Manden der gik bort fra himlen

I forgårs markerede vi her David Bowie’s fødselsdag, og i dag er det så to år siden han gik bort. Alle de mærkedage, alle de stjerner; nogle væk, andre lyslevende. Chokket omkring Bowie’s død var jo decideret enormt, da meddelelsen om den kom kun tre dage efter udgivelsen af Blackstar. Albummet havde da allerede opnået voldsomt meget anmelderros og var blevet købt/hørt af så mange af os, lykkelige som taknemmelige over, at Bowie igen var virksom iblandt os efter det pludselige The Next Day-comeback tre år tidligere. Beskeden om Bowie’s død kom mandag, tirsdag rejste jeg til Liverpool, hvor hans ansigt var på forsiden af samtlige aviser, og hvor det var umuligt at bevæge sig rundt uden konstant at støde på hans musik i gader, i butikker og på barer. Det stod meget klart, det var en af de helt store betydningsfulde engelske national treasures, de havde mistet derovre. Husker at stå i en stor pladebutik, hvor de langede Bowie-vinyler og -CD’s over disken, som var det varmt brød. Hvad det jo netop var, og stadig er. For den tidsløse kvalitet er netop kendetegnet ved så mange af mandens store albums. Den meget anderledes udgave af ‘Heroes’ her ovenfor findes dog ikke på plade, men er derimod fra Top of the Pops, oktober 1977, hvor Bowie rejste rundt i Europa og lavede promotion for sit nye “Heroes”-album. Her er hvad Bowie-ekspert/forfatter Roger Griffin skriver om det specielle klip og den så anderledes lyd på hele sangen:

On the 20th of October 1977, Top of the Pops featured Bowie performing “Heroes“, the last of a series of performances of the new single on television. He’d completed work on the album in Berlin, and as mixing continued in Montreux, Bowie flew to UK in September. He appeared on Marc Bolan’s show and Bing Crosby’s Christmas Special (UK) then in October, L’altra Domenica and Odeon (Italy), Pop Shop (Netherlands) and Les Rendez-vous du Dimanche (France). Perhaps nonplussed by the variety of setups for those performances, Bowie arranged with “Heroes” producer Tony Visconti to assemble a small group to make a pre-recorded backing tape for Bowie’s first Top of the Pops appearance in five years. The day before the broadcast, Bowie arrived in London and headed straight to Visconti’s Good Earth studios in Soho for the recording session with Visconti, pianist Sean Mayes and guitarist Ricky Gardiner. Mayes’ band Fumble had opened for Bowie and the Spiders back in 1972. “I’d heard nothing from him for five years,” Mayes told David Currie. “Then out of the blue came a phone call to do “Heroes” for Top of the Pops”. Ricky Gardiner had played guitar on Low, Lust For Life and Iggy’s 1977 tour. “I was asked to reproduce Robert Fripp’s line,” he told Stephen Dalton in 2001. “I did not realise at the time that he had used an E Bow. I did my best using feedback alone. As we went through the song, my amplifier started dying. As the song finished, so did the amp.” Bowie then taped his appearance at the BBC studios, accompanied by the new backing track, before heading back to Soho with Visconti for a drink. The next day, Bowie told the Melody Maker at the Dorchester Hotel that this unprecedented amount of promotion was “to prove my belief in the album. Both Low and “Heroes” have been met with confused reactions. That was to be expected, of course. But I didn’t promote Low at all, and some people thought my heart wasn’t in it.”

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