One glorious day, when I had started collecting records again, Dalton bestowed upon me almost his entire collection of Bowie vinyl.
He had given me a handful of albums over the time he and I were getting records again as gifts. The Bowie collection was maybe my favorite of all he gave me. They have stayed next to the record player ever since.
There were only a few albums missing and I have recently filled in the holes in my David Bowie collection.
“Ziggy Stardust The Motion Picture”
I even got “Tonight”
which was my first disappointment from Bowie. There were a few great songs, but some real dogs too. I say that with utmost respect for Bowie. His cannon of songs changed my life. I’m not just a bad to the bone rocker and can’t stand slow Bowie either. I love the Berlin trilogy with its slow instrumentals and “Young American’s” with its crooner style ballads. This album just didn’t work for me.
I may even get “Never Let Me Down” which was the album he toured when I saw him in Milwaukee. Another mixed bag in my opinion.
Then there was “Black Tie White Noise” which was just a mix of instrumentals. Nice, but not the one you will reach for first.
Of the next 7 albums only “Outside” made it to my consciousness. “Outside” blew up my world. I remember picking it up as we were shopping at an outlet mall and I opted to sit in the car and listen to it and read the lyrics along with it. It was unbelievably cool and a fantastic departure from the (forgive me David) fluffy pop sensibility that was all over the last few albums. I was heavy into Nine Inch Nails and his collaboration with NIN was the stuff of legends for Dalton and I. The others though seemed not right for me at the time despite the world shattering “Outside” album. To be fair, I didn’t give them any or little attention. In fact, some I have never even listened to.
I got the impression that Bowie was slowing down and becoming less relevant than he had been for me in the past. Right or wrong, I had my mind made up.
Fast forward to 2013 and “The Next Day” release. Despite the tragically awful cover, the album itself, which I heard via a stream on a music magazine website, was fantastic. I had to admit that even though it took 10 years… this was Bowie I could really dig and he was back, yet again.
A few days ago I discovered that this great album is on Amazon on vinyl for under 10 bucks. Double LP in 180 gram no less!
I decided that it was time I gave the 6 albums that I never listen to some attention. Over the next couple days I did just that.
It was when I listened to “Reality” that I had a moment that made me realize just how much I miss Dalton in my life. I started “Reality” on Spotify and minimized it. The first song, “New Killer Star” was not bad. I remember thinking I had never listened to this album. Then the second song came on. The song is called “Pablo Picasso”. It took a bit for me to recognize it. There was an intro that Bowie had worked up, but then it went into lyrics and I stopped, frozen for a second.
You know when you have as a kid that moment where you first see a teacher in a supermarket and think to yourself, what are they doing here? I had that same sensation. I think I may have even cocked my head a little to the side like a dog hearing a strange noise.
So yeah, I am 12 years late to the party, but I know this song! Not by Bowie though. This song is on the Repo Man soundtrack. I have written about the Repo Man soundtrack before. The song “Pablo Picasso” was written by Jonathan Richman and was covered by a band called “Burning Sensations” for the soundtrack. It is a quirky song and it became part of the vocabulary between Dalton and I. What the hell was David Bowie doing covering this song? It’s crazy and cool and I can’t believe I never heard it before.
My overwhelming urge to contact Dalton and point out this song to him was saddening, but it made me smile too. This is exactly the kind of stuff we would talk about. Our connection. No one else in my life would know this song and no one else will marvel at my “discovery” of it. I am glad though that we had this connection, around music, because it reminds me of him all the time.
Thanks again for the Bowie dude.