Here is a short list of events and ways to celebrate the David Bowie birth/death axis.
If you lived in Philadelphia for anything over a year you know that this town is a David Bowie town.
Cleveland, sure, New York City, indeed. Detroit, why not.
Still, Bowie’s ties to Philadelphia are the stuff of legend worth celebrating on this, his 74th birthday (January 8). And the fifth anniversary of his passing (January 10).
His Ziggy Stardust at the Tower tours of 1972 and 1973 were so crucial to his development than when it came time to break free of his fatalistic glam rock personae. Courtesy the apocalyptic rock-R&B of Diamond Dogs. He recorded that transition in a concert setting via David Live at the Tower Theatre. Before turning to Philly-brand plastic soul of Young Americans, itself recorded at Sigma Sound Studios.
That four year period in Philly won him a fan base. Including the celebrated Sigma Kids who waited outside the North 12th Street studio in the winter of 1974, that would last a lifetime. Enough to open a bar (Doobies). And create and curate a week’s plus worth of tribute (Philly Loves Bowie). Both courtesy super fan Patti Brett.
During a pandemic-quarantined January, the Philly Loves Bowie show is on hold, at least until summer 2021. However, there are fantastic (voyage) ways to celebrate the Bowie birth/death axis. Starting with longtime pianist Mike Garson’s now virtual Bowie alumni filled “A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day!” starting January 8 at 6 pm PT. Tickets: $25 and can be purchased via the event page at HYFI.com/Bowie, along with options for purchasing VIP experiences. The night not only includes Bowie band members such as Carlos Alomar, Gail Ann Dorsey, Gerry Leonard and 40 additional players, but vocalists such as Trent Reznor, Boy George, Andra Day, Simon LeBon and the rest of Duran Duran reliving their Bowie hits with Garson playing and leading the way.
You can purchase photographer-writer Brian Aris hot-off-the-presses new photo diary, “Bowie Memories.” This goes with today’s newly-minted 45 – Bowie’s cover of John Lennon’s “Mother” backed with Bob Dylan’s “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven.” Both recorded in the mid-to-late 90s. Available only at the DavidBowie.com store.
You could investigate a filmed version of the Lazarus stage show from London during its 2016 run on Dice.fm for three performances only, in multiple time zones (GMT, AEDT, EST, PST, CST) from Friday, January 8 to Sunday, January 10. Bowie wrote the music (and Enda Walsh, the book) to the dramatic stage musical, Lazarus, for November 2015’s debut. The eerily elegiac work was a semi, sort-of sequel to the novel, The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis, and its 1976 film version in which Bowie starred. And welcomed to the stage Michael C. Hall as Newton, Bowie’s alien. Stirring stuff.
You could go out with a Bowie Covid mask (also available at the Bowie.com store) and stand outside in the freezing cold just like Patti Brett did back in 1974. Or you could stay home and blast “David Live” and “Young Americans” at peak volume. And let the children boogie.