It's fair to say that David Bowie shaped who I am today, without his presence in my life as an impressionable young girl, I would definitely be a different person today - and that would be sad.
The most dignified death in the history of rock n roll saw Bowie turn his passing into a work of art. His final album dealt with the last taboo - the mystery of death with a poetic and artful brilliance and could arguably be his ultimate statement as he left the ultimate stage.
I were pushed to name a favourite track it would be 'Cygnet Committee' from his second album and his more folky era. In the circumstances I hope Mr Jones would forgive me for taking a slight liberty with the last line...
Mighty is the craic of seeing David perform a secret rehearsal gig with Tin Machine, as nominal support act to a local band in a Dublin pub, in front of no more than 100 people. I was upfront, my chest clashing with his micstand. It was punk as f***.
David Bowie. What a way to go. No playing up to the media for the sympathy vote. Got his affairs in order. Gave the fans a last great album. Contacted all those close to him, then closed his eyes.
Bowie's favourite books reveal a great deal about his character and, indeed, his creative process. The list mentions obscure works that have become paradoxically mainstream -reminding us of Bowie. The choices are cultish, irreverent and brimming with heterodox.
BBC1 showed a tribute to his life and cut live to a vibrant Brixton crowd paying homage to his life. I simply had to be there and jumped on the next train to South London. Hundreds had turned up, singing songs, waving placards or simply gazing across this unplanned celebration of his life.
For me his last artistic and life effort, his last album 'Black Star', the lyrics and related video, released on his birthday (Friday 8th January 2016), two days before his death, all this carries a deep meaning and powerful message about determination and energy
Where do you go then if you want to understand the DPRK and its 25 million citizens? The answer is literature. The catalogue of North Korea-centred writing is burgeoning right now and many books in the catalogue are very good. With this in mind, here's a selection of six of the best.
I've got my Bowie Tshirt on, and listening to Shaun Keaveny on BBC radio 6 dealing with this thunderbolt this morning, so beautifully, has, I'm not ashamed to admit, made me cry. Because like so many of us, I've lost someone I grew up with.
Low was released on 14 January 1977, a few days after David Bowie's 30th birthday. The motto of our generation - Bowie's and mine - was "Never trust anyone over 30" and The Thin White Duke lived up to that motto in his own unique way. We were ready to party again with his next album. But you couldn't actually dance to Low.
It's a testament to the visual language developed for Bowie's ★ album graphics by Barnbrook Studios that such an elemental, and seemingly literal, 'black star' image has the power to communicate so much whilst visually depicting comparatively little.
In my last blog I listed my top ten favourite albums. Its natural sequel, would be a discussion of the latest social media trend, which is to post se...
We had many reasons for recording our Sinatra tribute record, September Songs - some sentimental and traditional, as well as artistic. And once you do his songs, the incredible artistry of the man (and his chosen musical contexts) becomes obvious. But I feel there is as much continuity between Sinatra, the 80's and now, than there is difference, at least in terms of the overall model and structure he was in...
You hear a lot about the importance of playing classical music to your baby to activate the neural pathways responsible for many intellectual skills, but what about alternative rock, ambient, reggae, or electronica?
In the week that music lost one of its greats, R&B singer Natalie Cole, I wonder how many people will suddenly begin to listen to Natalie's music, who never listened before.