The German government remembered Bowie not just for his music, but where he played it — specifically an open-air concert at the Berlin Wall in 1987.
The performance included the song “Heroes,” which Bowie later told Performing Songwriter magazine “really felt anthemic, almost like a prayer.”
“It was one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever done. I was in tears,” Bowie recalled. “They’d backed up the stage to the wall itself so that the wall was acting as our backdrop. We kind of heard that a few of the East Berliners might actually get the chance to hear the thing, but we didn’t realize in what numbers they would. And there were thousands on the other side that had come close to the wall.”
“So it was like a double concert where the wall was the division. And we would hear them cheering and singing along from the other side. God, even now I get choked up. It was breaking my heart. I’d never done anything like that in my life, and I guess I never will again.”
I really hope he’s comparing notes with the sainted Pope John Paul II right now.