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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

It was one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever done. I was in tears. They’d backed up the stage to the wall itself so that the wall was acting as our backdrop. 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. When we did “Heroes” it really felt anthemic, almost like a prayer. However well we do it these days, it’s almost like walking through it compared to that night, because it meant so much more.

David Bowie, describing a concert he gave in Berlin, 1987.

Interesting take from Reason magazine.

RIP. He will be greatly missed and his influence on music has been undeniable.

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • CaptDMO

    He was greatly missed when he stopped making music.
    He will NOT be greatly missed, in much the same way as other artists work have transcended the “pop” charts.
    In My Humble Opinion of course.

  • RAB

    I would have put up a tribute on our site, had the fuckin server not crashed yet a bloody gain. I always called Bowie the Camelion, but he wasn’t. He changed long before the background changed, he was in fact the instigator of those changes. He always wanted to be famous, many people do, but he had the such massive talent that almost all the other wannabees lack. He was an Artist to his fingertips. He went through so many changes from the Laughing Gnome that mimicked Antony Newley, through Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White duke, Tin Machine and on to his macabre finale, Black Star. Ever restless, ever probing, always prepared to take risks. A body of music so diverse yet essentially innovative that if you cannot find something in Bowie’s catalogue that you like, then you are either tone deaf or braindead, or both.

    I didn’t cry for Lemmy, he did exactly what it said on the tin, over and over, but I shed a tear this morning for David Jones.

  • Paul Marks

    Clearly a good man.

    May he Rest in Peace.

  • Mr Ed

    4 years younger than John Major, and a fellow inhabitant of Brixton in his childhood. Yet the Oxygen Thief of the ‘Classless Society’, Maastricht and the Cones Hotline (a distant echo of Lenin’s Rabkrin) still haunts this Earth.

    Such is the World. Mr Bowie will be remembered with fondness.

  • I’m with RAB. And if I could get to Brisbane easily there would be a server inserted somewhere the sun doesn’t shine. Because I also had stuff to say about Bowie.

  • Hey RAB, you got Cat’s email because until abnormal service is resumed then I shall bombard him with TOS Trek tunes.

    I am keeping The Shatner’s “Mr Tambourine Man” as a nuclear option.

  • RAB

    I had the Black Dog visit myself years ago Nick. It’s not pleasant but recoverable from. He recently got married, that should have helped surely? I send him e mails and get no reply. I haven’t even bothered this time. I shall fire off one now, but I fear we are just airing our dirty linen in public.

    Anybody out there want a writer? Cos I’m fuckin fed up with writing stuff that disappears for weeks when I have spent time crafting it and then no one can respond to it. I used to get paid for writing stuff you know, Now I do it for free!

  • RAB,
    I appreciate the dirty laundry thing but I know a large number of CC readers are Samizdata readers/writers so I feel here I am with friends and it needs to be said.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    He was greatly missed when he stopped making music.

    Asinine comment. Obviously he is, and will be missed, because people liked what he did and hoped he had a few more years’ of creativity in him.


  • There is a rather good piece over at Harry’s Place (the UK’s voice of the decent left in my book) on Bowie and Cameron.


    The simple truth is popular music is er… popular. The ever more simple truth from that is it is no indicator of political opinion. Elvis was big way before I was born. I love Elvis. Do I agree with his politics? I neither know nor care about them. I have been to Graceland though and Elvis struck me as a jolly good sort. Occasionally deranged such as his truly bizarre attempt to become an undercover DEA officer when he was he was the most famous person on the planet.

    Some on the left need to get over themselves and realise that those on the right (and iDave is hardly that right wing) that popular culture is something even the middle-aged get whatever political stripe they are. It is odd they think all of us on the right(ish) side are sacrificing transgendered people whilst listening to Wagner. Is it because they see politics in everything? I also love Elgar but I have no pretensions about re-conquering the British Empire.

    Best gig I went to last year featured the Elgar Cello Concerto on a Strad in Manchester.

  • John Galt III

    His voice was between Bob Dylan’s and Tiny Tim’s. My goldfish sings better,

  • Philip Scott Thomas


    What you’ve said is why I’ve mostly given up on CCiZ. It is the slowest damn website to load that I’ve ever visited. It’s worse than being back on dial-up. And that’s assuming I can even connect, which often as not I can’t.

    It’s a very great shame because CCiZ posts tend to be deeply interesting, written by bloggers I both respect and admire, you two (and, of course, Paul Marks) amongst them. But the hassle barrier is simply too high.

  • RAB

    Philip, thank you for most cogent remarks on CCiZ. You are entirely correct. We the writers have pleaded with Cats to get it professionally served, we have even promised to pay for it (it’s hardly and arm and a leg is it, to get a website up and running) but Cats himself refuses to do it. God knows why? It is a crying shame. We are a good and varied crew of writers let down by piss poor support. It’s no way to run a railroad, is it? We are down yet again, after only 24 hours of Lazarus like resurrection. It make me bloody weep!

    Anyway. I have had enough. I have been offered a gig on another site and will be thinking seriously of taking up the kind offer. I like to write about all sorts of things, not just politics, certainly music, as you all know. Bowie dying and me not having a stable platform to talk from pissed me off to the max. Too late now, the time has gone, and the time of CCiZ has gone too, and me with it… to fresh fields and pastures new.

  • Nicholas (Andy.royd) Gray

    John, why not put your goldfish on the internet? I think a singing goldfish would attract some attention.

  • Laird

    RAB, I had thought it was just my slow computer interfering with checking in with CCIZ. But like Mr. Thomas, I have largely given up visiting the site, which is a pity.

    Might I humbly suggest to the management here that RAB be offered a place in the pantheon of Samizdata authors? There’s a long list of them at the upper left of this page, most of whom rarely if ever post anything. Surely there’s room for a fine writer such as RAB.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    I’ll happily second Laird’s suggestion.

  • RAB

    Thanks for the kind words chaps.