David Bowie: Five Years

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the death of David Bowie. Five years ago, on hearing the tragic news of David’s passing, Pete wrote in his blog on this website and today we re-publish that blog . . .


Woke up to the awful news that my lovely friend David Bowie passed away. I am so deeply sad, but he just completed a radical and audacious new album, and that is a great thing. Personally I am grateful to him for doing it.

For those who were his fans he was a charismatic and exotic creature and still gloriously beautiful even as he approached 70. But face to face he was funny, clever, well-read, excited by the arts, and really good company.

In a Japanese restaurant we once ate tiny live crabs sent over to our table by a businessman fan. David said we must try, out of courtesy. I wouldn’t have done it with anyone else on the planet. Delicious, of course.

He was simply a joy to be around, so good at making everyone feel at ease. I’m sorry to hear it was cancer that got him. I knew he had been ill for several years but didn’t know the details. My thoughts now go to his family and close ones, and to so many of his fans who will be beyond distraught today. We have lost a monumental figurehead of the British arts scene. We have also lost a wonderful clown whose combined sense of mischief and creativity delightedly touched our hearts. David Bowie was my Salvador Dali. He was also one facet of my perfect Ace Face.

Pete Townshend
11 January 2016

19 thoughts on “David Bowie: Five Years”

  1. Chris Huennekens says:

    RIP Thin White Duke… the world will not see your like again.

  2. Gavin Wakelin says:

    Hi Pete, my dad was the bass player in The Naturals who covered your first song ‘It was You’. He also played with Bowie when he was in the King Bees, standing in for their bass player for their performance on BBC2’s programme The Beat Room in 1964.This came about as Les Conn was managing both bands at the time, my dad was given a demo disc to rehearse the songs ‘Liza Jane’ and ‘Louis Go Home’. He still has this disc which is a one off as printed on the label is ‘Tom Jones’ as I understand he was going to change his name to this , but chose not to as ‘the’ Tom Jones had a hit with ‘Delilah’. All other pressings of ‘Lizza Jane’ have Davie Jones except the first studio one which my dad still has which he keeps very safe.
    Keep safe and best wishes to you and the band.
    All the Best Gavin Wakelin

  3. thank you Mister Pete Townshend, a lots of love, Nicoletta

  4. Sara says:

    Beautifully written, Petey.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Both of you are still on my playlists. I was listening to Aladdin Sane just yesterday.
    Thank you for reposting.

  6. Andrew Clarke says:

    We’ve lost so many great artists over the recent years but for some reason I find it hard to get over his passing, even after 5 years.

  7. Robert Dalton says:

    I miss him too,would like to see what music he could create since then.

  8. Mario Couto Rocha says:

    Long Live Rock!!

  9. Christopher McKeever says:

    Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing. News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in.

  10. Jeanie Worthey says:

    A very gracious and heartfelt statement from Pete. Thank you for republishing it as I didn’t see the original one.

  11. God shines Bright for a beautiful soul

  12. Des says:

    Such lovely words and sentiments, hard to believe it’s been 5 years!So we carry on in this much less colourful world and cling to the memories we have.

  13. Tony says:

    Lovely words is a pity nobody will have the same opinion when you shuffle of this mortal wah wah pedal.

  14. mr freestuff says:


  15. David McCracken says:

    Next to Love Reign o’er Me, that’s probably one of the best things you have ever written. As the world lamented the loss of a truly gifted artist. I saw him as art, in its purest form, as it seems he had a similar effect on everyone he encountered yet left them with profoundly different feelings towards him.

  16. Keith Buirch says:

    My brother who I lost twenty years ago came to on Xmas one year and told me I can get rid of my grand funk. I put on Ziggy Stardust and my life changed Ziggy was such an excellent album the I bought everything David was making the man who sold the world all his albums. But Ziggy is still my favorite. So said your gone Both of you.

  17. mr freestuff says:

    free speach …one each….thanks for banning me

    1. The Who says:

      Mr Freestuff, who says you’re banned?

  18. Chesco Holly says:

    Our Starman Bowie is sorely missed still😰. Pete your Salvador Dali reference is spot on.

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