David Bowie Gets Commemorative Plaque at Former Home in Berlin

The legendary artist lived and recorded in Berlin in the 1970s.

David Bowie, Heroes album cover from graphic artist Masayoshi Sukita. Photo: RCA.
David Bowie, Heroes album cover from graphic artist Masayoshi Sukita. Photo: RCA.

This coming Monday Berlin will commemorate music legend David Bowie with a plaque at Hauptstrasse 155, in the district of Schöneberg, where Bowie shared a flat with fellow musician Iggy Pop in the late 1970s.

For fans across the world, the years Bowie spent in West Berlin produced some of the greatest albums in his career, and the most iconic personas in the artist’s evolution of styles.

It was here that Bowie wrote and recorded his Berlin Trilogy, which includes the albums Low (1977), Heroes (1977), and Lodger (1979). The deep mark he has left on the city—best encapsulated in the 1981 film Christiana F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo—has become inseparable from Berlin’s own identity.

He also collaborated with Iggy Pop on the record The Idiot (1977) at Berlin’s Hansa Studios.

The porcelain plaque dedicated to musician David Bowie and reading 'In this house lived from 1976 to 1978 David Bowie. During this time the album Low, Heroes and Lodger have been created. They were storied in music history as Berlin Trilogy' is on display at the 'Koenigliche-Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin' (KPM procellain manufacture) in Berlin on August 10, 2016. Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images.

The porcelain plaque dedicated to musician David Bowie is on display at the KPM porcelain manufacture in Berlin on August 10, 2016. Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images.

The porcelain plaque—which will be unveiled in a ceremony with speeches by the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, among others—will include a reference to the Berlin Trilogy, and the sentence “We can be heroes, just for one day.”

Taken from one of Bowie’s biggest hits, Heroes was inspired by a couple—music producer Tony Visconti and a lover—that Bowie spotted embracing by the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Germany, while writing lyrics in Berlin’s Hansa Studios.

Aware of the fact that the object could become a coveted collectible, the manufacturers, KPM (The Royal Porcelain Factory in Berlin), have confirmed that the plaque can be replaced within 24 hours should it meet the same fate as Liverpool’s famous “Penny Lane” street sign, which is occasionally nabbed by Beatles fans.

David Bowie died on January 10 at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. For weeks following his death, Bowie fans flocked to his former Berlin address to lay flowers and candles.


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