Thomas Jones · Bowie
Halfway through his final performance as Ziggy Stardust, at the Hammersmith Odeon in July 1973, David Bowie sang 'My Death', his version of 'La Mort' by Jacques Brel. It's a faintly ridiculous song, rich with pompous melancholy, but he carries it off wonderfully. 'Whatever lies behind the door/there is nothing much to do/angel or devil, I don't care/for in front of that door/there is you.' The last time through the chorus – in D.A. Pennebaker's film of the concert you can see a tear, or a drop of sweat, glisten in the corner of Bowie's eye – he pauses before the last word, and voices from the audience call out, as they may have done before, and would do again: 'Me! Me!' Whether he was expecting the response or not, his gaze flickers across his fans, as if picking them out one by one, and his ghostly face breaks into an unforced smile of pleasure and surprise. 'Thank you,' he says.