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David Bowie need not ask ‘Where Are We Now?’

Where Are We Now

David Bowie

By DONNA BALANCIA

I had to get out the high school yearbook to remember something, prompted by a glimpse of a face from my youth.

Turning the pages to a section I remembered, I realized it’s probably not all that different for artists like David Bowie, who may have more pages in his “book,” but similar passing memories of certain times and people.

And at his young age in Berlin, he had a lot more money and opportunity, I dare say, than I had, and he had plenty of fame and hope.

His new work, “Where Are We Now?” — a surprise release on his 66th birthday — is somber in tone and takes us through the streets of Berlin, where he lived during what most Bowie-watchers conclude was the most inspired time of his career.

During his many years of genius work, he amassed a range of styles, and in many cases his appearance often underscored his musical talents and drove the point home.

I flipped to the page in my yearbook to find my friend — and there it was: The photo of us — long-haired, smiling and so unaware of what was yet to come in our lives.

Youth has an innocent arrogance that repels many of those with more notches on their belts.  And if as they say ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ that was most certainly the case as I reviewed our appearances, our smiles and confidence for the future.

When you look at Bowie’s new single in the tone of his most recent reflection, it becomes clear that he is not asking a question. He indeed knows where he has been and where he is now.

I remember most of the names of those favored high school classmates, whose personalities and glorious quirks I recall so clearly but whose appearances are betrayed years later by a brown-tinged photo in a book.

The passing pictures displayed behind Mr. Bowie in the video for his latest work are colorless, but remain a symbol of the vibrant and creatively infused lifestyle he was fortunate to have enjoyed.

So, “Where Are We Now?”

Apparently back on the charts for all the world to admire.

 

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