Monday, December 22, 2008

David Bowie and The Tower Theater

David Bowie at The Tower Theater, October 21st 2002

  • Sunday
  • Cactus
  • Breaking Glass
  • Fame
  • Ashes To Ashes
  • Slip Away
  • China Girl
  • 5:15 The Angels Have Gone
  • Starman
  • Absolute Beginners
  • I've Been Waiting For You
  • Afraid
  • Fashion
  • Be My Wife
  • Sound And Vision
  • Rebel Rebel
  • I'm Afraid Of Americans
  • Life On Mars?
  • "Heroes"
  • Heathen (The Rays)
  • encores
  • White Light/White Heat
  • Let's Dance
  • Ziggy Stardust.

David Bowie's love affair with Philadelphia goes back to the early seventies when he released David Live, a two record set from his performances at The Tower Theater in July of 1974. In 1975 he released Young Americans, recorded at Sigma Sound Philadelphia. Steve Volk wrote a 2002 cover story for PW about the Sigma Kids who did everything in their power to catch a glimpse of Bowie while he was in town recording the album.

: "They spent two weeks straight sleeping in the streets so they could do things like watch Bowie walk from the Barclay on Rittenhouse Square to his limo. Then they'd dash off to their cars, driving as fast as they could to reach Sigma Sound Studios before he got there.

"If he was already out of his limo when we were pulling up," remembers Patti Brett, "we would stop our cars in the middle of the street, get out and halt traffic just to say 'Hi' to him again."

Over time the Kids got friendly with the studio staff and the Bowie entourage, especially guitarist Carlos Alomar. Sometimes Bowie would chat with them.

He eventually learned their names: Marla, Patti, Leslie, Purple--about a dozen in all. No one remembers who made the announcement that Bowie had decided to throw a party for them when the sessions wrapped.

What they do remember is that they were led into the studio late at night, their hearts thudding in their chests" MORE

My wife Shawna was six months pregnant with our son Aidan when I photographed the show in 2002. It was a crazy time and we didn't really know what the hell we were doing. But when he sang Starman...I thought of this being about to arrive who knew more than I did. It gave me a confidence. My perception of the song changed after that show.

There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks hed blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
Hes told us not to blow it
Cause he knows its all worthwhile
He told me:
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

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