With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

“Everything has changed. For in truth, it’s the beginning of an end” March 10, 2022

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 3:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Regular readers know that I am a huge David Bowie fan, in fact, fellow Bowie fans will know that the blog title is taken from a 70s Bowie lyric. Mr. Bowie is easily my most listened to artist regardless of my mood. His music has helped me through so many periods of my life from extreme sadness to extreme happiness and everything in between. My “go-to” Bowie album in recent years has been ‘Heathen’ from 2002. When I first heard it in June 2002 I really believed that many of the songs were in response to the awful events of 9/11 around nine months before it was released. Bowie himself said categorically that this was not the case and I have a number of bootleg studio recordings that show quite a few of the songs on ‘Heathen‘ were initially tried out during the earlier ‘Toy’ sessions. This all proves that it almost certainly wasn’t written and recorded in response to 9/11.

Tribute in lights illuminates downtown in New York, NY on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Photo by Jin Lee,9/11 Memorial

I am writing this small piece based on how what is happening in Ukraine right now is permeating so many of my thoughts and no doubt many of yours too. When I was feeling particularly low last week I put together a playlist of songs that spoke of word war 3, armageddon, or the apocalypse. Then I had a word with myself and said don’t be so fucking depressive about it. Music can make us feel better in so many cases. So I started listening to ‘Heathen’ again. In particular: “Sunday”, “Slip Away”, “5:15 The Angels Have Gone” and “Everyone Says ‘Hi'”. Both lyrically and for the mood of the music, these are the tracks that made me originally think the album was a response to 9/11. There are obvious New York references on “Slip Away” (“Drags his bones to see the Yankees play” and “Sailing over Coney Island“) and there is a positivity about coming to terms with loss in “Everyone Says ‘Hi'”. But the song that I have played most is “Sunday”, which opens the album, it has a sad and sombre feel to it and I believe the lyrics can be seen as very positive or very negative, maybe that would depend on your mood. There is also a feeling that this song might be written in terms of a human, or even an animal, coming to terms with a post-apocalyptic world. It also has some apparent religious references which do crop up from time to time in Bowie’s songs.

“Everything has changed
For in truth, it’s the beginning of nothing
And nothing has changed
Everything has changed
For in truth, it’s the beginning of an end
And nothing has changed
And everything has changed”

The above, for me, can be heard as a positive and a negative. While the next part which closes the tune has some very dark and perhaps overtly religious connotations. Although equally, you might see it as a Pheonix rising from the ashes. I am spiritual but I follow no religion at all and I doubt that I ever will.

“In your fear
Of what we have become
Take to the fire
Now we must burn
All that we are
Rise together
Through these clouds
As on wings”

Meanwhile, the following couplet carries a real sense of hope and purpose, and I wanted to draw this to a close in a positive way:

“In your fear, seek only peace
In your fear, seek only love”

I am very much a positive person in the main and my glass is always at least half full. ‘Heathen’ is really helping me become even more hopeful in spite of the shit show our world has become. What music gets you through really bad points in life? Also I would love to hear from you if you have a completely different interpretation of this song. If you want to read a really in-depth take on ‘Sunday’ click here and check out Chris O’Leary’s rather excellent ‘Pushing Ahead Of The Dame’ blog.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;





Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.


“I got soul but I’m not a soldier” December 3, 2013

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Brandon-Flowers-for-Weeke-001Brandon Flowers off of the Killers is a self-confessed David Bowie fan. He believes that ‘Heathen‘ is the last great Bowie album. So much so that he readily admits that the Killers stole the bass line for “All These Things That I’ve Done” from Bowie’s “Slow Burn” which was one of the singles released from ‘Heathen’. Do you think it is a definite steal?



“A man lost in time near KaDeWe” January 8, 2013

English: David Bowie at the Area2 Festival, Sa...

Well all I can say is about bloody time Mr Jones! You have probably already heard the news that the Dame himself a.k.a. Mr Bowie has released a new single today, his 66th birthday. It is called “Where Are We Now” and is taken from a new album, ‘The Next Day’ which will be released in March. The single and album are produced by Bowie’s long time friend and producer Tony Visconti. It is his first new album for ten years and was recorded in New York.

English: David Bowie in Ruisrock Festival, Tur...

Like many others I had assumed that Bowie had retired after his heart problems in 2004. I am very pleased and excited that he hasn’t. I heard the new song on Chris Evan’s Radio Two breakfast show this morning. It’s a slow, atmospheric ballad which evokes feelings of sadness to me. It also includes what appears to be many references to his time in Berlin in the late 70s. I will be playing it a lot over the coming weeks. It feels a lot like the more mellow songs from both ‘Heathen‘ and ‘Reality‘ from 2002 and 2003 respectively. It also sounds like it would fit well on the album that his record label bizarrely rejected in 2001. That consisted of a number of rerecordings of some his 60s songs and some other material. It would have been called ‘Toy’ and obviously I have the bootleg and it is damned good.

David Bowie, Ekeberghallen, Oslo, Norway

Only Bowie could have informed the world that he is not retired and announce the release of new material in such an understated way. the single was simply made available on iTunes before the press kicked in. Contrast that with the hoopla around the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary activities; press conferences and yet another compilation with just a couple of new tracks. I can hardly wait for the album now. I haven’t been as excited about the release of a new album from anyone for many years! Click here to read the report on the NME.

Español: David Bowie sobre el escenario del fe...

On line the single appears to be receiving mixed, but mainly positive reviews. I would love to know what you think of it. Will this lead to any live gigs or maybe a full on tour? I’d like to think so, but given his time away from live performance maybe not. but at least we know that the fabulous David Bowie is back in a big way. Oh and before I forget, Happy Birthday Dave!


%d bloggers like this: