The amazing open space concept store in Seven Dials, a cultural hub in the heart of London, situated between Covent Garden and Soho
December 12, 2017 | Report, photos and video by Salvo [editor duranasty.com]
Last month Sonos, the leader in smart home sound systems, opened its first European concept store; a retail, exhibition, screening and listening space. Inspired by Sonos’ flagship store in New York, it features state-of-the-art Listening Rooms – two acoustically-tuned, house-shaped structures designed to emulate a real multi-room home listening space where guests are able to stream their personal music to one or both rooms and create their own, unique sonic adventures.
Celebrating music culture, past and present, the space will play host to an ongoing line-up of listening events, screenings, cultural talks and installations. The first of these events held back in November 2017 celebrated David Bowie, modern music’s most unrelenting innovator, whose singular sound and vision impacted generations and continues to play a vital role in shaping the musical landscape of London and the world.
To mark the release of their first-ever voice activated speaker, the Sonos One, the brand wanted to honour his unique voice by collaborating with cultural commentator, Paul Gorman to curate a display of rarely seen images of David Bowie's London life taken by photographers including Mick Rock.
Alongside this, on the 15 & 17 November Sonos presented Song Stories: Bowie – a series of intimate events hosted by Miranda Sawyer, honouring David Bowie’s work and legacy, as told through the powerful stories of artists and fans alike, including Nick Rhodes, Graham Coxon and Peaches.
The event lent a voice to creators inspired and influenced by Bowie, and gave fans the opportunity to hear their original stories paired with the songs that best accompany them. We were present and we are glad to report about this special event in the best way we can, through words, videos and pictures.
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“David was a pioneer, an inventor,
a space traveller, a superhero, a truly astonishing songwriter and a friend”
Nick Rhodes on Bowie over the years | “There's no question that as a musician, David Bowie was the singular person who inspired me more than anyone else to become a musician.”
“The first record I ever bought was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust when I was 10 years old.
“When I was a kid I was a big music fan and I met my neighbor from around the corner from where I lived, John Taylor, and we used to go to concerts together and we bonded over music. It was very important to us. One of the people that was most important to us was David Bowie.
I think for most artists of our generation he probably is the one artist that influenced us all in some way more than others.”
“I saw David Bowie perform many times and was lucky enough to become his friend over the years.
We got to know David early on. It’s quite surreal that you are listening to these records in your bedroom and then a few years later you are meeting the guy at your shows.”
We grew up in that and we continued it. The glam period was fantastic. It was only a few years but it was very important to me personally image-wise. They were leading the way and they looked like rock stars should look.
He really made the blueprint for what Duran Duran have always strived to do, stretching the boundaries and working with artists in different fields. He's a constant inspiration.
“He is probably the single person that is responsible for me being a musician, certainly for Duran Duran existing, and probably nearly all our contemporaries from that period, he owns the decade of the 1970s and was more creative, inventive, innovating than any other musician that I could name so it's an enormous lost... he was fascinating, funny, sharp, eloquent and very caring actually.”
"He's the greatest musician of his generation," Rhodes says. "I don't think there's anyone that will touch what he has left for all of us, musically and culturally. I think he educated a generation not just in music but also fashion, art, photography.
Stylistically, David Bowie influenced an entire generation that came after him, including punks - who all loved Bowie. It’s the DNA we all followed.
Nick Rhodes on one of his favourite albums
I would say that David Bowie had the biggest single influence on all music that came out of the time period when I started at the beginning of the 1980s. And all other bands in that modern music zone were influenced most by David Bowie.
Throughout the seventies we could safely say that he pretty much owned it. If The Beatles owned the sixties, Bowie owned the seventies. I could have picked any one of his albums. Hunky Dory is the album I have played most...
Ziggy Stardust... was the first album I ever bought. Station To Station changed things as his influences morphed and then the whole Berlin trilogy which were extraordinary records. Aladdin Sane I think it is the ultimate glam album.
Musically, it was fuelled with seventies energy. Mick Ronson’s guitar work is spectacular, the tracks all have an anxiety to them – songs like ‘Cracked Actor’ and ‘Panic In Detroit’ really had an edginess. The singles ‘The Jean Genie’ and ‘Drive-In Saturday’ were probably not even the best tracks on the album – ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ is my favourite track on the album – but had an attitude. You could taste the air they were recorded in. It was the album that turned Bowie into an absolute superstar worldwide. I played it a lot when I was a kid and it was one of those records that made me want to be in a band.
Also, it’s by far the greatest cover of the 1970s. The image of the flash across Bowie’s face really resonates.
“When you think of what he did it's just such a mind-boggling amount of work.
I think David, more than anyone, allowed artists the luxury of being able to experiment.”
“I started life as a window dresser and I never really changed, I guess. I kept all my clothes and I have David Bowie to thank for that because when I’d met him very early on you, I was still a teenager, maybe 20, and asked him what he’d done with all his clothing. He said, ‘Oh, I’ve kept everything.’ And I thought that’s great to know those things still exist. They are now on display at the Bowie exhibition. So it’s good he kept them, and that truly is the reason why I kept mine from very early on.
Nick Rhodes on the set of the video for The Wild Boys where we can see him caged with a pile of computer equipment. On the left the infamous military look adopted by the band at the end of 1981. Nick was the only member in the band who had his military uniform in a pastel color, all the other guys whore black ones.
“I would imagine you could read the cultural history of the last 30 years into some of those outfits.”
Besides lending several outfits to the fashion museum in Chile, we’ve also loaned some to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The fashion museum said, “You have a very unusual collection.”
I do have it across a lot of different designers. The Japanese. Yamamoto. Issey Miyake. Comme des Garçons. Things that were happening in Paris in the 80s. Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Jean Paul Gautier, and the English ones, Galliano and Alexander McQueen. Certainly Antony Price—he figured heavily in our earlier clothing. But also Stephen Sprouse, Armani, Versace... quite a broad collection of things. I don’t know many people that have men’s-wear collections that span as broadly.
It's certainly inspired by Bowie's 70s black and white stripe blazer, the one [pictured on the right] created by Duran Duran's Wardrobe Designer Jeffrey Bryant for Nick Rhodes. Nick wore it on stage during the last part of the Paper Gods Tour. That's another way to pay homage to the artist and close friend. Duran Duran have tributed Bowie during the entire Paper Gods tour by playing Space Oddity mixed into their first single, Planet Earth.
Nick Rhodes entertaining the audience and the other special guests with his personal stories on David Bowie during the amazing event held at Sonos in London. In the pictures Rhodes with Miranda Sawyer and Graham Coxon.
Above an intense close-up of Nick Rhodes, absorbed in his own thoughts, listening to the stories told by his colleagues, collecting his reflections on David Bowie, just before his speech.
The poster given to all attendees of the Sonos Song Stories event.
On the left a lovely picture of Nick Rhodes being hugged by David Bowie and his wife Iman, this picture is a symbol of their profound friendship.
We originally posted this picture back in 2013 within this nice tribute to Bowie by John Taylor.
The picture was taken on 09 July 2002 in Kensington Gardens during the annual Serpentine Gallery Summer Party.
Special thanks to everyone at Sonos London and the always entertaining and extremely profound Nick Rhodes.
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You can see our Sonos Song Stories video report by clicking play button below. You can also download the video file on your computer [right click, save video as]. Enjoy!
“He is probably the single person that is responsible for me being a musician, certainly for Duran Duran existing, and probably nearly all our contemporaries from that period.” Nick Rhodes