Bowie and Montreux

David Bowie lived in Switzerland for a while in the 1980s, and (besides having friends such as Iggy Pop visit to write songs together), recorded songs at Mountain Recording Studios in Montreux, where Queen had also recorded (and the song Smoke on the Water was born.

We visited Montreux last month for the first time, as well as Chillon Castle (remembering Byron and Shelley's visit there 200 years ago).

But first, I storified the last few days' worth of tweets (it's not chronological, but it's not that important to read them in any kind of order. Storify doesn't clearly show what I was replying to in some cases, and in those instances I've included the original tweets from others). Black Tie, White Noise was the first album I got after the Greatest Hits, because it came out the year I was old enough to start paying attention to music on my own, following on from what I'd learned from my parents and the local classic rock station. I thought the Shire Reckoning entry was apt, for some reason. Don't miss the Neil Gaiman story or the photo from the International Space Station.

There's no tweet to show it, but one of the first lines I ever heard that stuck with me (you know, those random bits of lyrics and poetry that move with you throughout your life) was "put on your red shoes and dance the blues".

Canadian chalet at the Christmas market
The Bremen Town Musicians
The Alps behind the Chateau de Chillon
A brief history from Wikipedia: "The oldest parts of the castle have not been definitively dated, but the first written record of the castle is in 1005. It was built to control the road from Burgundy to the Great Saint Bernard Pass. From the mid 12th century, the castle was summer home to the Counts of Savoy, who kept a fleet of ships on Lake Geneva. The castle was greatly expanded in 1248 by Peter II.
During the 16th century Wars of Religion, it was used by the dukes of Savoy to house prisoners. Its most famous prisoner was probably François de Bonivard, a Genevois monk, prior of St. Victor in Geneva and politician who was imprisoned there in 1530 for defending his homeland from the dukes of Savoy.
Over his six-year term, de Bonivard paced as far as his chain would allow, and the chain and rut are still visible. He was rescued in 1536 by his countrymen and Bernese, who took the castle by force. The prison was residence for Bernese bailiff until Chillon was converted into a state prison in 1733."
Byron's name carved on the pillar to which Francois Bonivard was chained.
Byron's The Prisoner of Chillon tells the tale.

Hangman's noose (sorry it's sideways!)
The dungeons
Look out! A Dragon!
Freddie Mercury

I haven't done much worth reporting for ROW80. I'm hoping to submit an entry for the January excercise on the Forum (all about backstory and flashbacks), though!

How are you remembering Bowie?


Hi Deniz - that was excellent ... I read his letter to his American fan - he was always incredibly polite and interested in the world ... such a loss.

I'll be back to read again, listen to the music and to look at your photos ... thanks for this wonderful post ... cheers Hilary
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Hilary! Argh, just found two typos in the post...
Beautiful area. Like the glassblower room.
You found a lot to Tweet about Bowie.
Erin Z. said…
I am so saddened by his passing.

I keep remembering him in Labyrinth as the Goblin King. He was amazing and brilliant and brave.
Hi Deniz - I've just gone through quickly again - saw some of the videos, and the Gaiman story - that I need to re-read at some stage. The photos are lovely ... the castle looks fascinating ... I love Emily the dragon! Cheers Hilary
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Alex and Erin. And thanks for coming by again, Hilary!
DMS said…
What an amazing post and tribute. I especially loved his letter to Sandra, his first American fan.

The castle photos are just amazing! Thanks for sharing all of this with us. Lots to digest and think about. :)
Misha Gericke said…
I loved his letter to his first American fan-mail writer. He seemed to be a truly interesting person (as supposed to someone who pretended to be weird to make more sales.)
Deniz Bevan said…
I agree, Misha -- he was a true performance artist who considered every aspect, the music, the lyrics, the look, all of it.

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