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On February 1, dozens of musicians showed love for the Thin White Duke at Rockwood Music Hall.

On Monday night at Rockwood Music Hall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the love for David Bowie was as thick as the room was crowded. Just before midnight, many of NYC's most talented musicians gathered to pay tribute to the great David Bowie. The show consisted of 23 songs spanning Bowie's career from 1969 to 2003 and lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Cover was free, but all tips were donated to Hope & Heroes Children's Cancer Fund, New York's largest Children's Cancer treatment and research center. 

Before their sets, we caught up with 13 participating musicians and Hope & Heroes Senior Director of Development to ask them a few questions and, of course, strike their best Bowie pose.

 

Chris Kuffner, 35

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? Chris Kuffnerproducer/writer/bassist with Ingrid Michaelson and A Great Big World. 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? I’m playing "Golden Years," "Let’s Dance" and "Under Pressure." I am a lucky man.
What’s your favorite Bowie song? Impossible, I can’t do that. Maybe "Young Americans."
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? He’s one of the most creative people who’s ever lived and that’s pretty much that. I love his music a lot
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? Can I kiss you?
What Bowie are you tonight? I can’t even attempt to be a Bowie.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? In the car, driving to a funeral with my wife Bess (Rogers). 

 

Bess Rogers, 33

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? Bess Rogers 
What’s your favorite Bowie song? That’s hard. I’d say probably "Life On Mars."
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? I feel like he inspired me and the whole world, to just be who you are and to be weird, and that uniqueness is beautiful. He also is one of the most masterful chordal, harmony people/musicians we’ve ever heard. His cord changes are classical but set in this punk rock setting. He’s been a big influence on me for those reasons.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? WHERE DID YOU COME FROM??!!
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? Chris (Kuffner) and I were driving to a funeral for a relative of his, we were in the car and I heard it on NPR. It was the day after he had died and we both cried in the car, it was really sad. Of all the musicians and celebrities that have died in my lifetime, that one really hit me the hardest. It was so unexpected and I had been really excited about his new record and the people who were playing on it. I loved "Black Star" the song, so he had been on my mind. I feel like when we cried about it, it was more than just we were sad that he had passed—it also was so beautiful and so inspiring how he used his life; his entire life was a piece of art, up until the moment of his death. That’s so incredible in this world of bullshit. It’s a true true artist. My eyes are watering. [laughs]

 

Bryan Dunn, 40

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? Bryan Dunn 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? "Young Americans"
What’s your favorite Bowie song? Probably "Young Americans," it’s tough to say.
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? There’s always something new to discover, there is always something new to steal. Wherever you are as a person, there’s something you can identify with.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? What’s it like to live on a diet of cocaine and white milk for a year?
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was in my room randomly checking Twitter. I think it was late at night that they announced he passed, and I just couldn’t sleep for the rest of the evening. I just kept reading interviews and listening to the music. There’s nothing you can do, but you still feel like you want to do something. Which is why tonight’s great.

 

Amanda Brown, 30

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? I go by Amanda Brown. I perform in New York and I’m getting ready to go on tour with Adele for the next month. 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? "It Ain’t Easy" and "Letter To Hermione."
What’s your favorite Bowie song? "Letter To Hermione"
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? When I think about Bowie it’s that he was constantly looking to be 100% himself but also challenge himself. I think my real struggle, as an artist, has been to stick to what I know is right and truthful to me instead of trying to do what my manager may want, or what other people around me think I should do. I think that’s a really huge part of his legacy, to just fucking be you regardless. It’s a really strong message that he’s left with us.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? For me, as a performer, I sometimes feel a lot of anxiety before I get onstage. I can get in my head before I’m getting ready to do a performance or show. So I think I’d probably ask him what it is that he does to prepare for a concert, a show, or any performance. Whether it’s that he hangs out, or has a drink, or mediates...I think that would probably be something I’d really want to know.
What Bowie are you tonight? I’m '80s Bowie. I’m not the crazy Bowie with the ridiculous makeup or anything. I’m the one with the classic jacket, shirt, tie and slacks. Definitely more '80s.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was in London. My boyfriend Colin (who preformed tonight) is a super super Bowie fan, I instantly thought of him, called and asked if he’d heard. It was a really sad day.

 

Chris Ward, 33

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? I’m in a couple different bands. I play with a bass player, Felix Pastorius (a fusion band, we write original stuff); I play on a bunch of rock/indie projects: The Family Crest, The Stationary Set (now Color Guard), I just recorded with a band called Fisherspooner.
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? I’m playing on five songs – I’m doing "Young Americans," "Changes," "Modern Love," "Let’s Dance" and "Golden Years." I’m playing saxophone.
What’s your favorite Bowie song?  "Life On Mars"
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? I was influenced by Labyrinth, Seven in the '90s, that album Outside, there was always different things. This has played a part in my writing, my stuff is kind of soundtracky. Bowie's always got the visual element going and the sonic elements going, so I try to put all that together. It’s hard to explain.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? Personally the one big thing that I always found amazing about Bowie was how he had such a perfect relationship with his wife, Iman. The fact that they were married so long and there was never any public disputes or anything crazy. How can you have such a perfect relationship? I’d probably ask him about that.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was at home, I was actually listening to the new record, I know the bassist and the saxophone player. It was kind of crazy because Friday night most of my friends on Facebook were texting them saying “congrats on the record.” Then Sunday night I’m listening to the record, relaxing at home, and I saw the Bowie official page post on his passing. It was surreal. I was lying in bed and just started crying. I have no way to describe that kind of feeling. For our generation he’s like our Lennon. He had an impact. It’s still weird, but I’m glad to be here tonight.

 

 

Paul Maddison, 34

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? The Thang 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight?  I am singing "I Am Afraid Of Americans."
What’s your favorite Bowie song? Oh my God, that is an impossible question Dude! Probably honestly "Space Odyssey"—that’s like his first hit, it’s a beautiful one.
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? Bowie allows you to be an artist because he always did his own thing, so you can always do your own thing. You don't have to write music for a Pantene Pro-V commercial or some shit. He was writing music that he thought was cool, and that’s always cool to write music that you think is cool, and then let the chips fall where they do. You know what I mean?
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? Will you have sex with me?
What Bowie are you tonight? I think I look like '80s Bowie but I think I’m actually doing '90s Bowie. I’m attempting to do Earthling Era, out there era, like mid '90s, the Trent Reznor David Bowie period. But I wanted to dress more '80s, because it’s cooler than the '90s.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was at a bar, which is the worst place to be because we just got totally obliterated all night. There was a David Bowie tribute show that was a birthday to David Bowie planned, and I was singing at that with like Lena Hall (the chick from Hedwig and the Angry Inch) so it was crazy. The most charged energy room. So literally on the day of his passing, I was singing David Bowie tunes. Isn’t that crazy?

 

Wil Farr, 33

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? "Suffragette Jet City"
What’s your favorite Bowie song? "Suffragette Jet City"
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? It’s just the cutting edge at all times, even when it doesn’t sound good. He’s always doing what he wants to do at all times and that’s what I like about him. Even if I don’t like it, it doesn’t matter because I know he’s doing what he wants to do.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? Can I be in your band?
What Bowie are you tonight? I’m the one that hasn’t happen yet I guess. We’re going into uncharted territory (referring to makeup). I think other people could pull off the other looks that Bowie had but I don’t think I can, because I’m not a makeup guy to begin with, or a glam guy. I mean I love all that stuff but it’s just not a thing I do. So I just wanted to do my own thing, in honor of him.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was doing an event in San Francisco. We heard about it at 11:30 at night, we heard before everyone else out here.

 

Chrissi Poland, 37

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? Chrissi Poland 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? "Ziggy Stardust" and "Fashion"
What’s your favorite Bowie song? Oh God, it’s hard to choose. I’d probably say "Let’s Dance," "It Ain’t Easy" and "Fame" would be my top three.
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? He first came into my life when I was a little kid and I saw Labyrinth, and that’s how I was introduced to him in the '80s. Then I was obsessed. I said “Mom, who’s this rocker?!” and then she turned me onto his music. I started writing songs at 15 16 17, and it was like Bowie, Beatles, Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell were in my sphere. So he was right there from the beginning.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? It would be, "Do you remember that time that I stopped you on the street (on Mercier Street) because I was so blown away that you were walking by me. You talked to me for 10 minutes about music. Do you remember me?" It's one of my favorite memories of my life. I’d ask him that. He’d say “I don’t know,” and I’d say “It’s okay, it changed my life!”
What Bowie are you tonight? I’m Ziggy Stardust tonight!
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I had just woken up. I opened my eyes, I looked at my phone, I turned over to my husband and we both hugged and we were sad. We talked about his music and shared stories about his music all morning.

 

Zach Jones, 28

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? I’m doing my own music under my name, Zach Jones. I’m playing drums with A Great Big World, and I’m playing with Sting a little bit. 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? I’m singing "Changes" and I’m playing drums on "Rebel Rebel," "Suffragette Jet City" and "Heroes."
What’s your favorite Bowie song? It’s probably "Life On Mars" or "Young Americans" or "Rebel Rebel" or "Changes" or "Oh You Pretty Things," or maybe, I don’t know, it’s impossible! But "Life On Mars" might be the best to me, my favorite anyway.
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? I really appreciate more than anything else that he did whatever the fuck he wanted whenever he felt like doing it. It was always at a certain quality, it was always really good and he cared very deeply about making sure it was good. But he didn’t care very deeply about what anyone else would think of him, and I appreciate that. He’s a great melodist, a great lyricist, and a great performer and he wrote so many songs that are timeless. I love that he was so unconcerned with what anybody would think about him. I think that’s important and lacking in pop music—it’s wonderful that we had a guy like that for so long.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? I would ask him what he would have done next, if he had an extra five years.
What Bowie are you tonight? I’m singing Hunky Dory Bowie from 1971, pre Ziggy.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was in my bed. I woke up and I made the mistake of rolling over and opening Instagram and it was fucking rough for a few hours.

 

Caleb Hawley, 30

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? I go by my name, Caleb Hawley.
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? "The Man Who Sold the World," which I know more through Nirvana but, hey, originally it was a David Bowie song!
What’s your favorite Bowie song? Probably that one ("The Man Who Sold the World"). I don’t know a ton of David Bowie songs, I only know his hits to be honest.
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? I really can’t say it has, I didn’t grow up listening to a ton of David Bowie. Maybe I shouldn’t be playing it then? I don’t know! But I appreciate what he did, as far as being an enigma and a character, and someone who’s very artistic, and seemingly free spirited, and who wants to do his thing. I’d say that’s more of a way I’ve respected him. As far as his music, I don’t know enough about it to say a ton.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? I was just reading some Bowie quotes and at one point he said that every musician that he’s worked with has by far done their best work with him, so I would just ask him about that. I was so curious to know how he would know that, or if they would all say that? I don’t know what the context was but it seemed like a very bold statement. I’d be curious to know where it came from?
What Bowie are you tonight? I’m the one from ’73.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was on Instagram.

 

Rob Pawlings aka Bobby Bananaz, 38

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? I play in a band with my wife called Pig Wing, I play in a band called The Thang, we also have a project called Sex, Money, Business, Pleasure, and I’m Bobby Bananas. I play in all these bands as that character.
What’s your favorite Bowie song? "Life On Mars"
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? Oh man, I wasn’t prepared for this—oh shit! I love his music, I love how he can be rocking in a folky rock song like "Ziggy Stardust," and then he can be "Let’s Dance" funk. I’d say I take his eclecticism in what he’s made and try and use that in whatever I’m doing.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? Did he really really really love working with Jim Henson and all those Muppets in Labyrinth?
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was at home, I was just hanging. I heard about it and I put the best of Bowie on and just tried to feel it. I’ve been meditating on it a lot recently; it’s a really sad passing.

 

Jeff Tuohy, 34

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? Jeff Tuohy - with a full band, a lot of them come from the Rockwood community. 
What Bowie songs did you preform tonight? I will be doing "Golden Years," "Under Pressure" and "Heroes."
What’s your favorite Bowie song? "Heroes"
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? I’m also an actor so what I love about David Bowie is his theatrically and he wasn’t apprehensive about engaging different parts of his psyche. I think that’s very admirable and I think he went there with commitment and everyone went there with him.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? "What’s it like on the other side?" I’m sure he’d have a good answer.
What Bowie are you tonight? I’m the Golden Years Bowie; the suited up, soul Bowie.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was at Triona’s on Sullivan and 3rd in Greenwich Village, New York.

 

Hannah Winkler, 27

You’re a musician – what’s the name of your band/act? I go by Hannah Winkler.
What’s your favorite Bowie song? "Changes"
How has Bowie’s music influenced you as a musician? Bowie inspires me to do whatever the fuck I feel like. Mainly that, as a musician you can change direction, have a ton of different styles, do whatever feels genuine and screw what other people think. Maybe they’ll like it, maybe they won’t but it’s pretty cool that you could re-invent yourself, have a ton of different styles and still be a legend. I’m at a turning point now where I’ve just ended with a band and am about to embark on my own solo thing and it might look completely different than what I did before but that’s very exciting. Looking at someone like Bowie you feel like, okay I can do whatever feels good to me now, it doesn’t have to be what I did before. Take a risk!
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? What’s your favorite song you wrote?
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was on my way to teach pre-school and it was really sad, I was seeing everybody posting about it. At first I thought it was his birthday and that’s why everyone was posting, and then I realized he had passed away.

 

Jeremy Shatan, 51

What’s your organization? Hope And Heroes, which was started by a doctor at Columbia Medical Center about 20 years ago.
What connects you to this organization? I’m the Senior Director of Development. My 2-year-old son had a brain tumor and passed away in 1999.
How did your organization get connected to this Rockwood Bowie Tribute night? I was on Facebook and somehow the event came up in my feed, because I’m a big Bowie fan. I clicked on the event and I saw that they were doing something for Childhood Cancer but it doesn’t say who was connected, so I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring. We are New York’s largest childhood cancer treatment center, so why not do it for us? David Bowie was a New Yorker for the last 20 years of his life.
What’s your favorite Bowie song? Right now my favorite Bowie song is "Lazarus." I can’t get enough of that new album; it’s just amazing.
If you could ask Bowie one question, what would it be? "What keeps you curious?" He’s always excited about new things.
Where were you when you heard about Bowie’s passing? I was in my kitchen; I opened my phone and one of my friends was posting video after video and I thought it was a tribute to the new album, and then I decided to google it. It was a really tough moment.

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    Zenon Zawada Have you already seen it? goo.gl/5KfQxy

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