Ziggy is fifty!

One of my absolute favourite albums was released 50 years ago today, on June 16th, 1972. I think it is still pretty much the only album (apart maybe from Paul Simon’s Graceland) that I still love to listen to all the way through from the first to the last song.

To celebrate here are videos to the songs, in the same order as they appear on this album.

First off, number 1: Five Years. My fave lyrics section from the song:
I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlor
Drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine
Don’t think you knew you were in this song
And it was cold and it rained, so I felt like an actor
And I thought of Ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I kiss you, you’re beautiful, I want you to walk

We’ve got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
We’ve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that’s all we’ve got

Number 2: Soul Love. My fave lyrics section:
Love is careless in its choosing
Sweeping over cross and baby
Love descends on those defenseless
Idiot love will spark the fusion
Inspirations have I none
Just to touch the flaming dove
All I have is my love of love
And love is not loving

Number 3: Moonage Daydream. Fave lyrics section:
Press your space face close to mine, love
Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah!

Number 4: Starman. My fave lyrics section from the song: oh, pretty much all of it! Here is most of it:
Didn’t know what time it was
The lights were low, oh, oh
I leaned back on my radio, oh, oh
Some cat was layin’ down some rock ‘n’ roll lotta soul, he said

Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren’t no DJ
That was hazy cosmic trace

There’s a Starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a Starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

I had to phone someone, so I picked on you
Hey, that’s far out, so you heard him too!
Switch on the TV, we may pick him up on channel two
Look out your window, I can see his light
If we can sparkle, he may land tonight
Don’t tell your poppa or he’ll get us locked up in fright

Number 5: It Ain’t Easy. Fave lyrics from the song:
It ain’t easy, it ain’t easy
It ain’t easy to get to Heaven
When you’re going down

Number 6: Lady Stardust. Fave lyrics from the song:
Femme fatales emerged from shadows
To watch this creature fair
Boys stood upon their chairs
To make their point of view
I smiled sadly for a love
I could not obey
Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and dismay

Number 7: Star. Fave lyrics section:
So inviting, so enticing to play the part
I could play the wild mutation
As a rock & roll star
I could do with the money
I’m so wiped out with things as they are
I’d send my photograph to my honey – and I’d c’mon like
A regular superstar

Number 8: Hang Onto Yourself. Fave lyrics section:
We can’t dance, we don’t talk much, we just ball and play
Then we move like tigers on Vaseline
Well, the bitter comes out better on a stolen guitar
You’re the blessed, we’re the Spiders From Mars

Number 9: Ziggy Stardust. Fave lyrics section:
Making love with his ego
Ziggy sucked up into his mind, ah
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man
I had to break up the band

Now, Ziggy plaaaaaayed guitar.

Number 10: Suffragette City. Fave lyrics section (always makes me laugh somehow):
Oooooh, wham bam, thank you ma’am

And last but by no means least, number 11: Rock ‘n Roll Suicide. Probably my fave song on the album which has meant the most to me in my personal life. The whole lyric of this song is just awesome but my fave lyrics section (which even after hearing it soooo often can still make me cry) is:
Oh no love! you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care
Oh no love! you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone
.

I think the line: “Hey, that’s far out!” (part of the Starman song) best typifies this album. It is weird and out there and the lyrics make you think and the music is aweome and it’s conceptually nothing like the world had ever seen before, I don’t think. I love love love this album and will cherish it forever. Happy 50th Birthday to Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars!

Pictures of the day

After two days of feeling completely fatigued and out of it (I now fully understand the meaning of the phrase “bone-tired”!), my energy has returned and I’m feeling like myself again. So, the house has been de-Christmasfied today, with the floor lamp back in the place where the Christmas tree was…

I had barely unpacked a box that came in the mail today when the cat jumped into it…

Listened to Bowie all day and then late this afternoon on Twitter this gorgeous picture of David and Iman was posted by Iman

And Sidney Poitier has been on my mind a lot since I heard the news of his passing last night, aged 94. I think I may re-watch Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner again this evening in his honour. I haven’t seen that movie in years but remember really liking it.

May you rest in peace, dear Sir!

David Bowie 75

Today would have been David Bowie’s 75th birthday. I’m celebrating here with the Bowie song that has meant the most to me…

Seeing his handwritten lyrics of this song during the David Bowie Is exhibition has been one of my most valued museum experiences ever. It’s the only secret picture I took when I visited the excellent travelling exhibition a week before he so unexpectedly and shockingly passed away…

Mr Esther and I were going to go to a Bowie tribute concert at the end of January in Rotterdam but due to lockdowns in effect now, the concert has been postponed to next fall. In lieu of the concert, I am listening to only David Bowie today. His wife Iman has shared a 5 and a half hour playlist that has been curated for his birthday….

I already have my own Bowie playlist but listening to another one and hearing what has been selected for that will be fun.

Happy birthday, David! Thank you for all the gifts you have given us.

Iman

David Bowie and Iman were together for 26 years and they were the loves of each other’s lives…

Iman has now released a perfume called Love Memoir, which is a tribute to her and David’s love and for the first time ever, I feel very tempted to buy a celebrity fragrance.

There has always been something about these two and how they felt about each other that felt very real and warm. In interviews David did he always spoke so lovingly of Iman and I have seen a few Iman interviews where she spoke the same way about him. Yesterday evening I came across this interview Iman did for the Today Show and it brought me to tears. I also read this little article in Vogue where Iman talks about only really confronting her grief recently while staying in their beautiful upstate New York home during Corona lockdown and that too resonated with me.

My grief for Bowie is somehow also always tied to my grief for my father. I still haven’t listened to Bowie’s final album more than two or three times because of it. My dad and David Bowie were both very important figures during a very low point in my life and they both passed not so very far apart, my dad 10 months before Bowie. These emotional ties between my father in real life and what being a Bowie fan meant to me in my late teens/early twenties, and their passing not so very far apart, is I think why I feel that connection to Iman now so strongly too. Missing a husband is different in many ways from missing a dad who lived to a decent enough age of 81. Yet, the loss of both is very real and can still feel like a stomp in the stomach at times.

So, now Iman has developed a fragrance to commemorate that love and that too is a part of the process of grieving but also of celebrating the life of someone you continue to love even after they are gone. I can so imagine her wanting to bottle David’s scent in a bottle. I don’t have a very strong sense of smell but I do sometimes say to Mr. Esther that if his scent was a perfume, I would want to wear it all the time. I guess it’s a pheromone thing. The description of this new scent sounds intriguing…

“Called Love Memoir, the eau de parfum—which is exclusively available on HSN—blends notes that read like a chapter in Iman and Bowie’s life together. Vetiver, the zesty scent that he wore the day they met and every day after, is balanced with hints of bergamot and blackberry, which bring to mind the Italian countryside where they were married.”

I never want to pay that much for perfume ($85 and I don’t know how much for shipping) but, because of the story of that scent, the ingredients sounding good and the emotional attachment I feel to the David and Iman story, I find that for the first time ever I am interested in actually buying a designer fragrance. Maybe for Christmas?

Saturday music

Certain songs have been playing in my mind a lot this week.

Both Sides Now

As I already blogged about a few days ago, I loved the movie CODA and the song that Ruby (Emilia Jones) sings at the end of the film is a cover of the Joni Mitchell song Both Sides Now. I love this rendition. The video contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and want to remain completely unspoilered, maybe it’s better to watch the movie first.

Modified to add: here’s an audio only version, so no spoilers…

I don’t know Joni Mitchell well at all and the first time I became really aware of this song was during that scene in Love Actually. Emma Thompson really is amazing in this, with the song underlining the heartbreak so effectively.

Ziggy Stardust

Apparently a David Bowie shop has opened in London, on the same street where the cover of his great album Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (my fave Bowie album) was photographed. I bet that, besides cool store items, the in-store music must be excellent as well.

It’s a pop up shop, which could mean it won’t be there long. I wish I could go!

Matchmaker

Mandy Patinkin and his family are matchmaking, trying to find a girlfriend for a family friend! This just made me laugh and is so loving at the same time.

That also meant I got stuck with this song in my head:

Concerts

And 2022 is going to be a great music year for us! We’ve been booking some ‘big’ concert tickets.

In January Mr Esther and I are going to a David Bowie tribute concert. It’s promising to be a big event. There will be something like this in Germany as well, I hope the Dutch version will be as good as this looks.

In May Mr E and I are going to see 2Cellos live in concert. Those guys are really good, I love how and what they play and their energy. So many videos I could link to here, but let me pick a cover they did of a great Muse song…

… but they also do heartfelt well, like this beautiful theme from The Godfather

And then in July I have tickets for the four of us to go see Ed Sheeran live. I have yet to hear any of his new songs, but I hope they will be good. Let me share here the song through which I first noticed him – I See Fire from The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug. Someone made a video which of course also features Richard Armitage as Thorin. I love the build up in this song. I wonder if he ever sings this in concert.

I hope the pandemic situation in the world will allow for all of this to happen, I’m already so much looking forward to it all.