Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Love in Berlin, 1977

Berlin 1977

We've got nothing to lose and nothing to gain/ we can be lovers and kiss in the rain/ we can be lovers just for one day/ we can be heroes; what do you say?

Recently I've been listening again to David Bowie's "Heroes" album and it's taken me back... Bowie recorded it in West Berlin when he was living near the wall with Iggy. During 1976-8 I was in and out of West Berlin because I had a berliner girlfriend who lived there, at Neu Spandau, out by the edge of the city. I also knew a few pretty women who stayed at Wedding and a guy whose father was a lawyer and I spent time with my friends and caroused and danced and talked and made love and walked the city and enjoyed its odd decadence and lasting vibrancy. "Heroes" came out at that time, and I bought the German version, 'Helden', for my girlfriend and played it repeatedly late one night while the rain poured heavily outside her flat. It was a good time, a time of another world, of a world long passed but not gone. This week I've been surprising myself with whispered glimpses of that silent age.

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