By Lori Perkins
No one can really explain how amazing David Bowie’s emergence upon the macho rock world was in the early 70s when he burst on to the scene with his androgynous theatrical music and performance. We were agog. There was nothing else like it, although, I think, Elton John tried.
Bowie had trained as a mime and an actor before he entered the musical sphere, so he was an inherent performer and storyteller from the get-go. When his Ziggy Stardust album came out, its pending apocalypse mesmerized us all. And he continued to do that throughout his early career, introducing his audience to William Burroughs, Water Tevis’ The Man Who Fell to Earth and Orwell’s 1984, as he learned about them. I saw Brunel’s classic surrealistic film The Andalusian Dog at my first Bowie concert. He was probably the biggest influence on my life.
So I am thrilled that his influence might be felt again in a tribute concert to his 40 years of work online tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET. Last year in deep, dark lockdown there was a tribute concert to mark the five years since his passing, and the talent that came together awed me. This one will be even better because Mike Garson, who performed with Bowie for most of his life, is organizing it.
This year will bring many of his former collaborators, and some of the musicians who were influenced by him such as Simon LeBon of Duran Duran and members of Def Leppard, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Noel Gallagher of Oasis, and Living Color, as well as celebrities who loved hum such as Ricky Gervais, Gary Oldman and Evan Rachel Wood.
According to Rolling Stone, the backing band will be led by longtime Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson and feature fellow Bowie veterans Earl Slick, Charlie Sexton, Alan Childs, Steve Elson, Mark Guiliana, Omar Hakim, Stan Harrison, Tim Lefebvre, Gerry Leonard, and Carmine Rojas. Guest singers will include Gail Ann Dorsey, Bernard Fowler, Judith Hill, Gaby Moreno, Gretchen Parlato, and Joe Sumner.
"A Bowie Celebration" livestream event starts at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT. See the full lineup and ticket information here, https://rollinglivestudios.com/collections/bowie