Two pretty hard days at work. Things doesn´t always go the way you want them to, and valuable energy is spent keeping your equilibrium. Met with my friend G. for dinner at a downtown restaurant, the conversation as usual more memorable than the food. The car is at the shop, so I walked home through the still warm summer evening. Then sitting outside at the little table in front of the house, enjoying the cool air and smoking another cigar. This time it´s a Cuban, Romeo y Julieta, a classic brand beginning it´s life in Cuba 1875, moving to the Dominican Republic after the revolution and now existing in both places. This is definitely a more powerful cigar than the Navarre I wrote about earlier. Legendary British PM Winston Churchill was one of it´s foremost devotees and gave name to their most famous vitola (meaning style/size of cigar). Smoking this could really make your head spin, but this summer has allowed me to develop a healthy tolerance.
During all this, Spotify allowed me the luxury of listening to one of the surprises of 2013, “The Next Day” by David Bowie. Not many would object to counting him out after the events of the past few years. Lacklustre albums, heart attacks and so on. You had to be a die-hard fan with a well developed streak of self deception to believe that he would ever do anything relevant again. But then again, after that career why would he need to? Who could really compete with someone starting to create music in the mid-sixties and staying at the top of their game and leading the development of pop music for the next 40 years or so?
In a climate where nostalgia and the regurgitation of old glories is the norm, this album is truly remarkable. Songs like “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” would be career-makers for lesser bands. The relatively long period of silence had primed us for nothing at all, or at best a stab at the past. When the video of “Where are we now” suddenly appeared most of us heard a feeble artist looking back at his prime. The voice was weak and the lyrics backwards looking. Who could really blame him? Why would this guy need to prove himself again?
Then the album came and everyone was in awe. If a new group or artist would have created these songs they would immediately have been a sensation. Even for Bowie this was great. So many substantial songs. So much energy. So much creativity. I´m amazed that something as good as this can be brought into life by someone so old. A true game changer. Thank you, and thank you again.