David Bowie Remembered During Renegade Bernal Hill Memorial Singalong


Something beautiful, and lovely, and enchanted, and very Bernal happened last night. At the end of a day that many Bernalese spent mourning the death of David Bowie, a Bernal neighbor hit upon the genius idea to organize a tribute: A renegade David Bowie singalong and dance party on Bernal Hill.


Bernalwood received a private communication about the idea from Neighbor Sam via the red phone late Monday afternoon:

Hey Bernalwood….wondering if you’ve heard of any memorial gathering in Bernal tonight for a little Starman sing-a-long? Was thinking top of the hill at sundown…

“Oh hell yes!” we said. By 5:30 pm Neighbor Sam had completed the arrangements. She’d procured two loudspeakers, wrangled a generator, and compiled an all-Bowie playlist. An 8 pm start-time was selected, and shortly before 6 pm, Bernalwood was authorized to begin transmitting an all-points invitation via our social media frequencies:

This was greeted almost instantly by an energetic cascade of Twitter retweets and Facebook reshares.

The result was that even though there had been just two hours of advance notice for Neighbor Sam’s renegade David Bowie memorial singalong, somewhere around 50 to 75 people come together on Bernal Hill to remember Bowie’s life and listen to his music.

It was dark on our hill, but the air was  calm and clear, and the lights of San Francisco unfurled like a twinkling Ziggy Stardust galaxy below. Here’s a sampler of the scene; a video montage of three Bowie songs, as experienced by a very lucky group of neighbors on Bernal Hill last night:

The tribute lasted for about an hour and a half, and there were many smiles and hugs, and then it was over.

Immense thanks go out to Neighbor Sam, who provided the inspiration and the infrastructure to make this magical, musical Bernal Bowie memorial happen. Somewhere in space, we know David Bowie was smiling.

PHOTOS and VIDEO: Telstar Logistics

11 thoughts on “David Bowie Remembered During Renegade Bernal Hill Memorial Singalong

  1. Sometimes you see a really beautiful side of Bernal and of San Francisco. It was out in full force last night.

    Rest in peace, Star man.

  2. This is the world I want to live in. Where neighbors come together in a flash to smile, rejoice and remember. After reading about the most recent bombing in Istanbul, I needed something like this too remind me of the powerful magic of good that still surrounds us. Thank You.

  3. Home ill but we sent our beams up the hill in honor and celebration! Thanks Neighbor Sam for doing this!

  4. Thank you again Neighbor Sam! I told you last night what a wonderful, much-needed surprise this was. I’ve been mopier than is probably reasonable about Bowie’s death, but stumbling on this get-together let me sit down with my dog for an hour, stare over the city I live in because mentors and idols like Bowie drew me out of my closet and my hometown (same thing?), and sing Suffragette City out loud in public without being drunk.

    10/10, should be monthly, confidence in humanity bolstered, etc.

  5. First, I love David Bowie.

    But last night I was one of the folks sitting on the bench enjoying the evening when these folks showed up with their speakers. We were on the hill to enjoy some quiet, which is why we weren’t in a bar or a club.

    So what, right? David Bowie died so maybe this gathering was in order.

    Ok, I accept that, but why not **speak** to the other humans using the space before you crank the music? Maybe you assumed we were there to watch you be cool. I don’t know. But even though I love David Bowie, we left. Didn’t feel welcome, frankly.

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