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.


25 Rock Stars Who Celebrate January Birthdays

  • Bernard Fowler (Jan. 2)

    Bernard Fowler has sung vocals for the ageless Rolling Stones since the 1980s. He has also performed with Yoko Ono, Alice Cooper, and Steve Lukather.

  • John Paul Jones (Jan. 3)

    John Richard Baldwin, aka John Paul Jones, reached stardom at the height of Led Zeppelin’s fame during the 1970s. While Jimmy Page and Robert Plant took the bulk of the attention for the band’s success, Jones was the bassist and keyboardist as well as a talented songwriter.

    John Paul Jones is credited as a major contributor in writing some of the biggest hits from Led Zeppelin, including “Fool in the Rain,” “All My Love,” “D’Yer Maker,” and “Black Dog.”

    He entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Led Zeppelin in 1995.

  • Stephen Stills (Jan. 3)

    Stephen Stills has found success wherever he’s landed at different points throughout his career. His work as a singer for Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash earned him inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of each group.

    Stills and Neil Young performed together as original members of Buffalo Springfield. Young also crashed the party to form Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young for just over a year’s span in 1969 and 1970.

    Some of Stills’ most memorable songs, including “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield and “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, involved Vietnam War protests.

  • Michael Stipe (Jan.4)

    Michael Stipe starred as the lead singer of R.E.M. during the height of their popularity in the 1980s. His crafty vocal work for “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” still makes listeners wonder how he pulled off the tongue twister.

  • Robby Krieger (Jan. 8)

    Robby Krieger became one of the original members of the Doors in 1965 along with Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek. He was a contributing writer for “Light My Fire” and “Touch Me” along with many more of the Doors’ greatest hits.

  • Elvis Presley (Jan. 8)

    The King of Rock & Roll would’ve celebrated his 88th birthday on Jan. 8, 2023.


  • David Bowie (Jan. 8)

    Beyond his incredible work as a musician, David Bowie revolutionized the importance of stage presence and a persona that fed his popularity. He created his alter ego Ziggy Stardust in 1972. The attraction to this character helped his album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars fly off the shelves.

    Bowie passed away on Jan. 10, 2016 after a battle with liver cancer. He is remembered for timeless hits like “Changes,” “Space Oddity,” and “Heroes,” among many others.

  • Jimmy Page (Jan. 9)

    Six days after John Paul Jones celebrates, Jimmy Page will follow. The founder and lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin also played with the Yardbirds during the 1960s. Despite confusion about the origins of the song, Page helped make “Stairway to Heaven” one of the most famous rock songs of all time.

    He entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Yardbirds in 1992 and as a member of Led Zeppelin in 1995.

  • Pat Benetar (Jan. 10)

    Pat Benetar entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November 2022. She climbed toward the top of the charts with “Heartbreaker” in 1979 and “Love Is a Battlefield” in 1983.

  • Rod Stewart (Jan. 10)

    Rod Stewart achieved success through his solo career and as the lead singer of Faces. His solo album Every Picture Tells a Story included some of his biggest hits like “Maggie May” and “Reason to Believe.”

  • Donald Fagen (Jan. 10)

    Steely Dan lead singer and keyboardist Donald Fagen still tours solo even after the unfortunate passing of Walter Becker in 2017.

  • Jim Croce (Jan. 10)

    South Philly native and Upper Darby High School alum Jim Croce would’ve turned 80 in 2023. He died tragically during the prime years of his music career in 1973. One of his biggest hits, “I Got a Name,” was released the day after he died.


  • Tommy Conwell (Jan. 14)

    While Andre Gardner and Tony Harris might grab all the attention attention at MGK on Jan. 14, three rock stars will also celebrate their birthdays.

    Local legend Tommy Conwell also turns 61.

  • Dave Grohl (Jan. 14)

    Dave Grohl played in two of the most influential rock bands of the 1990s. He helped Nirvana spearhead the popularity of grunge rock in the early 1990s before forming Foo Fighters in 1994.

  • Zakk Wylde (Jan. 14)

    Zakk Wylde has played guitar in Ozzy Osbourne’s band after the Black Sabbath era. He has also performed with Black Label Society and more recently with Pantera.

  • Mick Taylor (Jan. 17)

    Mick Taylor played with the Rolling Stones from 1969-1974, appearing on six albums before pursuing a solo career that lasted through five decades.

  • Susanna Hoffs (Jan. 17)

    Susanna Hoffs sang hits like “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian” for the Bangles during the 1980s. She began a solo career during the 1990s.

  • Paul Stanley (Jan. 20)

    Paul Stanley has mastered a role as the “driving force and unwavering voice of KISS” since the 1970s. The band’s unique sense of fashion reserved them a spot in history on top of their excellent music.

    Stanley wrote KISS’s most widely-recognized song “Rock and Roll All Nite” in 1975.

  • Steve Perry (Jan. 22)

    Steve Perry entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Journey in 2017 after two stints as the band’s lead singer. Odds are that you’ve heard “Don’t Stop Believin'” at least once or twice.

  • Steven Adler (Jan. 22)

    Drummer Steven Adler helped Guns ‘N Roses become a prominent band in the hard rock scene of the 1980s. He entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the band in 2012.

  • Robin Zander (Jan. 23)

    Robin Zander sang lead vocals for Cheap Trick. “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me” became two of their most popular hits during the 1970s.

    However, their adaptation of “That ’70s Song” brought them back into the public eye in the late 1990s and early 2000s when it was used as the theme song for the final seven seasons of That ’70s Show.

  • Tom Keifer (Jan. 26)

    Delaware County’s own Tom Keifer became the lead singer and guitarist for Cinderella in the 1980s.

  • Eddie Van Halen (Jan. 26)

    Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex co-founded Van Halen in 1982. Eddie is remembered as one of the greatest and most innovative guitar players in history.

    He passed away in 2020 at age 65.

  • Nick Mason (Jan. 27)

    Nick Mason played drums for Pink Floyd at the height of their popularity during 1970s. He enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the band in 1996.

    One of the Pink Floyd’s most impressive strengths was creating concept albums, including Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Mason is credited as a contributing writer to “Speak to Me” and “Time” from Dark Side of the Moon.

  • Phil Collins (Jan. 30)

    Phil Collins reached stardom as the drummer and lead singer of Genesis during the 1970s. Genesis made a major impact on the ’70s progressive rock scene with hits like “That’s All” and “Follow You, Follow Me.”

    Collins also put together a successful solo career beginning in the 1980s, most famously through “In The Air Tonight.”


Colin Newby is a digital content contributor for 97.5 The Fanatic, 93.3 WMMR, and 102.9 WMGK in Beasley Media's Philadelphia cluster. Topics include sports, music, entertainment, and Philadelphia local stories. He earned degrees as a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University and a Master of Science from Saint Joseph's University. His writing experience includes credentialed coverage of the NHL and the Philadelphia Flyers. He joined the Professional Hockey Writers' Association in 2022.

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