David Bowie, 1947-2016

I was shocked and saddened to read this morning that David Bowie has died of cancer at age 69. He was one of the greatest artists of my age. He touched nothing that he did not adorn.

I consider myself enormously fortunate to have had a slight personal acquaintance with Mr. Bowie. (I met him first at Power Station Studios, where he was working on his 1983 album Let’s Dance, and later spent several weeks in 1986 in the engineer’s chair during the making of his album Never Let Me Down.)

He was a man of superior qualities in nearly every way: intelligent, witty, elegant, literate, well-mannered — and of course, flamboyantly, coruscatingly talented. He was also that rarest of things in top-tier celebrities: considerate of others. (As an example of this, while we were making Never Let Me Down on a tight schedule, he realized he had inadvertently booked an important session on Thanksgiving Day. To make up for it he took the lovely Nina and me out for a delightful evening on the town a few days later. I can’t think of another person in his position who would have done such a thing.)

In short, the man was, perhaps above all, a gentleman. I, and the civilization he decorated so brilliantly, will miss him forever.


  1. Whitewall says

    I appreciated a number of his tunes–Jean Genie, China Girl but probably the best one-Heroes. Much of his work was done when I still traveled and was gone too much to hear.

    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Robert, if I had to pick one, I think I’d pick ‘Heroes’, too.

    Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  3. ron d says

    1986? Wasn’t that when Omar Hakim was playing drums for him?

    Thanks for sharing. I can think of countless people (none of which who are on par with Bowie’s talent) who would have booked an engineer on Thanksgiving and played it off as though they were doing YOU the favor. Sounds like he was a man of great class.

    Posted January 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink
  4. Bratfink says

    Short and very sweet. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Posted January 12, 2016 at 3:27 am | Permalink
  5. eugene jen says

    I felt shocked, too. I still remember you told us about the thanksgiving treatment from him.

    Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

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