There are only single digit days left of SteveForTheDeaf. And we’ve just posted a real downer. By one of the greats sure. Let’s squeeze a bit more in shall we? How about we do David Bowie Week? But we do it in 24 hours?
Recording is magic. OK I know it’s actually science, but it’s really magic. It’s the closest thing we have to a time machine. Time machines are like musical instruments and operating them is an art (stick with it Windows). David Bowie’s music runs the full gamut of human emotions. His take on rock and roll has been happy, curious, morose, joyous, fearful, aroused, confused, confusing. He’s a master time machine operator. He’s giving us half a decade.
Maybe it’ll be like a Groundhog Day five years and we’ll get to go around again and again. I think it’s probably more like a Source Code-Happy Death Day-Back To The Future II scenario. It’ll just get more and more fucked up. Live. Die. Repeat. Records can be older than the listener (This one here was recorded before I was born). I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste the room the album was recorded in… Via Bluetooth by pressing play on my mobile phone as I drive my car to work. I was never there. I’m also taken back to hearing it for the first time. In Joe’s guitar store in the late 80’s (it was already an anicent relic of a lost civilisation). I’m simultaneously transported to when I saw David play Wembley, Glastonbury 2000 & the Christmas party after I got married and we all danced round the front room of a friends house with charcoal on our faces and woke up the kids. Time Travel is tricky. All those things at once. Timey Wimey.
You’ve seen Loki right? Or that Star Trek where they mess with prohibition Chicago and Hitler wins the war (or something)? Records are like that. They’re not aliens, they’re inter dimensional beings (not now Indiana) so if we’re covering David Bowie (not “Covering David Bowie”, we did that already). If we’re commemorating possibly the most important recording artist of all time (if he’s not top five are you even paying attention?) in a day, and pretending it’s a week how long have we got? We got Five Years Baby!
That’s how long he gave us when he was being Ziggy. News guy wept when he told us. That’s how long he’s been gone. I remember the radio that day… yep, news guy wept when he told us.
Taken from possibly the best album of his career and thereby one of the greatest 12” inches of black time machine money can buy, 5 Years is a Deep Impact Sci-fi movie from the early 1970’s and told in under five minutes. The opening track of the perfect rock record.
“Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing, News had just come over, there were five years left to cry in”
This album has left an indelible mark on so many people (All the somebody people). My Sister in Law buys this album for my nephew on vinyl every Christmas. She always forgets she already got it for him. He always looks touched because he knows how much she loves it and therefore what a great gift it is. His friends must be taking turns each Boxing Day to receive the duplicate present. A glitch in the Matrix. They all drop the needle on the same eleven cuts of David, Mick, Rick, the other Mick and Woody doing this song. Just the same as the rest of us. Always have, always will.
“I heard telephones, opera house, favorite melodies, I saw boys, toys, electric irons and TV’s, my brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare, I had to cram so many things to store everything in there”
I’ve stood on the street the cover photo was taken. There’s less cardboard boxes these days. I’ve gone Five Years to Rock And Roll Suicide thousands of times. So have so many others. Wanna do it again?