartment with Iggy Pop in Berlin’s Schöneberg district and it was during this time that some of the most successful music of both of their careers was created. Iggy Pop completed his iconic album Lust for Life during this time and Bowie became inspired while working alongside ambient music legend Brain Eno at local Hansa Studios to create the Berlin Trilogy – Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). All three albums achieved top 5 status in the UK charts and many of the tracks are now considered to be his greatest works. Heroes was the only one of the three albums to be fully produced in Berlin and the title track is inspired by a personal moment Bowie had – standing by the Berlin wall that at the time divided the east from the west.
Bowie is considered an honorary resident by many Berliners and expats living in the city, and hundreds of tributes were left in front of his old apartment at Hauptstrasse 155 at the time of his death. A petition was even launched to try to rename the street ‘David Bowie Strasse’. Inevitably there will be more tributes today and if you want to learn more about Bowie’s time in Berlin, you can take one of the many tours on offer, such as Berlin Music Tours, the Hansa Studio tour and the well known Bowie Berlin Walk. Vale David Bowie. We still will miss you.