Watch Peter Gabriel Sing David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ at the Berlin Wall
At the Brandenburg Gate, Gabriel was backed by a large orchestra in an arrangement similar to his cover of the song from his 2010 album 'Scratch My Back.' Written while Bowie was living in Berlin, 'Heroes' tells the story of a couple meeting at the Wall as "the guns shot above our heads / And we kissed as though nothing could fall / And the shame was on the other side." Earlier this year, Bowie disclosed that the lovers were his co-producer Tony Visconti and a German girl with whom he was having an affair.
The BBC's coverage of the "citizen's party" reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev were among the speakers, and that the Berlin State Orchestra performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. At the end of the evening, 8,000 lighted helium balloons sitting on 12-foot high poles (the height of the Wall) and stretching nine miles across the city were released into the air.
Built in 1961, the Berlin Wall split the city and became a symbol of Communism and the Cold War. The Brandenburg Gate was one of eight crossings between East and West Berlin until the borders were opened by the East German government on Nov. 9, 1989.