“I could make it all worthwhile as a rock & roll star”
As David Bowie pointed out during Meltdown 2002 at The Royal Festival Hall (RFH) when he brought The Dandy Warhols onstage to join him for White Light/White Heat, July 8th 1972 is the day that he performed as the headline act for a Friends of the Earth/Save the Whale Benefit Concert at the RFH.
Bowie was referring to the show that introduced Lou Reed to the British stage (45 years ago), when Lou joined Bowie and The Spiders for White Light/White Heat, Sweet Jane and Waiting For The Man, all written by Lou himself and recorded with The Velvet Underground. This historic moment was captured by Mick Rock in pictures such as the one top left in our montage.
The item on the right is the original double-sided programme that folded out into a big poster with David superimposed, rather bizarrely and somewhat inappropriately, on what looks to be a whale harpoon! An unfolded version of this collectable sold on eBay last year for £1,200.
Support that night came in the shape of The Marmalade and The JSD Band and David was introduced by DJ Kenny Everett thus: “Here is the second greatest thing...next to God...David Bowie!”
We’ll leave you with snippets from two reviews of the show, both stating conclusively that Bowie had well and truly arrived...
“A Star is Born - When a shooting star is heading for the peak, there is usually one concert at which it’s possible to declare, "That's it - he's made it." For David Bowie, opportunity knocked loud and clear last Saturday at London's Royal Festival Hall - and he left the stage a true 1972-style pop giant, clutching flowers from a girl who ran up and hugged and kissed him while a throng of fans milled around the stage. It was an exhilarating sight.” - Melody Maker
“David Bowie will soon become the greatest entertainer Britain has ever known. His performance on Saturday at the "Save The Whale" Friends of the Earth concert was a triumph for the showmanship as well as music. His talent seems unlimited and he looks certain to become the most important person in pop music on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a real star, incorporating the things that made people like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and The Beatles so very special.” - Record Mirror
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