Remembering David Bowie

Jan 8, 2019 would have been Bowie's 72nd birthday

January 8, 2019

PA Images/Sipa USA


(104.3 WOMC) -- Doing birthdays for me works only when I stick to the big artists. Artists that really stood head and shoulders above the rest and were also unusually big here in Detroit.

David Bowie fits both of those categories and would have been 72 years old today, Jan 8, 2019.

Bowie and his band “The Spiders From Mars,” were an instant hit in Detroit.

We had been broken in by Alice Cooper shows and here was another choice in that musical area.

Image and hype were key to the early Bowie days and stuff like riding around in Rolls Royce limo which, they probably could not afford, staying at high-end hotels, and playing at the Fisher Theater all played into that and helped create the mystique.  

The Fisher was his first Detroit gig in late 1972 and WABX was all over it.

Remember rock acts simply did NOT play these venues. We had been delegated to the long-in-the-tooth, run down places like the Grande, Vanity,  and the Eastown.

Detroit was mega important then to many rock acts.

We were still the #4 or 5 “market” in the USA with an outstanding musical scene.  Radio was key to pushing that as well.

The glitter and glam of that band was before Queen and like Queen, both bands had outstanding guitarists. Brain May of Queen, and the late Mick Ronson for Bowie. “Ronno’s” contribution in both playing and arrangement and his onstage personna of hard rock flash and slash were tailor made for Detroit.

Of course Bowie went through many musical ch-ch-changes including the time he played a the week at the Michigan Place downtown in October of '74.

I still think that blast from the Spiders, and Detroit,  were key to launching the stellar career of David Bowie.  What ride!