A Brief One from Doug Draper
Posted January 10th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
“Here, there’s no music here
I’m lost in streams of sound
Here, am I nowhere now?
Wherever I may go
– From a newly released song called ‘No Plan’, one of the last songs David Bowie ever recorded.
Wow. Has a whole year gone by already since David Bowie made his final exit?
It was one year ago this January 10th that Bowie died – just two days f his 69th birthday and the release of Blackstar, his last complete studio album that Rolling Stone magazine recently ranked as one of the top albums of 2016.
In its year-end review of the top albums of 2016, Rolling Stone ranked Bowie’s album right up near the top with the following note “There’s never been a musical farewell like Blackstar – the Cracked Actor saved his braves and boldest performance for the final curtain. Bowie showed up on his 69th birthday to drop a surprise masterpiece, let an astonished world puzzle over the music for a couple of days and then slipped off into the sky.”
In the eleven and a half months following Bowie’s death, the world has suffered the loss of numerous other giants among us, from music artists and creators like Leonard Cohen, Prince and Beatles producer George Martin, sports icons like Gordie Howe and the very courageous (from both a sports and an anti-war, civil rights perspective) Muhammad Ali, to literary legends like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author Harper Lee.
Millions of us also witnessed Canadian singer/songwriter and citizen activist Gord Downie, fast off his lethal cancer diagnosis, leading one moreheroic, cross-country tour with his mates in The Tragically Hip, and partnering in a ‘Secret Path’ audio/video/book project to raise more awareness about suffering this continent’s indigenous people have endured through residential schools and other genocidal acts.
Then here was the rise of Donald Trump and the spectre he continues to raise through his own tweets and rants of future border walls, race wars,a renewed nuclear arms race, waterboarding and other acts of torture, mass deportations and registering people of certain targeted races and religions, a continued attack on women and people who are disabled or that Trump (using his ‘on a scale of one to 10’ rating system) feels are overweight or, in some other way, not attractive enough .
But then David Bowie did leave us a few more beautiful and haunting songs, four of them taken from the vault and released for what would have been his 70th birthday and the first anniversary of his death.
You can click on the following to hear one of them now –
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders