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2016年1月11日 星期一

David Bowie (大衛·鲍威)

David Bowie just died, aged 69. He finally gave in to his cancer 18 months after he was diagnosed to be suffering that deadly disease.

His death brought back a flood of memories of Friday nights at a friend's house listening to his songs on vinyl. At the time, we were both studying for our professional exam in London. He's a great fan of Bowie and introduced him to me. After the first disc, I was hooked. So every Friday afternoon after the last lesson and some time at the library, I'd go to his apartment. We'd listen to his songs, a glass of beer in our hands, talking about films, music, art, politics, girls and everything else except our studies and then we'd have dinner at a nearby restaurant. Sometimes, after dinner, we'd go back and listen to more of his songs or some classical music. It was the most enjoyable time of the whole week. I could never forget those relaxing evenings listening to him with a drink.


I like the rather natural way David Bowie sings, always a little laid back, almost like talking to a friend. He seldom shouts, screams or yells, like some of the other rock singers. There're always nice melodic lines and plenty of slides in the guitar sound and the rhythm is steady but never dull. There's a certain swing to it. When David Bowie died, it felt as if  a closed chapter in the book of my youth is suddenly re-opened again. The chapter might have ended, but it was not completely forgotten. I remember him. In a strange way, he recalls to me those happy and slightly tipsy and cosy evenings I spent in west London. I remember him with fondness. But that's not all, he has remained creative right until his last moments. He's a fighter, an innovative and restless artist all his life. There is an unstoppable urge in him which always tries to find expression in new melodies, new ways of presenting whatever it is that he feels need to be expressed. He was still working shortly before his death. That's something truly worthy of our deepest respect. There aren't very many like him these days of "15 minutes of glory", especially in the pop world. In his last album "Black Star", he already sensed that his days are numbered. May his soul now take a well deserved rest. I don't know whether he'd go to heaven, but if he does, I'm sure there'll be some new songs up there.