BOWIE GOLDEN YEARS

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Bowie: City to City

Tim Hogan • Circus • 2 March 1976

 

The Spanish government clamoured unsuccessfully behind the scenes to pre-empt regular programming with their delayed announcement of Generalissimo Franco's death, but David Bowie fans won out. Instead of a eulogy for the dead despot, European TV audiences were treated to an interview via satellite with the 28-year-old red-haired stranger who obliged with details of his Bicentennial blitz of North America and Europe.

The tour which was announced that night marks the first live concert appearances for Bowie in the US since his short Young Americans tour in the spring of 1974, which followed the western leg of his Diamond Dogs tour. The 35-city North American segment, which began February 2 in Vancouver BC, will end March 26 at New York's Madison Square Garden. That will be followed by a four-to-six-week tour of Europe, which will include David's first concert appearances ever on the Continent.

Easily one of the most powerful performers in rock, Bowie will again adopt a persona decidedly different from the one which preceded it. After the man who sold the world, Major Tom from Space Oddity, Ziggy Stardust, the Diamond Dog, the Continental dude singing of the Young Americans, and the pop star with a grip on fame, the mystery of the new Bowie who is being unveiled this month adds an enticing element.

The band is the same which appears on the new album, Station to Station: Earl Slick on lead guitar*, Carlos Alomar (who co-wrote Fame with Bowie) on rhythm guitar, Dennis Davis on drums, and George Murray on bass. "It's the smallest band of David's that I've ever been in," commented Slick before the tour began. "The first was with two saxes, two keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion.

"It's interesting. David's writing is going back in a rock direction, which suits me better than the R&B does, 'cause I like to play a lot. And the tour's perfect for that because there's lots of nice things that the band gets to do.

"Another reason I'm happy I'm doing this tour is that this time I have much more freedom, obviously because there's less people. Plus the rock & roll. I just can't help feeling good about this tour."

*NOTE: By the time this article went to press, Earl Slick had left the tour before rehearsals began in January. Canadian guitarist Stacy Heydon took his place.

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this page updated January 17, 2020