The legendary David Bowie was born on Jan. 8, 1947. He made a lasting impact on the world of Rock & Roll beyond his unfortunate passing on Jan. 10, 2016.
Philly Loves Bowie Week will commemorate the life of David Bowie and his special connection to the City of Brotherly Love. On 102.9 MGK, John DeBella will kick things off with Bowie Song Stories at 7:10am each weekday from Jan. 9-13. Andre Gardner will feature themed blocks from some of David Bowie’s best each afternoon as part of his 3 for 3.
The celebration will culminate with Philly Loves Bowie Weekend on MGK on Saturday, Jan. 14 and Sunday, Jan. 15.
MGK will cap off the tribute by playing David Live, recorded at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby in 1974, in its entirety beginning at 8pm on Sunday, Jan. 15.
David Bowie: Philly’s Adopted Son
The creative local event calendar for the upcoming week includes Bowie Bowling Night at Brooklyn Bowl in Fishtown, a kid’s night at Ardmore Music Hall, and a Bowie Masquerade and special karaoke night at Johnny Brenda’s on Frankford Avenue.
The local connection with Philly’s adopted son continued beyond just the performance at the Tower. Bowie also recorded the majority of Young Americans in 1974 at Sigma Sound Studios on 12th street in Center City.
When Bowie released “Modern Love” as part of Let’s Dance in 1983, he used footage from a previous show at the Philadelphia Spectrum.
The Diamond Dogs Tour of 1974 even morphed into the Philly Dogs Tour by the fall of ‘74.
David Live : Tower Theatre, 1974
The Diamond Dogs Tour made its way through North America in 1974. It traveled to the Tower Theatre for six shows in July.
The (now) iconic Delaware County venue built its reputation throughout the 1970s with the help of David Bowie and Rock & Roll legends like Paul Simon and Neil Young, who also recorded live albums there.
The set list of 25 songs on David Live included hits like “Changes,” “Suffragette City,” and “Space Oddity” in addition to “Rebel, Rebel” and “1984” from Diamond Dogs.
Shows during the Diamond Dogs Tour included an unusual amount of elaborate props like a catwalk and temporary bridges brought into the venues. Problems with production forced performers to improvise frequently during shows. Later tour dates didn’t include all the originally planned elements.
The tour marked a turning point in Bowie’s career beyond the era of Ziggy Stardust in the early ’70s. He was able to maintain his creative spirit with an appealing visual element that added to his music while creating a new look and sound.
Bowie later revealed that he never listened to David Live himself. However, the work led him to incredible impact in the city of Philadelphia and one of his most influential albums in Young Americans.
Listen to the Philly Loves Bowie Weekend on MGK to hear the historically memorable performance for yourself.
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