Monday, November 09, 2009

Here Comes the Zoo

Twenty years in the blink of an eye. Before the Wall came down, though, Berlin was a dark Mecca for artists. David Bowie and Iggy Pop created some of their most compelling work while living in Berlin in the mid-to-late 70s: Low, "Heroes," Lodger, The Idiot, Lust for Life. Kraftwerk was ratcheting up their electronic sound simultaneously with Trans-Europe Express (1977):

From station to station
Back to Düsseldorf City
Meet Iggy Pop and David Bowie
Trans-Europe Express

And let's not forget Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (1981), set in Berlin in the 70s and with a Bowie soundtrack.

Reunification plus twenty years. Here came the Zoo . . . and what Germans call Die Mauer im Kopf and Weltschmerz -- the Wall in the Head, and world weariness in Afghanistan. All aboard for funtime . . . It's raining in Berlin today. It's a long way back to Germany . . . And when you're tumbling down, you just look
better . . .

Today's Rune: Journey.


Charles Gramlich said...

Perhaps not so strangely, opression often leads to amazing art.

the walking man said...

The problem with tearing down walls is there is always another behind it, more subtle, more intrinsically restrictive than one of block and mortar.

Johnny Yen said...

Bowie and Iggy produced some of their greatest work in that period-- ironic, since they were also at the height of their drug intake.

Did you ever hear the story of the song "Heroes?" Bowie and Eno would observe a young couple having lunch together every day near the wall. He felt like they were trying to bring a little love to an area full of hate and fear.