Vale David Bowie: remembering his “Berlin years” from 1976 to 1979

After the concert, SO36, West Berlin, 1982. Photo by Anno Dittmer, Geniale Dilletanten exhibition.

After the concert, SO36, West Berlin, 1982. Photo by Anno Dittmer, Geniale Dilletanten exhibition.

Vale David Bowie : he spent his “Berlin years” from 1976 to 1979 in both retreat and creative inspiration in West Berlin, when late-night sessions with Iggy Pop in clubs such as the Dschungel and SO36 helped fuel three highly acclaimed albums – Heroes, Low and Lodger. These are also the years and subculture celebrated in the current Goethe Institut touring exhibition Geniale Dilletanten: Subculture in Germany in the 1980s, now on at RMIT Gallery until 27 February.

West Berlin in the 1980s “was the paradise of dilettantes. Here there was no draft, rents were cheap and one thing above all was plentiful: lots of nightlife with no curfew. Legendary places like Dschungel, Sound, Risiko and SO36 ensured that Schöneberg and Kreuzberg nights pulsated.”

Caption: Alex Hacke playing with Kiddy Citny (in the band Sprung aus den Wolken) to a small audience: Silvie Langenfeld (3rd from left), Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten, 4th from left), Risiko, Berlin, 1981, photo Anno Dittmer, Geniale Dilletanten exhibition.

Caption: Alex Hacke playing with Kiddy Citny (in the band Sprung aus den Wolken) to a small audience: Silvie Langenfeld (3rd from left), Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten, 4th from left), Risiko, Berlin, 1981, photo Anno Dittmer, Geniale Dilletanten exhibition.

“Where Are We Now?” – lyrics by David Bowie:
Had to get the train
From Potsdamer Platz
You never knew that
That I could do that
Just walking the dead

Sitting in the Dschungel
On Nürnberger Straße
A man lost in time
Near KaDeWe
Just walking the dead

Where are we now?
Where are we now?
The moment you know
You know, you know

Read more: David Bowie – Where Are We Now Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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