7 – Blog 23 – ‘Yassassin’ Long Live

Bowie walks offstage to tremendous applause after finishing the Cabaret with his emotional hit ‘Heroes’. Poor Amar is mobbed by his fellow ‘Dervish. They toss him into the air (and catch him) several times before he escapes to find his parents. He hopes for their approval of his performance. Once they have their family moment in the Casino lobby, his parents are mobbed by other parents wanting to know how their children can become Sufi. He explains it is a sect of Islam and requires years of religious devotion. The other parents are discouraged. Amar suggests they bring their kids to the Lakefront any morning at 10 am for swim lessons

“David Bowie teaches music after swimming,” Amar tells them.

“Were those the kids with the dolphins before the show?”

“Yes. We sing for them.”

Montreux residents believe anything magical about Lake Geneva.

Back stage is pandemonium. After over three hours of performance, Mike and I need a break. Henri has hamburgers and pommes frites for us. The Lake kids who danced are being served Raclette on the back patio. We plan to join them, but a press conference is hastily scheduled with the music press and paparazzi that attended. We slip in the back of a conference room where David and Freddie are holding forth on how the show came together.

“Was that really Michael Jackson on stage the whole time?” the NME reporter asks.

“And dancing with kids down front,” David laughs.

“Why is he here? I thought he is doing promos for the Diana Ross movie ‘Wiz’.”

“Mike,” Bowie spots us in the back. “Come down and explain why you’re here. Bring Laz, too. He can explain it all.”

We sheepishly walk down and sit at the table facing the press. I remind myself to be careful what I say.

“Looks like Mike is the star of the show,” Freddie acts peeved at being upstaged.

“I was just having fun, singing and dancing with everyone” Mike replies. “Amar is the whirling Dervish.”

“Yup,” Bowie complains, “we play second fiddle to a fifteen-year-old.”

“Amar’s out on the patio,” Henri advises. “He’s eating Raclette with his friends.”

Everyone laughs.

“Seriously, Mike,” the NME reporter is making his story. “What’s the deal?”

“Laz is my best friend,” he turns to me. “He organized the whole show. We’re having fun.”

“Yeah, Boss,” Bowie asks me, “what’s the point?”

“We wanted to promote your song ‘Yassassin.’ And had fun doing it.”

“A reggae song that starts out, ‘I’m not a moody guy?” the NME needs to know.

“Last week we promoted Queen’s new songs, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ so the original Queen member wouldn’t quit. Those band members hurried back from London. David’s song says immigrants are just like you and me, so be nice to them. I’m an immigrant. Treat me right,” I do go on and on at times.

“Yeah, who are you? Where did you come from? How did you put three music stars through their paces? And, Mike, what was that dance move where you look like you are sliding back and forth without taking a step.”

“See, Mike. You were the star tonight,” Freddie pipes up.

“It is my friend the White Dolphin who is the star,” I laugh. “We’re all odd balls who never fit in until we start performing. Like immigrants, we just want to be liked.”

“So, answer my questions,” the NME is relentless. “Who are you?”

“I am Laszlo Romain. I woke up three weeks ago from a 17-month coma after I had an accident. Freddie saved me by bringing my body to Geneve where Dr.  Jacques revived me. I had been declared brain-dead.”

“Freddie saved you?”

“Yeah. I love him to death, or literally, back to life. Or, as David sings, Yassassin, Long Live.”

“So that explains all the homoeroticism tonight?” a reporter yells from the back.

“Who do write for? The Daily Mail? The National Enquirer?”

“Yeah, people want to know, who’s sleeping with who?”

“Mike and I are best friends, just that. We both love Freddie, like everyone else in the world. We both adore David because he is a genius. Duncan occasionally spends the night at Amar’s, and who knows what goes on; they are seven and fifteen. Amar’s sisters become hysterical whenever they see Bowie because they are teenage girls. That’s the scoop on our non-existent sex lives. Except, I was banned by Amar’s father for kissing Freddie on stage last week. The Quran has a lot to say about that.”

All the press and hangers-on laugh.

We line up for a photo op. Everyone hangs on each other, while I sit on the floor in front of the stars. Someone has found Amar who whirls into the photo shot of everyone. He is still wearing his robes.

Henri invites the NME reporter to eat with us at le Museum. More interrogation is inevitable. We excuse ourselves to eat Raclette with the kids on the patio. We promise to join everyone later.

“Will your dad read the London press?” I ask Mike as we cross the Casino lobby.

“Someone is bound to tell him where I am. They need me for a Pepsi commercial.”

“Yeah, we’re the New Generation.”

“They’ll try to burn me at the stake.”

“I’ll go with you. Maybe being in Hollywood will revive old memories.”

“No way am I leaving. This is too much fun. Miami Beach promises to get me out of my old contracts.”

“Just to sign new ones so we can take the show on the road.”

“You’re crazy. This weekend’s a one-off.”

“We can’t abandon David. The whole idea is to promote ‘Yassassin.”

“Let’s start our own band with kids our age.”

“You need more than one friend your age? Maybe I like bossing adults around too much.”

“That’s because you don’t have four older brothers.”

“How do you know?”

“Nobody intimidates you.”

“Amar’s sisters.”

“No girls in our band?”

“Are you getting horny?”

“I do love you, Laz, but you do nothing for my dick.”

“Should I start wearing a dress?”

“Well, I have to wear robes with Amar.”

“Trying to seduce me?”

“You suppress all hormones, male and female.”

He leans over and kisses me. We just stare at each other. Unfortunately, we are now on the back patio. Fifty Lake kids see the kiss and look shocked.

“Don’t tell your dad,” I tell Amar. Everyone laughs.

“We are discussing whether to have girls in our new band,” Mike explains (sort of).

“How come you never told us you’re famous,” one kid asks.

“I needed swim lessons like all of you. Nobody ever asked.”

“All Black kids look alike to the Swiss,” I explain.

“Your hair is different,” someone observes.

“I told you. I am hiding out from my mean old dad.”

“Why?”

“He has the Jackson 5 on contract to him, takes all our earnings, and locks us up in the hills of the LA Valley.”

“That sucks. My dad locks me up when he catches me smoking pot.”

“My dad beats me when I take money from his wallet while he is sleeping.

“Mine makes me work on his cleaning crew. I can’t go to school.”

“All dads suck,” I conclude. “I don’t remember my dad.”

“Maybe he beat you, and you have PTSD.”

“I don’t remember anything before I came to Montreux.”

“No wonder you’re so mindlessly happy.”

“Yeah,” Mike agrees, “the Idiot.”

I’m beginning to feel sad.

“You act like you’re my dad,” I complain.

They jump me and try beating me up. Mike and I run to the restaurant. Amar stays with his friends.

Mike and I finally make it to the dinner party at le Museum. I complain that I never got any Raclette at the patio. I mention our swim with the dolphins. When I start sounding like an environmentalist (Mike says I sound ‘mental”). Preaching ‘Save the Dolphins,” I lose the group’s attention. The NME guy grabs Mike for an in-depth interview. M. Iverson brings me a healthy helping of Raclette. My needs are met. I drink a whole glass of red wine. I feel very toasty.

The NME guy, Danny Baker, finishes interrogating Mike and sits beside me for my turn.

“What is that Doctor’s name you said performed your miraculous recovery from the dead?”

“Dr. Jacques in Geneve. I was only brain dead.”

“Is it okay to speak with him to verify your story?”

“Why? I’m obviously alive. You want to confirm that I was dead?” I laugh at Danny’s cool; he’s about my age.

“Just part of the story. You don’t remember how you got so good producing rock concerts?”

“It’s really not hard when all the musicians want to showcase their songs and have been doing so for more than ten years. Tonight was fun. Getting the kids involved is my job. They love being in the show.”

“So, it wasn’t spontaneous, like at punk rock shows.”

“We played a punk song to perk them up before all the whirling dervish dancing that we had rehearsed.”

“I never heard that punk song before, perfect with the Hendrix USA national anthem. Who wrote it?

“It’s hard to explain about my memory loss. It doesn’t affect my musical ability, the songs I’ve always known, and rock history. But I can’t remember when I learned it or if I wrote it or not. It explains that young Americans don’t always like our military policies.”

“But you ‘love your Uncle Sam.’”

“Of course. We’re American.”

Maybe I’m not making my case. Freddie has been listening and moves over to help me.

“All musicians are outsiders. That’s why we support immigrants. They give up everything to come here but never fit in. When I perform, no one cares that I’m from Zanzibar. It inspires me to write better songs, so I can gain audience acceptance.”

“Queen, the outsiders,” Baker scoffs.

“Not when we play ‘God Save the Queen.”

“What do you think of the Sex Pistols version of the national anthem?” Baker covers the London Punk scene for NME.

“Well, they got arrested, didn’t they? We prefer maintaining the dignity of the office of monarch.”

“No Anarchy in the CH?” (Confoederatio Helvetica/Switzerland)

“No time for that when we’re having fun,” I joke.

“No cares for the common lad?”

“This ain’t suicide,” I scoff.

Freddie stands up and sings ‘Somebody to Love.’

The other restaurant patrons give him a modest hand. They are familiar with our spontaneous singing. Freddie bows. Baker stops interrogating me. Coffee and brandy are served. I am slightly wasted.

“You want to meet punks, Swiss style?” I challenge Baker. “Come with us to swim lessons tomorrow morning at the Lakefront.”

“The Swiss are not ready for anarchy.”

“It is not about tearing things down but learning to swim and singing to dolphins.”

“Will you be there, David?” Baker asks the star across from us.

David turns to Duncan who looks half-asleep.”

“Swimming tomorrow?”

“Sure, da.”

“We’ll be there. Party tomorrow night, after the show.”

Dinner is done. Baker decides to hang out with the Knobs who offer him pot. Mike and I head to my bedroom. I notice Baker asking the Knobs what the deal is with us.

“They’re just kids, still having sleepovers,” Billy answers.

“They’ll never be punks.”

Is that a new career goal? 

“Is that what we’ll be like when we’re twenty?” I ask Mike.

“I’m never getting old,” Mike decides.

After morning croissants and coffee with Jim, Mike and I head for the lakefront and swim lessons. Amar has been there waiting with his friends for us to show up. The all are still dressed in their Sufi robes. David and Duncan arrive just as we get started. I round up everyone to discuss the day’s plans. The kids are still excited from performing at the Casino and look forward to tonight’s second performance.

“We wrote a song for us to sing tonight,” Amar announces. David’s ears perk up. His music students are stepping up. He brings out his acoustic guitar.

“Let’s hear it,” I smugly decide.

“It’s for you,” Amar says. “’The Boss.’”

That gets my attention. Amar and two co-conspirators step into a group of sitting swimmers.

Amar sets the tempo,

‘ 1, 2, 3, 4

You’re not the boss of me

I just need to be free

It starts when I am spinning

I don’t care what you’re singing.’

Everyone laughs. Bowie picks out a tune and the kids sing it again.

The other kids start pushing each other around.

“Stop acting crazy,” I order.

They all yell, “You’re not the boss of me,” and jump me.

 I break loose and run into the lake. They chase me but I swim faster than anyone else. They give up the chase. I float about 100 meters offshore, watching them swim back. Suddenly I am nudged.

It’s White D, come to cheer me up, my personal spirit animal. He starts speaking to me in high squeaking clicks.

I try New English on him, clicking back at him.

He nudges me again. I put my arms around him and ride on his back.

“Click click click,” he squeaks. He is not male. I suddenly understand the clicks.

“Okay,” I click. “Let’s be lovers. ‘Click click click.’”

“Just for one day.”

The kids on the lakefront are quite agitated as we swim away.

“Click click click click click?” she asks if I want to swim with the other dolphins.

“Click click click,” (bring them here), I suggest.

White D leaps high above the lake, shaking me free, and swims away. I swim back to shore. Everyone wants to know what happened.

“White D is going the bring her pod of blue dolphins back here, so we can all play in the water together.”

The kids take off the Sufi robes and swim out into the lake.  Stopping where I ‘spoke’ with White D, we look toward the direction where she swam. Soon I can see her jumping above the lake, followed by the pack of blue dolphins. They quickly surround us. Several kids become nervous. I assure them that dolphins are not sharks. I get the better swim team kids to stroke butterfly together. The dolphins quickly join us, easily swimming circles around us. I get on White D’s back. She dives underwater and then flips into the air. I hang on for dear life. The blue dolphins are nudging the good swimmers, who soon are on their own rides. We play for 20-30 minutes. Suddenly we hear an outboard motor from a fishing boat that approaches us. The dolphins shake the kids off their backs. White D clicks that the boat is coming to kill them.

“Go,” I click. My new goal in life: ‘Stop Killing Dolphin Mammals.’

We all swim back to shore where a small crowd has gathered with the kids who are not good enough swimmers to go out of their depth. They start singing ‘Heroes.’ Bowie has several players joining him on their acoustic guitars. It feels good to be a hero. We dry off, telling everyone that the dolphins like swimming with us.

“So, get ready for swim lessons tomorrow.”

After swimming, we pile into Bowie’s Aston Martin and drive to Freddie’s Lake House. Jim has the grill going for Wimpy Burgers.

“Do you enjoy playing your songs with the kids?” I kid Bowie. “They barely know the chords.”

“It’s great. I’m not all that good on guitar myself,” He replies. “We should get them on stage with us tonight.”

“Great. How about you let Queen headline tonight and you give the kids a show for them. We can end with ‘Yassassin’ and explain that being an immigrant is all about sacrificing for the next generation.”

“How about I do my Ziggy Stardust show to emphasize how we all are aliens?”

“Who will do your make-up for you?”

“How about you be Ziggy and we sing duets.”

Wow.

“We need to rehearse. Can you do my make-up?”

“Sure. I’ll make a real Ziggy out of you.”

“Oh no!”

We practice all afternoon. Make-up takes 90 minutes. I wear an old Ziggy outfit that shows my ass.

The Dervish kids arrive early. We do sound check both with them on stage and in the ‘pit’ in front of the stage. We tell them to be ready to climb on stage when Mike and Amar tell them. They are stoked.

After all the stage direction, they get weary and all sing Amar’s song ‘You’re not the Boss of Me.”

“Mes amis, s’il vous plait, Amar est le patron. Suivez-le.” (Follow him)

They pretend to jump Amar. He starts spinning. They all start spinning. Practice is over.

The Knobs are ready for their sound check. Once they see me in Ziggy drag and makeup, they laugh.

“No way are you singing with us,” they decide, “looking like a tranvestite whore.”

“Fine. You’re ready to be on your own anyway,” I challenge them. “I’ll stay behind the MOOG and fill in when you screw up.”

Sound check turns into a full rehearsal as they work out who sings which songs. They cannot agree about ’Smoke on the Water,’ and decide all four of them will sing.

Queen has yet to show up for sound check. The kids are on the back patio enjoying burgers. The good swimmers jump into the Lake and swim out to where they played with the dolphins yesterday. They look hopefully for their water mammal friends. The remaining kids on the shore decide to sing ‘Heroes,’ to entice the dolphins back. Bowie brings out guitars and an amp, hooks up and lets the kids he has been teaching play with him. There is a set of bongos for Mike to tap. My MOOG is set for saxophone effect. Soon I see my friend White D leading her pod of blue dolphins to meet the swimmers.

I hit the MOOG and Mike the bongos to set a faster than usual tempo. Bowie dedicates the song to Duncan standing with his friends ready to back up his dad. Like a seasoned performer, White D flips into the air as she nears the kids in the water. Her pod starts flipping in different directions. The swimmers start dolphin kick and butterfly stroking to draw the dolphins closer. The kids pair with the nearest dolphin, hanging on their back and speeding through the water. When David sings  ‘we could swim, like dolphins can swim’, the pod all flip in the air. Some kids fall off. The dolphins get under them and propel them quickly through the water

Hearing the amplified sound coming from the lakeside of the Casino, many of the ticket holders rush to join our little band. There are at least a thousand fans applauding and ew-ing and aw-ing the ‘Heroes’ performance. It last about twenty minutes, until the pod is spooked by a boat passing by. I click into the mic and White D ends the exhibition. They get a big hand from the crowd and the whole pod flips in the air and takes off.

Time for rock n roll.

After being mocked by the Knobs as a ‘tranny ho,’ I put on a Sufi robe and blend in with the kids streaming down the aisle toward the stage. The 5,000 seats are quickly filling up. As Mike follows me up the side stairs onto the stage, Amar gathers his Dervish followers, I hear a murmur from the robed teens, ‘You’re not the boss of me.’ Amar ignores the mockers and reviews their planned spinning orders for the show.

Onstage my MOOG has been moved behind the Knobs band’s guitar and drum kit. I still have a live mic and keyboard feed to the PA when needed to augment the basic rock band setup. The stage curtain is closed as we gather to start the show.

“We’ll start like last night,” I remind them. “With everyone singing, it will be even better tonight.”

The Knobs are as excited as teenagers playing their first show.

David comes and tells me that he will join me at the MOOG near the end of the Knobs set, so we can transition to his set without stopping. He tells me that Henri has arranged so the lighting staff will use spotlights on each of us at different times. He laughs at me for wearing the robe over my Ziggy outfit.

“It shows my ass,” I explain.

He pinches me. Tonight’s show will be great.

Claude Nobs puts his tambourine down and walks through the curtain to address the crowd.

“Bien venu au Casino au Montreux. Je suis Claude Nobs. Ce nuit mon band Les Knobs c’est pret pour tous. Pour votre plaisir. Merci.”

The curtain opens to scattered applause. Billy steps up to his mic and opens with ‘Smoke on the Water.’ The double drums kick in,

“We all came out to Montreux….

But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground

Smoke on the water”

During the instrumental section, I come in with screaming riffs, Billy plays them back to me.

‘Smoke on the water
A fire in the sky
Smoke on the water’

The audience sings the chorus with just a snare drum beat to keep it together. I finish with a long Doors-like keyboard riff.

The fans love singing about their hometown.

The Knobs are off and running. Claude dances in front of the drums banging his tambourine in synch with shaking his butt.

“We’re not about destruction. We’re building a better world. How about a little help from our friend, Paul McCartney?” I speak into my mic. Steve hits church chimes

‘Let ‘em in’

“If you didn’t know (ne savez pas ce soir), il s’agit d’immigrants. Mais il s’agit le Rock n Roll aussi.

The Knobs’ Billy shows off his best Glam Rock moves to Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock n Roll Part 2’

Our robed Sufi acolytes in the pit are a frenzy of humping groin thrusts. Security blocks several cougar-types from breaking into the testosterone party.

“Calm down,” I yell. “It’s all rock n roll.”

The Knobs go right into Mott the Hopple’s ‘All the Young Dudes,’

Billy sings

‘All the young dudes
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes
Carry the news
All the young dudes
Carry the news
Boogaloo dudes
Carry the news’

Writer(s): Bowie David

I add the  ‘I wanna hear ya’ backup vocals

The robed teens are spinning and jumping in the pit. They have their arms around their buddies, singing to each other, The Koran may be violated tonight.

I motion for Mike and Amar to come on stage as we start the urban Paul Simon song ‘Me & Julio Down at the Schoolyard

‘The mama looked down and spit on the ground
Every time my name gets mentioned
The papa said, “Oy, if I get that boy
I’m gonna stick him in the house of detention’

As we sing about the police investigation, Amar spins and Mike chases him across the stage doing his Moonwalk, never quite catching him,

Seein’ me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard
Seein’ me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard
Seein’ me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard’

Produced By Roy Halee & Paul Simon

Written By Paul Simon

“Life is tough if you’re named Julio but everyone calls you ‘Jewel-io.’”

Mike grabs Amar and drags him down the side stairs. All the robed Dervish teens liberate Amar. Mike moonwalks away from the crowd.

I check on Claude and see that ‘look’ in his eyes that signals danger. But the show must go on.

“Okay, Montreux. It’s okay to get fired up, but let’s chill with the Wailers, ‘One Love,’

Everyone chills.

Bowie slips on stage and joins me at the MOOG. Freddie comes out as well. There is a smattering of applause as the stars are recognized.

“That’s much better. How about ‘Pressure Drop?’ I ask

The auditorium lights are dimmed and the spotlight picks us out at the MOOG. Cheers rise from the seated fans.

Halfway through the song, Mike joins us at the mic to do justice to the Wailers’ high falsetto

‘Ee do ba be

Ee da ba ba ba

Um bo bo

Be lap

People on streets ee da de da de

People on streets ee da de da de da de da’

Freddie and the Knobs depart the stage. Bowie’s Turkish band replaces them. I motion for Amar to come up from the floor. He and David stand at the mic. Time to do ‘Yassassin.’ The band playing the oud starts with sounds of the bazaar/souk.

Amar calls out the Turkish word (Long Live). David calls back the one line verses.

‘Yassassin – I’m not a moody guy
Yassassin – I walk without a sound
Yassassin – Just a working man, no judge of men
Yassassin – But such a life I’ve never known’

Amar spins away from the mic, robes flowing and inflating. He circles the stage. His robed Dervish are moving slowly to start the trance dance. Amar approaches the stage edge. I stand with Bowie as we call and respond the second chorus. Amar launches himself and is caught mid-air by Mike. Amar spins away and lands on the floor. Mike moonwalks after him. They climb the stairs back on stage. As the song goes along, they spin and chase across the stage. Caught at the far edge, Amar flies over the out-stretched arms of the Dervish in the pit. They catch him and spin him back on stage. Mike is chased across the stage by the seemingly unconscious Amar as the song ends. Amar disappears into the pack of robed Sufis. Mike appears bewildered at the edge of the stage, not descending to the floor himself. The spotlight is on David at the MOOG playing keyboards and voicing ‘Ground Control.’

The kids in the pit do the countdown ‘10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1,’ with Mike leading the launch. I go to the mic at the front of the stage. House lights go to dark as the spotlight picks me up at the mic.

‘Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom (ten, nine, eight, seven, six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (five, four, three)
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (two, one, liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare
“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much ‘

The spotlight is on Mike, who answers,

‘she knows’

The spotlight is again on me,


‘Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you

“Here am I floating ’round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do”

Songwriters: David Bowie

Space Oddity lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

The spotlight goes back to Bowie at the MOOG. He does the intro to ‘Starman’ while strumming guitar

Bowie sings:

‘Hey now, now

Didn’t know what time it was, the lights were low

I leaned back on my radio

Some cat was layin’ down some rock ‘n’ roll

“Lotta soul,” he said

Then the loud sound did seem to fade

Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase

That wasn’t no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive’

The spotlight switches to me as I strip-off my robe to reveal my outre Ziggy outfit. The audience gasps as in make-up I look a lot like a 19-year-old Bowie,

I sing:

‘There’s a starman waiting in the sky

He’d like to come and meet us

But he thinks he’d blow our minds

There’s a starman waiting in the sky

He’s told us not to blow it

‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile’

Bowie sings:

 ‘He told me

Let the children lose it

Let the children use it’

I sing:

 ‘Let all the children boogie’

Bowie sings:

 ‘I had to phone someone, so I picked on you

Hey, that’s far out, so you heard him too

Switch on the TV

We may pick him up on channel two

Look out your window, I can see his light

If we can sparkle, he may land tonight

Don’t tell your poppa or he’ll get us locked up in fright’

I sing the chorus:

 ‘There’s a starman waiting in the sky

He’d like to come and meet us

But he thinks he’d blow our minds

There’s a starman waiting in the sky

He’s told us not to blow it

‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile

He told me

Let the children lose it

Let the children use it

Let all the children boogie’

Bowie sings:

 ‘Starman waiting in the sky

He’d like to come and meet us

But he thinks he’d blow our minds

There’s a starman waiting in the sky

He’s told us not to blow it

‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile

He told me’

The spotlights are on both of us. We sing together:

 ‘Let the children lose it

Let the children use it

Let all the children boogie

La, la, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la

La, la, la, la’

The audience tries to tell who is who, do they like a duet and does it make better sense that Bowie is no longer Ziggy, replaced by a teenager. At the ending, which Bowie holds out longer on the MOOG, there is a collective sigh, followed by a burst of applause.

The spotlight remains on David as he takes out a cigarette, lights it up and the band goes instantly into ‘Rock n Roll Suicide’

David sings:

‘Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette
The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
Ohhh, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide
You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it
And the clocks waits so patiently on your song
You walk past a cafe but you don’t eat when you’ve lived too long
Oh, no, no, no, you’re a rock ‘n’ roll suicide
Chev brakes are snarling as you stumble across the road
But the day breaks instead so you hurry home
Don’t let the sun blast your shadow
Don’t let the milk float ride your mind
They’re so natural – religiously unkind’

The spotlight changes and I sing:

“Oh no love! you’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care
Oh no love! you’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone’

David sings:

‘Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on and be not alone’

We both sing, reaching out toward each other:

‘Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful
Oh gimme your hands.’

Songwriters: David Bowie / Jorge Seu

Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide lyrics © Tintoretto Music, Chrysalis Music Ltd

The auditorium lights come on as we rush to the front of the stage reaching out to each other. The Sufi and the audience are all reaching out toward us. The band plays on.

How tortured can a rock n roll star be?

After hugging, we both turn and reach out toward the audience.

Freddie rushes out and Mike comes up from the pit to receive the love they have earned from their tortured life of rock n roll.

“I never really wanted to be Ziggy Stardust,” David admits on a live mic.

The audience groans. Maybe we are way past maudlin.

The show is only half  done. We are taking an encore.

“We’ll be back,” Bowie announces. The audience heads for the bar. Claude no longer looks worried.

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