Face the music: Bowie fans gear up for streaming birthday tribute show

Decades of vinyl collecting. Photo by Aimsel Pont

This year David Bowie’s birthday will be celebrated with a massive All-Star Tribute concert that aired around the world on Saturday when he would have turned 75, and I can’t wait.

The show, titled A Bowie Celebration, features a core group of several of his former band mates, including keyboardist Mike Garson, guitarists Earl Slick and Charlie Sexton, bassist Carmine Rojas, drummer Omar Hakim and saxophonist Stan Harrison. . Guest artists include Def Leppard, John Taylor and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, Living Color, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, actor Gary Oldman, Walk the Moon, longtime Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, backing vocalist of Rolling Stones Bernard Fowler, singer Judith Hill and bassist / singer Joe Sumner (son of Sting). Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais will also be on hand. One can expect to hear songs from Bowie that span his entire career.

A collection that has grown since the 1980s. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

A Bowie celebration will be dedicated to photographer Mick Rock who died in November and took some of Bowie’s most iconic photographs. The 35th anniversary of the film with Bowie “Labyrinth” will also be in the spotlight. One of the things I look forward to the most is Bowie’s never-before-seen footage that will be part of the evening’s program. Part of the profits from the show will be donated to the Save the Children association.

David Bowie died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016, just two days after the release of the masterpiece album “Blackstar”. Fan since I was 8 years old, I broke down that morning and never really recovered, such is the love I have for my favorite musician of all time. For me, there has never been someone like him in terms of chameleon creativity, and I consider myself lucky to have seen him perform live on three occasions.

Aimsel Ponti at the Bowie 75 pop-up on Wooster Street in New York City wearing a David Bowie cap, t-shirt and mask, November 2021. Photo courtesy of Aimsel Ponti

My favorite album is “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” which I’m listening to while writing this. “Hunky Dory” is right behind because of songs like “Oh! You pretty things,” “Life on Mars?” and particularly “Quicksands.” On a trip to London about ten years ago, I stood on the steps and in the telephone booth where the photographs on the front and back covers of the “Ziggy” album were taken, because well sure i did.

Last September, while in Manhattan, I held my hand against the building that Bowie lived in for many years, and on a return visit to the city in November, I was able to visit an amazing and interactive pop-up exhibit in SoHo titled “Bowie 75” where they had a replica of the Ziggy phone booth and installed from his “DJ” video. “Bowie 75” is in London and New York until the end of the month and details can be found at bowie75.com. If you’re a Bowie fan with access to either town, you don’t want to miss it.

Five years later, I’m still grappling with the fact that Bowie is not alive. I don’t think I realized how comforted I felt to know that he coexisted on the planet. But I’m grateful for all the music he left behind because my passion for her at such a young age paved the way for music to become such an essential part of my life. Everything reminds me of a song, and I love it. And few things make me happier than seeing an artist I love perform live. I have Bowie to thank for that.

I contacted another Bowie fanatic, Bethany Round in Westbrook, who told me that at the age of 10 Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” album was released and that she had run out of tape. . She sums up Bowie’s importance in her life as follows: “Her death and the ‘Black Star’ album put an end to my love of music in general. Her work is a lens through which I look to understand creativity and authenticity.

I also went to my ‘home’ Bull Moose store in Mill Creek in South Portland, where I looked at the vinyl box set almost too heavy to lift $ 400 and browsed the many Bowie image and other vinyl records. that they have in stock. Store manager Max Hansen said they regularly sell his music in vinyl and CD formats, with the former being the main version fans buy. It didn’t surprise me that even five years after his passing, David Bowie is still a superstar.

It will be a bittersweet experience watching A Bowie Celebration, but I also can’t wait to panic in a daydream of the Bowie-induced moon age, oh yeah!

A Bowie Celebration
6 p.m. Saturday. Can be streamed on demand for 24 hours, $ 25. rolllivestudios.com/collections/bowie


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Kenneth T. Shippee