David Bowie’s ubiquitous influence and easily recognizable face — with or without his iconic Ziggy Stardust hair and makeup — are unavoidable in Brooklyn, where Bowie’s influence spans multiple generations, from the borough’s most recent, musically attuned hipster bastions to older Brooklynites who grew up with the music.
A longtime New Yorker, the British legend (who has a spider named after him) will undoubtedly continue to be heard through the stereo systems of Brooklyn’s bars, clubs and bedrooms for years to come.
Bowie recorded the music video for his 2013 track “Valentine’s Day” on the first floor of Red Hook’s abandoned grain terminal, an iconic hulk at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal. “It’s in his tiny face, it’s in his scrawny hand,” Bowie sings as he strums a guitar among the terminal’s aged silos.
As well, the visionary fashionista held a show at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo back in 2002, for which there is a full-concert recording (above).
But Bowie’s Brooklyn connections went deeper than shows and videos. His longtime producer, Tony Visconti, is a born and bred Brooklynite, who published a 2007 autobiography called Bowie, Bolan and The Brooklyn Boy. “For now,” Visconti wrote on his Facebook page of the cultural icon’s death, “it is appropriate to cry.”
So, whether or not you believe in modern love or wonder sometimes ’bout sound and vision, the stars look very different today, and you will likely (hopefully) hear many a tribute play to the now passed artist’s epic career in and around Kings County during the coming weeks.
Planet Earth is blue, folks, and there’s nothing we can do. A king has died, but at least he ruled for far longer than just one day.
Inside the Red Hook Grain Terminal
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