Bowie memorial at Hauptstr. 155. Photo by Finn Jackson Ballard
A vital piece of Berlin and pop culture history was lost yesterday when David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. The shock held extra weight, as his death followed the release of his last album, Blackstar, on his birthday just last Friday and the eerie foreshadowing in the single “Lazarus” in which he's already dead. Bowie left us as we'd always seen him over the past 49 years, a consummate professional and an artist whose output continued to captivate us all up to the very end.
Bowie meant a lot to Berliners, both those who have lived here all their lives and know him as one of the better parts of their illustrious history, and the many, many expats and internationals who came here with his sound and vision in mind.
In honour of the legend, we present to you five places to mourn the Thin White Duke. On top of that, Exberliner is providing the digital version of the May 2014 David Bowie issue in its entirety for free for the next week. You can order one of a limited number of print editions here.
For those who need to mourn en masse, Berlin Musictour hosts a public Trauerfeier in the Meistersaal of Hansa Studios on Friday, January 15 at noon.
R.I.P. Beloved Space Oddity... WC
1Hauptstraße 155, 10827 Berlin
The unassuming beige apartment block seems like any other in Berlin, but this really is where he and Iggy Pop lived between 1976 and 1978. Perhaps it was Anderes Ufer (now Neues Ufer) next door, Berlin's first post-war openly gay establishment, that drew him here? The flat itself has since returned to the mundane after its brief time in the limelight – it's now a dentist's office. EM
At this iconic recording studio, which once butted up against the Wall near Potsdamer Platz, Bowie, Tony Visconti and Brian Eno recorded the first two albums of the Berlin Trilogy, Low and "Heroes". The sight of two lovers kissing beneath a nearby East German guard tower inspired the latter's title track. KC
Bowie was known to come to this famous club (now the swanky Ellington Hotel) with Iggy in tow to rub elbows with the top creative minds living in Berlin at the time. Bowie reminisced on this time in 2013's Berlin-centric single “Where are We Now?”. KC
Like many moody young artists before and after him, Bowie was fascinated by the art and film of German Expressionism, and he made regular pilgrimages to this small museum in Dahlem. One of its over 400 works, Erich Heckel's Roquairol, inspired the cover of "Heroes". EM