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To be read at maximum volume

David Bowie is my favorite musician. I listen to Bowie music every day and have for more than 30 years. His is the only human voice I have heard so frequently for so long. The day he died I was in the early stages of binge-listening to his newest album, “Blackstar.” I was shaken and wanted to do something. So I resolved to start a daily, year-long tribute on Facebook. And I held to it for 365 consecutive days.

My original idea was to post the name of a different song every day. But the day I launched the project someone suggested I write something about the songs, and someone else (or was it the same person— I think it was Angela Berti) suggested I post the songs themselves. It turns out that You Tube has more songs— often in the form of videos— than even I knew existed. In the very early days of the project I wrote a few sentences about each song, but as time progressed I wrote more. I enjoyed the process, which was cathartic and discovered I had much to say about Bowie. 2016 was a tumultuous year— my tribute unfolded at pace with the most bizarre presidential election of my life. I found that I could relate many Bowie songs to the events of the day, so in writing about Bowie I was also writing about 2016.

I could have continued after a year— there are more than 365 Bowie songs— but I achieved what I set out to do and ended the tribute on schedule. By the end, several Facebook friends were reading my daily posts. Somehow, Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels discovered the project and reacted to a few entries. Some of those who found what I wrote to be interesting suggested I keep it going in some way— publish the whole thing, keep posting, or create a special web page for the project. That last suggestion came from Bill Tuman, who designed this page you are visiting.

Bill originally made the suggestion around the time I ended the original tribute. Earlier this year (2018) I decided to start posting about Bowie again, this time a weekly entry about every album I have or have heard containing any type of Bowie contribution whatsoever. Bill revived his suggestion about a web site, and here it is.

As I write, in May 2018, I plan to upload the original content of the daily tribute and post new content on a weekly basis. I will edit and in some cases add commentary or even re-write some of the song entries. I will probably add new songs once I have the original 365 loaded. I expect this process will keep me busy of months. It remains cathartic and gives me an excuse to write. I kind of doubt that this will ever be a finished product. Unlike a printed book, I can continue to add and edit for a very long time.

This is not meant to be a definitive source of information about Bowie’s music. Instead, it is a personal reflection. There’s been an explosion of writing about Bowie since his death, some of which has been pretty insightful. The best Bowie-resource I know of, which I use to help with this project, is Nicholas Pegg’s exhaustive book, “The Complete David Bowie.” Along those lines is a nearly as comprehensive web site, “Pushing Ahead of the Dame,” by Chris O’Leary. Both are among the many resources that are better than what I’m writing (oh no, I can’t do better than that). But this is mine, and if nobody at all reads it, I enjoy writing it. And if you are still reading (hi, Mom) I hope you find some value in it too.

John Maggiore
May 29, 2018

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