Monday, January 11, 2016

Best selling show

So RIP David Bowie. That was quite a surprise even by DB standards. He was one of my main musical heroes from my youth and I remember when I received my first "proper" radio/cassette player that I borrowed Bowies Greatest hits from the school record library and taped it so that I could listen to it at night. I still recall the frisson of anticipation and excitement as the opening bars of Space Oddity (closely followed by Starman and Life on Mars) came on in my darkened room. That was truly atmospheric stuff for someone trying to expand his musical interests.

A few years later I went to see him in concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl (with John L and Richard W from school having bunked off early from a history A level mock exam). It was a beautiful Summer's day and I seem to recall that Ice House (absolutely rubbish) and the Beat (not bad) were the support act. It was part of his Serious Moonlight tour promoting his Let's Dance album and I can remember it being pretty much a continuous stream of hits including perhaps my favourite Bowie track "Heroes". I had previously been to see Madness at the Hammersmith Odeon but this was my first proper open air concert and I remember being mesmerised by the spectacle - he certainly knew how to put on a show with a bit of acting, a fantastic light show, Carlos Alomar and Earl Slick on guitar and of course a series of fantastic songs - Cracked Actor, Golden Years and of course Heroes being particularly stand outs even at a distance of 32 years! We had taken the train to Milton Keynes from Maidstone and by the time we got back to Victoria the last train back to Maidstone had left and we were forced to sleep on the platform until the first train in the morning left - a very uncomfortable but nevertheless character-forming experience (apart from some platform sleeping when I went inter-railing, I have managed to avoid the experience in my subsequent years).

By the time of the Milton Keynes concert I had become an avid Bowie fan and had collected most of his albums (he was quite incredibly prolific) including the various German and French versions of Heroes and was able to pick out a couple of songs (Queenbitch, Bewlay Brothers) on the guitar and of course Life on Mars on the piano. I saw him a few years later at Wembley on the Glass Spider tour but that first concert at MKB stands out most vividly in my memory and it does seem almost unbelievable that he is no longer with us

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