The sudden death of Prince has hit the world with the loss of yet another musical genius working on the pop side of things. It’s devastating anyway, but for people who grew up with these people, it’s difficult to really grasp the importance they had on our lives.
When you hit your teenage for example and you live in a place where you don’t feel that anyone around you recognises what you suddenly find yourself thinking and feeling, where you suddenly find the core of who you are, and it’s different from how the society around you thinks and feels, then that voice and those sounds coming out of the radio that express exactly what you’re going through, is invaluable. It offers you a lifeboat, it gives you its hand, it not only tells you that other people out there somewhere hear the same voices that you do, it also expresses that particular pain that is unique to you, and it lets you know that it’s alright to feel what you do.
That’s what people like Bowie and Prince did – they let you know that no matter who you were, no matter how weird you were, and no matter how different your perception of things was, not only was it alright to think and feel those things, it was also something to be celebrated.
Both artists who first broke the rules and then made up their own ones – and then broke them too
That’s what people like Bowie and Prince meant to me – and that’s the thread that runs through each of them. Both artists who first broke the rules and then made up their own ones – and then broke them too. Both artists who had a take on the world that was all their own, and who weren’t afraid to show it.
I first came across Clifford Slapper through our indie lit editor and great writer in her own write, Polly Trope. Clifford wrote an biography of Mike Garson, who was the musician who served longest alongside David Bowie – from playing the now legendary piano notes on Bowie’s Aladdin Sane song to touring with him through twenty odd years.
It seems like a fitting tribute to Bowie the songwriter
Now Clifford Slapper is working on an album of songs by David Bowie, sung by various talented singers and with Clifford himself on piano. Even though the project was started before Bowie’s death, it seems like a fitting tribute to Bowie the songwriter – the album is intended to show his songs unadorned and naked, and each singer finds their own way of singing the songs.
Clifford has been conducting an indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to get the money together to finish the album, and while a lot of people have been generous, there’s still a little way to go. We at indieberlin think that it’s an extremely worthy project, and that’s why we’re telling you about it and asking you to go and check it out and if you can donate something to make it happen, whether it’s a little or a lot, it all helps. There are of course the usual crowdfunding perks.
So yeah – just jump on over and check it out and if you want to help make this tribute happen then jump in.
Clifford said this:
“Each song is recorded in the studio as a live take without overdubs, other instruments or special effects. This is a huge challenge, but also allows us to strip bare these great songs, to get to their emotional heart, and hear the genius of Bowie’s songwriting. This makes this album unusual, unique and different from the many tributes which have been appearing since the tragic and shocking news of David Bowie’s passing on 10th January. In fact, some of the tracks were already recorded before then. It was decided to continue with the work. It was always a labour of love, but has now become also a homage to a lost hero.”
Follow the link to check out the campaign, how to help and what you get.
“Clifford Slapper has been playing David Bowie music for many years in England. He has accompanied many singers doing David Bowie music. His love for his music is very obvious. His new CD, with many excellent singers each singing one of David’s songs, is very potent. Cliff plays very well, and it is a heartfelt recording.”
MIKE GARSON, pianist on 20 Bowie albums and 9 world tours
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.