Fri 1/12/18 at 7:30PM “David Bowie: The Berlin Era”
Sat 1/13/18 at 7:30PM & 9:30PM “An Evening With(out) David Bowie, Parts 1 & 2
Tonight’s show will be presented rain or shine (or snow or sleet, or whatever you want to call it!)
A long two years ago today, David Bowie passed away, leaving a legacy that burns bright.
David Robert Jones was born in Brixton, London, England to the unmarried Peggy Burns and Haywood Jones. His older half-brother Terry Burns turned him on to jazz, the Beats and cool London culture of the 1950’s. Terry, Peggy and others on her side of the family exhibited symptoms of mental illness that haunted young David throughout his life, and influenced much of his life and music. By the time he had his first success with “Space Oddity” at age 20, Bowie had experienced no less than seven failed singles, bands, and haircuts. But his rigorous arts training, at England’s first arts high school with Peter Frampton’s father Owen, and with Marcel Marceau’s protege, put him leagues ahead of the competition once the public finally started paying attention.
And once they did, the public couldn’t turn away. Inventing a dizzying cavalcade of characters, one more alienating than the last, Bowie introduced the world to The Man Who Sold The World, Ziggy Stardust, A Lad Insane, Halloween Jack, The Thin White Duke, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Jareth the Goblin King, Pierrot, and finally, after marrying supermodel Iman, the man she insisted on calling David Jones. He died 2 years ago this coming Wednesday January 10 of liver cancer after releasing his first #1 album in the United States, ★ Blackstar on his 69th birthday.
If you ask anyone familiar with David Bowie to name their favorite phase of his chameleonic career, many will claim his groundbreaking Ziggy Stardust persona from the early 1970’s, and most are familiar with his arena-rock, crowd-pleasing Let’s Dance period of the early 80’s.
True Bowie freaks are fixated on the era between those two, his so-called Berlin Era, which many claim as his artistic high point, epitomized by the epic hit “Heroes” and countless electronic experimentations.
CoolCleveland’s resident Bowie aficionado Thomas Mulready returns with a new show, David Bowie: The Berlin Era on Fri 1/12/18 at 7:30PM, followed by An Evening With(out) David Bowie on Sat 1/13/18, with Part 1 at 7:30PM and Part 2 at 9:30 (catch both parts for a discount). The presentation features recently unearthed box sets, books, video, photos and needle drops.
David Bowie: The Berlin Era picks up with David Bowie flat on his back in Los Angeles, a superstar finally after Young Americans and Fame vault him to the top of the American charts, but leaving him with a devastating cocaine addiction, subsisting on warm milk and peppers. He hooks up with heroin addict and unlikely sobriety partner Iggy Pop and moves to Berlin, the drug capital of Europe to clean up.
Incredibly, the plan works. Calling on Roxy Music alum and “non-musician” Brian Eno, Bowie releases Low, “Heroes” and Lodger to critical confusion, and growing acclaim. Influenced by the arid Krautrock beat of Can and Kraftwerk, and informed by his his own funk rock rhythm section, Bowie begins to craft a new musical vocabulary featuring electronic experimentation and synthesized ambient soundscapes, all while creating some of the most emotionally charged music of his lifetime.
Commonly known as The Berlin Trilogy, this session encompasses a full six albums by Bowie and his companion Iggy Pop, most NOT recorded in Berlin. And while collaborator Brian Eno is often incorrectly given credit for producing these records, he actually co-wrote and created electronic atmospheres that inspired some of Bowie’s most ethereal recordings, all three of which were produced by Tony Visconti.
Drawing on the just-released boxset A New Career In A New Town which includes Visconti remixes of Lodger and the live Stage album, plus the 2017 book, David Bowie: A Life by Dylan Jones (plus countless recently surfaced rarities), The Berlin Era throws fresh light on this seminal, life-affirming period in the storied career of (arguably) the most influential artist of our time. Tickets.
An Evening With(out) David Bowie, Part 1 opens with a 9-year-old David Jones, inspired by the film Don’t Knock The Rock claiming, “That was my ambition, to be in a band playing saxophone behind Little Richard.”
Following formal art school tutelage under the father of future megastar Peter Frampton, and a half dozen failed singles, bands, record labels and stage looks, he finally hits with the sci-fi folk rock novelty Space Oddity.
It would be three more years before his Ziggy Stardust character takes off, triggering a manic run of hit singles, bracing concept albums, and bizarre personas, each one diametrically opposed to the last. After exploding worldwide with Young Americans, Bowie hits rock bottom, as the excesses of mid-1970’s stardom threaten to engulf him. Tickets.
An Evening With(out) David Bowie, Part 2 begins with the artist living like a king, having achieved stardom far beyond imagination, but strung out on cocaine and subsisting on warm milk. He flees his near-death existence in LA for the arid krautrock beat of Berlin, accompanied by the most unlikely of sidekicks, Iggy Pop.
Commencing with three acclaimed LPs known as “The Berlin Trilogy” in collaboration with Brian Eno, this session takes us through Bowie’s arena-sized celebrity with “Let’s Dance,” and his not-always successful, but perpetually rewarding experiments in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Part 2 concludes with his mysteriously choreographed death following the symbol-laden albums The Next Day and Blackstar ★, and includes a review of his newly released box sets and his final recordings. Tickets.
Included in each show is a blistering live music set or two by Cleveland post-glam heroes Vanity Crash, performing selections from their 2017 release, Phantasmagoria, including a tune featuring Bowie’s longtime accompanist, Mike Garson, alongside Bowie favorites and period classics.
BOP STOP, 2920 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113
Fri 1/12 David Bowie: The Berlin Era. Tickets: https://www.themusicsettlement.org/calendar/2018/01/12/david-bowie-the-berlin-era-bop-stop
Sat 1/13 An Evening With(out) David Bowie, Parts 1 & 2. Tickets: https://www.themusicsettlement.org/calendar/2018/01/13/an-evening-without-david-bowie-parts-1-2-bop-stop