It’s hard to believe but January 10 marks 3 years since the death of music legend David Bowie.
Although he spent his later years in New York, he never forgot his origins, and famously declared in an interview with Michael Parkinson that “Men are from Mars, I’m from Bromley.”
Bromley has never forgotten either, and while other London centres such as Brixton lay their own claims to Bowie, it’s Bromley Borough where he grew up from the age of 6, right through to when he married Angie Barnett. Their son, famous director Duncan Jones, was born in Beckenham, and proudly declares that he too, is from Bromley.
When Bowie died in 2016, Bromley’s shopping centre, The Glades, commissioned Marvellous Murals to paint a mural to commemorate the event. This has now been joined by the new Interactive Musical Wall, to commemorate what would have been Bowie’s 72nd birthday on January 8 – and his death, January 10, 2016. Visitors to the installation can listen by way of four earphone stations, in turn to four classic Bowie tracks. Currently you can hear extracts from ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, ‘Starman’, ‘Heroes’, and ‘This Is Not America’, from the film, ‘The Falcon and the Snowman’.
Speaking to News Shopper, Mark Haynes, the director of The Glades, said,
“We, like many local residents, are extremely proud to say that David Bowie was a Bromley man.
“We wanted to pay a special, birthday tribute to him this year and sharing music is a universal way of bringing people together.
“His work is timeless, transcends generations and sounds as innovative today as it did many years ago.
“The installation looks absolutely fantastic and it’s a great opportunity for die-hard fans and people who aren’t familiar with his sound to sample some hits.
“We’re intrigued to find out which songs are customer favourites and we’d love for people to share their photos of themselves against the backdrop.”
You can have your say in which songs you would like to hear on The Glades’ Facebook page.
There’s also an exhibition at Bromley’s central library, housed next to the Churchill Theatre on Bromley’s High Street, featuring a photo of Bowie when he performed at Beckenham Free Festival August 16, 1969. Also in the exhibit is a jacket worn by David when he was a member of one of his first bands, The Konrads, back in 1963. He later customised the jacket by drawing on some stripes, when he was a member of The Riot Squad, in about 1967. As well as these, are some cards left in his memory.
What are your memories of David Bowie? Have you visited the Interactive Music Wall? What about any other memorials to the artist?