David #atozchallenge

83 changes

DI guess most of us know where we were when we heard David Bowie had died. Like most in this time zone, I was in bed, staring bleary-eyed at the radio alarm clock as it broadcast the news; wondering if I was in the midst of a bizarre dream. This one touched everyone and I didn’t have a conversation over the next few days without mentioning the Duke.

I’m not normally one to broadcast my feelings on social media. I find the obligatory grief-bombing that takes place after a celebrity death to be a little self indulgent – and there’s been a hell of a lot of it so far this year. So I left the tweeting and FB posting to others but there were some wonderful stories shared that day, along with video clips and audio snips that celebrated the man better than 140 measly characters. Adam Buxton captures the mood perfectly on his Bowie Wallow Podcast (Parts 1 & 2) , which is well worth a listen.

On this day of D for the A to Z Challenge, I give you an entirely prosaic and largely forgettable David anecdote. My big admission here today is that, until my early twenties, I had never heard the second verse of Changes. Audible gasps!? Read on…

Apart from Let’s Dance in my Dad’s car and a brilliant performance of Space Oddity on the Kenny Everett show, my introduction to Bowie proper came via my good friends Ed Fowkes and David Drew in late summer 1987. I’m not sure why I hadn’t caught the space bug, as I was well aware of his music from my older brothers and thought he smashed it at Live Aid. But my mind was truly blown forever when Mr. Drew, the first of us to learn to drive and therefore our transport to school for the rest of the year, popped Hunky Dory into the tape deck one morning. I was sold.

His cassette recording of that album, sitting snugly on one side of a C90 (couldn’t say what was on the other side, possibly Ziggy Stardust – what a tape!) from which I ripped it myself, had one idiosyncrasy. There was a scratch on the original vinyl LP at the start of the second verse of Changes…

“I watch the ripples change their size-change their size-change their size-ch-
-quite aware what they’re going through…CH-CH-CH-CH-CHAAANGES!” Etc.

Yes young readers, in the olden days, physical media for the playing of music was easily damaged and that damage was then recorded when copying that music! As this was the version of the song that I owned and played for years to come until the tape wore out, I can never again hear Ch-Ch-Changes without expecting the scratch-and-jump. That stunning lyric about the stream of warm impermanence (and spitting on children) is lost to me.

Here’s a picture of David ironing Brian Eno’s arm.


See you tomorrow.

Kraitt out.


Author: Rob Kraitt

Rob Kraitt and writing partner, the irrepressible Ashley Pannell (creator of the successful video game franchise NAUGHTY BEAR) are possibly the greatest screenwriting partnership never to be produced! Their fairy tale extravaganza BEANSTALK went as far as Tim Burton - but not quite far enough! - and their madcap musical ME AND MY FROG was a winner in the now defunct UK Film Council's 25 Words Or Less Competition. Unfortunately for cinema goers everywhere, these and many other amazing movies never saw the light of a cinema projector. Rob is now an agent at Casarotto Ramsay and Associates Limited in London, representing writing and directing talent; and selling books for film & television adaptation. He has also served on the board of the Film Agency for Wales and participated on panels and masterclasses for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain and the International Screenwriter’s Festival amongst others. He was also part of the BFI’s delegation to Shanghai and Beijing in 2015. Rob started his career as a script editor and consultant for many top film production companies in the UK including Working Title, Focus, Pathé Productions, Miramax and Ruby Films as well as the European Media Development Agency.

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