“Clutches of sad remains, Waits for Aladdin Sane”
Following UK dates at the start of the year, The David Bowie Tour 1973 revisited the USA in February and Japan for the first time in April.
Returning to the UK, the fourth leg of the tour had an auspicious opening at London’s Earl’s Court, 45 years ago tonight.
This was the first Rock concert to be staged at the venue and unfortunately it didn't seem the logistics of putting on a show there had been fully worked out.
Reviews pointed out the poor visibility (the stage was on ground level), and an inadequate sound system unable to fill the cavernous hall.
However, those that could see and hear enjoyed a superb setlist by Bowie and The Spiders, augmented by the expanded band.
The new outfits given to David by Kansai Yamamoto, along with the kabuki influenced make up and the state of the art light show, made for an incredible spectacle.
Things settled down at smaller venues for the rest of the tour, as witnessed in the Ziggy Stardust Motion Picture filmed at the last show of the tour at Hammersmith Odeon on July 3rd.*
Our montage shows Bowie in performance on the night (main image by Mick Rock) and fans outside Earl’s Court before the show.
While we all know about the sad end the lad proudly displaying his Bowie T-shirt came to (he was yet to become a Sex Pistol in the shape of Sid Vicious), does anybody out there know what happened to the girls holding the tour programme?
We’ll leave you with the setlist which contained all but one of the songs from new album Aladdin Sane.
The David Bowie Tour 1973
May 12, 1973, Earl’s Court, London.
(Ode To Joy intro music)
01 Ziggy Stardust
02 Watch That Man
03 Medley: Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud/All The Young Dudes/Oh! You Pretty Things
04 The Prettiest Star
05 Cracked Actor
06 Moonage Daydream
08 Space Oddity
09 The Jean Genie
11 The Width Of A Circle
12 Let's Spend The Night Together
13 Drive-In Saturday
14 Aladdin Sane
15 Medley: Quicksand/Life On Mars?/Memory Of A Free Festival
16 Panic In Detroit
17 Suffragette City
18 Rock 'N' Roll Suicide
(Land of Hope & Glory outro music)
David Bowie (vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, Minimoog, percussion, harmonica)
Mick Ronson (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Trevor Bolder (bass guitar, backing vocals)
Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey (drums)
Mike Garson (piano, Mellotron)
Brian Wilshaw (tenor saxophone, flute)
Ken Fordham (tenor, baritone, alto saxophones)
John Hutchinson (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
Geoffrey Alexander MacCormack (percussion, backing vocals)
*Speaking of that last show at Hammersmith, a local lad (another yet to be Sex Pistol), Steve Jones, helped himself to some of Bowie’s equipment. So, it could be argued that Bowie not only influenced the look of the fledgling band, but also unwittingly contributed to the Sex Pistols’ sound too.
FOOTNOTE: Lou Reed’s Bowie/Ronson produced Walk On The Wild Side entered the UK chart on this day too. It was Lou’s first UK single chart entry. The song was taken from Transformer (arguably Reed’s finest moment), an album produced by the same team.