Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2016 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Tributes pour in for Bowie
David Bowie, the visionary British
rock star who framed hits such as
Space Oddity with trend-setting
pop personas like Ziggy Stardust,
has died aged 69 of cancer just two
days after releasing what appears to
be the parting gift of a new album.
A pioneering chameleon of
straddled the worlds of hedonistic
rock, fashion, art and drama for five
decades, pushing the boundaries of
music and his own sanity to produce
some of the most innovative songs
of his generation.
“David Bowie died peacefully
today surrounded by his family after
a courageous 18-month battle with
cancer,” read a statement on Bowie’s
Facebook page dated January 10.
Bowie’s son, film director Duncan
Jones, confirmed the death.
A spokesman for Bowie said he
died on Sunday but declined to say
where he died or from what type
of cancer. Bowie had kept a low
profile after undergoing emergency
heart surgery in 2004 and it was not
publicly known that he had cancer.
He had been secretly battling the
disease for 18 months and was said
to have suffered six heart attacks in
the past few years.
Mourners laid flowers and lit
candles beside a memorial to Bowie
in the edgy Brixton district of
south London where he was born
and outside the apartment in New
York’s trendy Soho district where
he had a home.
Bowie died two days after
releasing his new album Blackstar,
which won some of the best critical
reviews of his career. A music
video for the first single, Lazarus,
showed him lying in a hospital bed
with bandages across his eyes, and
singing lyrics that, after his death,
took on added poignancy.
“I ’ve got scars that can’t be seen.
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen.
Everybody knows me now. Look
up here, man, I’m in danger. I’ve got
nothing left to lose,” Bowie sang.
“He made Blackstar for us, his
parting gift. I knew for a year this
was the way it would be. I wasn’t,
however, prepared for it,” Bowie’s
record producer Tony Visconti
wrote on his Facebook page
Sales and streaming of Blackstar
and Bowie’s older albums soared,
rising to the top of Apple’s iTunes
charts in the United States and
the United Kingdom. Streaming
ser vice Spotify said streams of
Bowie’s music were up 2700%
Tributes poured in from titans
of popular music, including the
Rolling Stones, Madonna, rapper
Kanye West and Paul McCartney.
“ I’m proud to think of the huge
influence he has had on people
all around the world . . . His star
will shine in the sky forever,”
“The Rolling Stones are shocked
and deeply saddened to hear of
the death of our dear friend David
Bowie,” the Stones said. “ He was
an extraordinary artist, and a true
Madonna said on Twitter:
“ Talented. Unique. Genius. Game
Changer. The Man who Fell
to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on
The Vatican said: “Check ignition
and may God’s love be with you” —
borrowing a verse from Bowie’s first
hit, Space Oddity.
Born David Jones in south
London two years after the end of
World War Two, he took up the
saxophone at 13 before changing
his name to David Bowie to avoid
confusion with the Monkees’ Davy
Jones, according to Rolling Stone.
He shot to fame in Britain in 1969
with Space Oddity, whose words
he said were inspired by watching
Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A
Space Odyssey while stoned.
Bowie’s haunting lyrics summed
up the loneliness of the Cold War
space race between the United
States and the Soviet Union
and coincided with the Apollo
spacecraft landing on the moon.
“ For here am I sitting in my tin
can. Far above the world. Planet
Earth is blue. And there’s nothing
I can do.”
Bowie married the Somali-
American model Iman in 1992 with
whom he had a daughter, Alexandria
Zahra Jones, born in 2000.
But it was Bowie’s 1972 portrayal
of a doomed bisexual rock envoy
from space, Ziggy Stardust, that
propelled him to global stardom.
outrageous costumes, make-up and
bright orange hair, took the pop
world by storm.
He defined the theatrical glam
rock movement with the albums
Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall
of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders
from Mars, and Aladdin Sane.
“Ziggy played guitar, jamming
good with Weird and Gilly,” Bowie
sang with a red lightning bolt across
his face and flamboyant jumpsuits.
“ Making love with his ego, Ziggy
sucked up into his mind, like a leper
By now an influential icon of
artistic reinvention venturing into
the theatre, film and fashion worlds,
Bowie continued to innovate,
helping produce Lou Reed’s Walk
on the Wild Side and Iggy Pop’s
Lust for Life album, delving into
American rhythm and blues and
co-writing the hit Fame with John
This was a period which saw
Bowie sporting an array of fantastic
costumes, some reportedly based
on the chilling Kubrick movie A
“The trousers may change, but the
actual words and subjects I’ve always
chosen to write with are things to
do with isolation, abandonment,
fear and anxiety, all of the high
points of one’s life,” Bowie said in a
rare inter view in 2002.
Ever ahead of public opinion,
Bowie told Melody Maker
newspaper in 1972 that he was gay,
a step that helped pioneer sexual
openness in Britain, which had
decriminalised homosexuality only
in 1967. Bowie had married in 1970.
Four years later, he informed
Playboy that he was bisexual, but
in the 1980s he told Rolling Stone
magazine that the declaration was
“the biggest mistake I ever made”
and that he was “always a closet
Bowie went through another
metamorphosis in the mid-1970s,
adopting a soul and funk sound and
abandoning stack heels for designer
suits and flat shoes.
He scored his first US No 1 with
Fame” and created a new persona,
the Thin White Duke, for his
Station to Station album.
But the excesses of a hedonistic
life were taking their toll. In a
reference to his prodigious appetite
for cocaine, he said: “I blew my nose
one day in California . . . and half
my brains came out. Something
had to be done.”
Bowie moved from the United
States to Switzerland and then to
Cold War-era Berlin to recuperate,
working with Brian Eno from Roxy
Music to produce some of his least
commercial and most ambitious
music, including Low and Heroes
He scored a big hit with funk
dance track Fashion in 1980.
In 1983, Bowie changed tack
again, signing a multi-million-
dollar five-album deal with EMI.
The first, Let ’s Dance, returned him
to chart success and almost paid off
He starred on Broadway in The
Elephant Man at the start of the
decade and appeared in an array of
films including Merry Christmas,
Mr Lawrence, The Hunger,
Absolute Beginners and as Pontius
Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s The Last
Temptation of Christ. — Reuters
PICTURE: Getty Images
A message is left with flowers outside the boyhood home of David Bowie in Brixton, London.
A schism in the worldwide Anglican
Communion over homosexual rights
and women clerics would be a failure
but not a disaster, the spiritual head of
Anglicans said at the start of a high-
stakes meeting between conser vative
and liberal primates.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin
Welby will host the heads of the
communion’s 37 other provinces around
the globe for a week of talks to try to
work out if and how they can stick
together after more than a decade of
“Certainly I want reconciliation, but
reconciliation doesn’t always mean
agreement. In fact, it very seldom does.
It means finding ways to disagree well
and that ’s what we’ve got to do this
week,” Welby told BBC Radio 4.
The communion, which has about
85 million members in 165 countries,
has been deeply divided over issues of
gender and sexuality between liberal
churches in North America and Britain
and their conser vative counterparts,
especially in Africa.
Such is the strength of feeling that
before the Canterbury talks had started
some conser vative primates were already
dangling the threat of a walk-out.
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, head of
the Anglican province of Uganda, said
on his website last week that unless
“discipline is implemented and Godly
order restored”, he would withdraw
from the meeting.
Giving a measure of what Welby is up
against, last week also saw a group of
senior Anglicans urge him in an open
letter to approach the gathering of
primates with “an unequivocal message”
against any discrimination on grounds
The letter urged acknowledgment that
Anglicans had “failed in our duty of care”
towards homosexuals around the world.
Welby is expected to propose that the
communion should reorganise itself
into a group of churches all formally
linked to Canterbury but no longer to
each other, so that congregations could
hold different views without a common
“It would not be good if the Church is
unable to set an example to the world of
showing how we can love one another
and disagree profoundly,” Welby said.
The main areas of disagreement
have been the ordination of women
and of openly gay men as priests and
bishops by the more liberal churches,
which conser vatives in Africa regard
as contrary to scripture and morally
These divisions broke out into open
acrimony after the Episcopal Church
in the United States consecrated openly
gay Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop
in 2003, and Anglicans have been facing
the prospect of a permanent schism ever
“A schism would not be a disaster but
it would be a failure,” Welby said in his
BBC inter view.
He sought to play down the impact of a
potential walk-out by African primates.
“There’s nothing I can do if people
decide that they want to leave the room.
It won’t split the communion,” he said.
“The Church is a family and you
remain a family even if you go your
The talks began overnight and are
scheduled to go on until Saturday.
Schism would be failure, says Anglican leader
A dead mountain lion has baffled
biologists after it was found with a
fully formed set of teeth growing out
of its forehead.
The mountain lion was given to
scientists in the US state of Idaho
after it was legally shot for trying to
attack a dog.
The law requires a conser vation
officer to check mountain lions after
they are shot. The officer was shocked
to discover whiskers and teeth
growing from the cat ’s forehead.
The Idaho Department of Fish and
Game said the teeth could possibly
be the remnants of a conjoined twin
which died in the womb. — AP
Mountain lion had teeth in forehead
The photo released by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, shows the
deformed mountain lion.
Winston-Salem (North Carolina)
The elephant acts that have been part
of Ringling Bros and Barnum and
Bailey Circus shows for more than a
century will end in May, earlier than
their previously announced retirement,
the circus’s parent company said
Last March, Feld Entertainment
said the 13 Asian elephants used in its
travelling shows would be phased out by
retirement plan after concluding its
81ha Centre for Elephant Conser vation
in central Florida had enough barn
space, water and waste disposal capacity
to hold the 11 elephants still on tour,
spokesman Stephen Payne said.
The circus has been targeted by
animal welfare groups who accused it of
mistreating the elephants, a key symbol
of the spectacle billed as The Greatest
Show on Earth. Many local governments
also have added regulations making it
harder for the circus to tour with the
Calls by activists for the animals to be
phased out more quickly did not factor
into the company ’s decision, Payne said.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “ We were
able to accommodate the remaining 11
elephants sooner than we anticipated.”
The company said it is committed to
saving the endangered species through
breeding and medical research.
Fewer than 40,000 Asian elephants
remain in the wild. About 250 are in
captivity in the United States, 26 of
which were born in the past 20 years at
The Ringling herd at the conser vation
centre in Polk City, Florida, will total 42
once the travelling elephant shows cease.
Blood samples from the elephants are
being used for pediatric cancer research.
Animal welfare groups said concerns
persist over the company ’s breeding
programme and use of elephants for
“ Because the circus has refused to
retire these elephants to an accredited
sanctuary, vigilance will be needed to
determine how they are treated,” Ingrid
Newkirk, president of People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a
PETA is pressing Ringling Bros to
end all animal acts, but the company still
plans to showcase tigers, lions, horses,
dogs and camels.
Payne said circus producers are adding
new elements to shows that will debut
this summer without the circus’ largest
“ We will all miss the elephants,” he
said. “ We don’t have many 9000lb
clowns.” — Reuters
Ringling Bros retires
circus elephants early
The United States Federal Bureau
of Investigation is widening its
investigation of Democratic presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a
private e-mail account while she was
Secretary of State to determine whether
any public corruption laws were violated,
Fox News reports.
The FBI has been looking into whether
classified material was mishandled
during Clinton’s tenure at the State
Department from 2009 to 2013.
It will expand its probe by examining
possible overlap of the Clinton
Foundation charity with State
Department business, Fox reported
overnight, citing three unidentified
“The (FBI) agents are investigating
the possible intersection of Clinton
Foundation donations, the dispensation
of State Department contracts and
followed,” Fox quoted one of its
unidentified sources as saying.
The FBI and the State Department
had no immediate comment on the
Republican National Committee
chairman Reince Priebus issued a
statement calling the report “a very
troubling development ”.
Clinton, the front-runner to be the
Democratic candidate in November’s
presidential election, has been criticised
for using the private e-mail account
hosted on a private computer in her
home while Secretary of State.
communication practices that were
widespread across the government. She
has said there has been no evidence that
she broke the law. — Reuters
FBI expands Clinton e-mail probe
Pop chameleon’s final
album hints at death
David Bowie’s long-time friend
and producer Tony Visconti said the
late singer’s final album — released
two days before his death — was
“his parting gift” to the world.
Blackstar became available to
buy on Friday, the day he turned
69, with its lead single, Lazarus,
opening with the lyrics: “Look up
here, I’m in heaven.”
Little was known about Bowie’s
ill-health, although Visconti —
who produced the star’s music
dating back to the 1960s — hinted
at questions over his mortality.
In a Facebook post, he said: “He
always did what he wanted to do.
And he wanted to do it his way and
he wanted to do it the best way.
“His death was no different from
his life - a work of art.
“He made Blackstar for us, his
“I knew for a year this was the
way it would be. I wasn’t, however,
prepared for it.
“He was an extraordinary man,
full of love and life. He will always
be with us.
“ For now, it is appropriate to cry. ”
Blackstar is full of symbolism that
suggests he knew it was time to say
The singer’s 25th studio album,
which came out on his 69th
birthday with just seven tracks, was
the first that did not feature his
photo on the cover but instead a
The album’s lyrics are, as always
cryptic, but posthumously poignant.
Lazarus, released on December 17,
opened with: “Look up here, I’m in
heaven, I’ve got scars that can’t be
seen, I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen,
everybody knows me now.” It ends
with: “Just like that bluebird. Oh,
I’ll be free. Ain’t that just like me?”
The video for Lazarus — named
after a Biblical character who was
raised from the dead by Jesus four
days after he died — is also full of
images that could allude to death.
Bowie features as a tormented
blind man with buttons for eyes on
a bandage over his own eyes. The
video is bleak and dark in colour —
much like the title track Lazarus.
The video for Blackstar opens
with a dead spaceman with a skull
a symbol for death — on his
The lyrics also allude to death:
“Something happened on the day
he dies. Spirit rose a metre and
stepped aside. ”
One fan wrote under the video
in an on-line forum: “I believe the
scene with the spaceman and the
scene with the solitary candle are
connected. The candle represents
illumination in darkness and so does
the spaceman. In the next scene
with Bowie we see him without
the blindfold and looking for ward,
possibly found his purpose?”
The outro of the penultimate song
of the album Dollar Days repeats:
“I’m dying to. I’m trying to,” as the
Twitter user Andy Levy said:
“Listening to Blackstar (again)
and oh man the lyrics on a bunch
of the songs take on whole new
meanings knowing what he was
going through.” — PA
Musician and producer Brian Eno
received a final e-mail from David
Bowie a week ago in which his
long-time friend thanked him for
the good times and signed off with
the invented name Dawn.
The former Roxy Music star on
Monday revealed that Bowie, who
he knew for more than 40 years,
effectively bid him farewell in the
Eno, who collaborated with
Bowie on a number of albums,
likened the pair’s friendship to that
of comedy duo Peter Cook and
Dudley Moore, known as Pete and
He described how they kept in
contact by sending e-mails.
“ David’s death came as a complete
surprise, as did nearly everything
else about him. I feel a huge gap
now,” Eno said in a statement.
“ We knew each other for over
40 years, in a friendship that was
always tinged by echoes of Pete and
“O ver the last few years — with
him living in New York and me
in London — our connection
was by e-mail. We signed off with
invented names: some of his were
mr. showbiz, milton keynes, rhoda
borrocks and the duke of ear.”
He said they had considered,
around a year ago, reworking their
last album Outside.
“About a year ago we started
talking about Outside — the last
album we worked on together. We
both liked that album a lot and
felt that it had fallen through the
cracks. We talked about revisiting
it, taking it somewhere new. I was
looking for ward to that.”
Eno said he received a final e-mail
from Bowie seven days ago.
“ It was as funny as always, and
as surreal, looping through word
games and allusions and all the
usual stuff we did. It ended with
this sentence: ‘thank you for our
good times, brian. they will never
rot ’ and it was signed ‘dawn’.
“ I realise now he was saying
goodbye.” — PA
Eno reveals contents of last e-mail
Even before David Bowie’s death from
cancer was announced, the music legend
had secured another No 1 chart hit in
Britain with his new Blackstar album.
Bowie, who framed hits such as Ziggy
Stardust with daringly androgynous
displays of sexuality and glittering
costumes, died aged 69 yesterday.
“As the sad news of David Bowie’s
death broke, the iconic singer’s new
album Blackstar is charging to No 1
this week,” Official Charts.com said in
“The legendary star’s 25th studio
collection takes an early lead on today’s
official albums chart update with
combined sales so far of 43,000 —
25,000 ahead of his closest competitor.”
Sales details since the announcement
of his death will not be reflected in
the charts data until at least tonight, a
On Amazon’s UK website, Blackstar
was the No 1 “best seller”, while Apple
iTunes said a collection of Bowie’s
greatest hits was the fifth-best selling
album. — Reuters
Bowie’s new album heads to No 1
‘Check ignition and may God’s love be with you’
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