"He's had many pretenders to his crown as the Godfather of Cool. But even those young enough to be his grandchildren could identify an original, a one-off"
- Richard Wallace Daily Mirror June 27th 2000
Some 30 years on from his debut Glastonbury performance in 1971, David Bowie stole this year's prestigious festival and has earned his place in the rock 'n' roll history books with one of Glastonbury's most definitive performances. Promoter Michael Eavis, who has booked acts like Radiohead, Oasis, Elvis Costello, Blur and REM over the years described David's set as; "one of the best appearances in the history of the event".
Bowie, resplendently dressed in a 3/4 length one-of-a-kind Alexander McQueen jacket (not too dissimilar to his Hunky Dory look) held his audience captive with a set that included killer tracks from his accomplished 30 year career, including Life On Mars?, Changes, Let's Dance, Under Pressure, Heroes, Fame, China Girl, Ashes To Ashes, Ziggy Stardust, Rebel Rebel, and from more recent years, crowd pleasers such as Hallo Spaceboy and I'm Afraid Of Americans. Artists such as The Dandy Warhols, Kelis, Happy Mondays and Embrace were tripping over themselves to watch the 2 hour strong set from the side of the stage. Out front in excess of 120,000 people stretched as far as the eye could see, resembling nothing so much as a medieval gathering of the clans.
So far reaching were the effects of David's Glastonbury performance that UK papers looked somewhat like Bowie fanzines the following day. Even the notoriously critical 'credible' British music press had to take their hats off to David and cited him as this year's highlight. NME chose David as the Pyramid Stage pick of the day and reported; 'DAVID BOWIE, Blimey he's good. No, better than that, David Bowie bloody well patented pop music, and we all forgot.'
Following a set that many would claim impossible to better, David rocked an intimate audience just days later at a special show for the BBC, to be broadcast on TV later this year. Entertaining this specially invited crowd (faces in the audience included Russell Crowe, Meg Ryan, Lulu, Bob Geldolf, Richard E.Grant, Simon and Yasmin Le Bon amongst others) David filled the evening with amusing anecdotes of his past antics including many ribald tales that are best left in the BBC archives! The set was varied and included previews of some new interpretations of 60's songs, such as 'The London Boys', that he is planning to record.
Preparations for both events weren't easy amidst rumours that David would be forced to cancel due to his laryngitis but in typical David Bowie fashion he rose above it all to give arguably two of the best performances of his career.
In what's been a very special week for David in the UK he has more than proved why he has been at the top of his game for some 30 years now. He has shown himself to be as relevant now as he has ever been.