Scenes from Berlin – 04

Had to take the train from Potsdamer Platz…

So sang David Bowie on “Where Are we Now?”, his wistful look back at his time in Berlin, on his album “The Next Day”, last year.

So, clearly, we had to visit the scene, and take a look nearby at Hansa Studios, the place where he made “Low” and “Heroes”, two of the greatest albums of all time, in the late seventies. And the place where U2 made part of their great album, “Achtung Baby”, too.

There has been a huge investment in this area since unification. Looking at the maps, Potsdamer Platz was cut in half by the Wall. The traffic space in the East, today’s major developments just in the West.

So this is West…


The station from the other side. Darkness was falling.


The Sony Centre is the big feature of the new Potsdamer Platz. It’s inside where it reveals its majesty.



We did check out the Hansa studios on Kothener Strasse (umlaut on that o) but it was locked up with no sign of activity. Oh well, I had to have my photo taken in front of one of the most important music studios ever….


About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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4 Responses to Scenes from Berlin – 04

  1. Dood says:

    Much enjoyed your reflections on Berlin, John. Especially the music connections, of course: what an amazing influence it had on Bowie, especially, and what genius – not a word to be used lightly – stemmed from his years there. (Amused by the Ramones Museum, too! Very attracted to the idea of a beer with every entrance ticket. They ought to try that at the Royal Academy.)

    I’ve only ever been there three times, and all since the fall of the Wall, but I do think it’s an incredibly captivating city. My first visit was the most memorable – just eight weeks after the Wall came down, and the first leg (followed by Moscow, Warsaw, Prague and Budapest) on my lone-groover train trip exploring the suddenly-accessible East. (And starting chez toi in Paris, I seem to recall.)

    I can still remember the astonishing sense of liberation that Berlin seemed to embody at the time: and just to look at the East Berliners (easily spotted – mullets and stonewashed jeans especially in vogue), and to see that sense of a world instantly open to them, was an extraordinary thing, and very moving

    I think they’ve handled the unifying of the city pretty successfully – and it’s typical, of course, that the eastern half is now the trendy bit. But wherever you are – great culture (popular and traditional), great vibe, great people, great music, great beer. The kind of city you feel you could live in! Thanks for the tour.

  2. I’m enjoying your series John, now I have just returned from Berlin (my first visit). And I did drag the family along to visit Hansa….and we arranged a bit of a tour inside…
    I saw ads for The Ramones museum but didn’t go – good to see you paid a visit.

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