Monday, Jan. 11, 2016: David Bowie was 69 too

I woke up this morning to a spectacular sunrise, and the news that David Bowie had died. I was first aware of him when he starred as an alien in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” in 1976. That same year I was lamenting the final concert, The Last Waltz, of my favourite group of musicians, The Band, and never really paid attention to Bowie’s music. My loss.


David Bowie played his first starring role in the 1976 British sci-fi film “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. He played Thomas Jerome Newton, a humanoid alien who comes to Earth from a distant planet on a mission to take water back to his home planet, which is experiencing a catastrophic drought.


This evening, my friend Samadhi came over for dinner and we talked about Bowie, who turned 69 this past Friday. She had been a big fan in her teens in Israel and later saw him perform in Vancouver. Samadhi played YouTube videos for me of some of his hits – “Dance With Me” and “China Girl” – and then a mix of “Under Pressure” with Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 and also would have been 69 now.

I’ve been googling who else is or would have been my age. Some famous members of Club 69, in no particular order:

Patti Smith, singer (also born on Dec. 30)

Steven Spielberg, screenwriter and director

Dolly Parton, singer

David Lynch, director

Gene Siskel, journalist, died in 1999

Serge Savard, Montreal Canadiens star

Charlotte Rampling, actor

Pete Postlethwaite, actor

Gregory Hines, dancer and actor

Sandy Duncan, actor

J. Geils, guitarist

Alan Rickman, actor

Tyne Daly, actor 

Eugene Levy, actor

Edgar Winter, guitarist

Marianne Faithfull, singer

Bill Lee, baseball player

Diane von Furtsenberg, fashion designer

Bill Clinton, retired politician

George W. Bush, retired politician

Donald Trump, blowhard

Sylvester Stallone, actor

Cher, singer

Tommy Lee Jones, actor

Sally Field, actor

Susan Sarandon, actor

Liza Minnelli, singer

Danny Glover, actor

Candice Bergen, actor

Suzanne Somers, actor

Alan Rickman, actor

Jimmy Buffett, singer

Jayne Eastwood, actor

Howard Shore, composer

Keith Moon, drummer, died 1978

Linda Ronstadt, singer

Barry Gibb, singer

Reggie Jackson, baseball player

Patty Duke, actor

Steve Biko, activist, died 1977

Lesley Gore, singer, died 2015

John Prine, musician

Donovan, musician

Oliver Stone, director

Romeo Delaire, former Canadian general

Ilie Nastase, tennis player

Daryl Hall, musician

Bill Kreutzmann, drummer

Anne Wheeler, director



One thought to “Monday, Jan. 11, 2016: David Bowie was 69 too”

  1. I too was sad to hear of Bowie’s passing. I had a dear friend from my college years who was in and out of the mental health system. She often spoke about how the support groups in the hospital would read and discuss the words to his songs as a window into their own lives. I couldn’t help but think about all the lives he has comforted in such a profound way. Blessings and grace go with David.

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