Glass Spider Tour

 

David Bowie live 1964-2004

The Glass Spider Tour

 

 

The Glass Spider Tour was launched in support of the Never Let Me Down album. The tour began in May 1987 and was preceded by a 2-week press tour that saw Bowie visit 9 countries throughout Europe and North America to drum up public interest in the tour.

 

The Glass Spider Tour was the first Bowie tour to visit Austria, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Wales. Through a sponsorship from Pepsi, the tour was intended to visit Russia and South America as well, but these plans were later cancelled. The tour was, at that point, the longest and most expensive tour Bowie had embarked upon in his career. At the time, the tour's elaborate set was called "the largest touring set ever".

 

Bowie conceived the tour as a theatrical show, and included spoken-word introductions to some songs, vignettes, and employed visuals including projected videos, theatrical lighting and stage props. On stage, Bowie was joined by guitarist Peter Frampton and a troupe of five dancers (choreographed by long-time Bowie collaborator Toni Basil).

 

With the theme "Rock stars vs Reality," the show was divided into two acts and an encore. The set list was modified over the course of the tour as Bowie dropped some of his newer material in favour of older songs from his

repertoire.

 

The tour was generally poorly received at the time for being overblown and pretentious. Despite the criticism, Bowie in 1991 remarked that this tour laid the groundwork for later successful theatrical tours by other artists, and the sets design and the shows integration of music and theatrics has inspired later acts by a variety of artists. Starting in the late 2000s, the tour began to collect accolades for its successes, and in 2010 the tour was named one of the top concert tour designs of all time.

 

The tour was financially successful and well-attended (being seen by perhaps as many as six million fans worldwide), but the poor critical reception of the album and tour led Bowie to not only abandon plans for other elaborate stage shows, but to reconsider his own motivations for making music - and in that sense the tour developed more and more rock orientated and became important for the later Tin Machine project 1989-92.

 

 

The band

 

David Bowie – vocals, guitar

Peter Frampton – guitar, vocals

Carlos Alomar – guitar

Carmine Rojas – bass guitar

Alan Childs – drums

Erdal Kizilcay – keyboards, trumpet, congas, violin

Richard Cottle – keyboards, saxophone

 

Tour dancers

Melissa Hurley

Constance Marie

Spazz Attack (Craig Allen Rothwell)

Viktor Manoel

Stephen Nichols

Toni Basil (choreography)

 

 

The songs

 

Bowie elected to play less well-known songs on the tour and avoided some of his bigger hits. He was eager to not repeat the formula that made the Serious Moonlight Tour a success, saying, "It seemed so easy. It was cheers from the word go. You know how to get a reaction – play Changes, Golden Years and they'd be up on their feet. You get the reaction, take the money and run away. It seemed too easy. I didn't want to do that again."

 

All but two songs (Too Dizzy and Shining Star (Makin' My Love)) from his album Never Let Me Down were played live during the tour. Songs performed during the tour were "chosen because they fit the performance" and fit Bowie's goal to make a show that was much more theatrical and had strong dramatic content. When he was asked how he was going to make his rock show "dramatic", he replied, "You'll be surprised what you can do with a 6-piece rock band and a stage and a couple of lights."

Several songs that Bowie had anticipated playing on the tour were ultimately dropped before rehearsals even started, including Space Oddity, Ricochet, Joe the Lion and Don't Look Down. Some songs that the band rehearsed were never played on the to

 

 

From The Man Who Sold the World

"All the Madmen"

 

From Aladdin Sane

"Time"

"The Jean Genie"

 

From Diamond Dogs

"Rebel Rebel"

"Big Brother"

 

From Young Americans

"Fame" (Bowie, John Lennon, Carlos Alomar)

"Young Americans"

 

From "Heroes"

"'Heroes'" (Bowie, Brian Eno)

"Sons of the Silent Age"

 

From Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

"Up the Hill Backwards"

"Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)"

"Fashion"

"Because You're Young"

"Scream Like a Baby"

 

From Let's Dance

"Modern Love"

"China Girl" (originally from The Idiot by Iggy Pop, written by Pop and Bowie)

"Let's Dance"

 

From Tonight

"Loving the Alien"

"Blue Jean"

"Dancing With the Big Boys" (Bowie, Pop, Carlos Alomar)

 

From Never Let Me Down

"Day-In Day-Out"

"Time Will Crawl"

"Beat of Your Drum"

"Never Let Me Down" (Bowie, Alomar)

"Zeroes"

"Glass Spider"

"New York's in Love"

"'87 and Cry"

"Bang Bang" (Pop, Ivan Kral)

"Shining Star"

 

Other songs:

"Absolute Beginners" from Absolute Beginners: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, written by Bowie)

"I Wanna Be Your Dog" (from The Stooges by The Stooges, written by Pop, Dave Alexander, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton)

"Lavender's Blue" (traditional)

"London Bridge Is Falling Down" (traditional)

"War" (by Edwin Starr, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong)

"White Light/White Heat" (from White Light/White Heat by The Velvet Underground, written by Lou Reed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shows

 

PRESS SHOW TOUR

 

17 March 1987 - Toronto, Diamond Club

18 March 1987 - New York City, Cat Club

20 March 1987 - London, Player's Theatre

21 March 1987 - Paris, La Locomotive

24 March 1987 - Madrid, Halquera Plateaux

25 March 1987 - Rome, Piper

26 March 1987 - Munich, Parkcafe Lowenbrau

28 March 1987 - Stockholm, Ritz

30 March 1987 - Amsterdam, Paradiso

 

EUROPEAN TOUR

 

30 May 1987 - Rotterdam, Stadion Feijenoord

31 May 1987 - Rotterdam, Stadion Feijenoord

2 June 1987 - Werchter, Rock Werchter

6 June 1987 - Berlin, Platz der Republik

7 June 1987 - Nürburgring, Rock am Ring

9 June 1987 - Florence, Stadio Comunale

10 June 1987 - Milan, Stadio San Siro

13 June 1987 - Hamburg, Festwiese Am Stadtpark

15 June 1987 - Rome, Stadio Flaminio

16 June 1987 - Rome, Stadio Flaminio

19 June 1987 - London, Wembley Stadium

20 June 1987 - London, Wembley Stadium

21 June 1987 - Cardiff, Cardiff Arms Park

23 June 1987 - Sunderland, Roker Park

27 June 1987 - Gothenburg, Hisingen Eriksbergsvarvet

28 June 1987 - Lyon, Stade de Gerland

1 July 1987 - Vienna, Praterstadion

3 July 1987 - Paris, Parc départemental de La Courneuve

4 July 1987 - Toulouse, Stadium Municipal de Toulouse

6 July 1987 - Madrid, Vicente Calderón Stadium

7 July 1987 - Barcelona, Barcelona Mini Stadium

8 July 1987 - Barcelona, Barcelona Mini Stadium

11 July 1987 - Dublin, Slane Castle

14 July 1987 - Manchester, Maine Road Football Ground

15 July 1987 - Manchester, Maine Road Football Ground

17 July 1987 - Nice, Stade De L'Ouest

18 July 1987 - Turin, Stadio Comunale di Torino

 

NORTH AMERICA TOUR

 

30 July 1987 - Philadelphia, Veterans Stadium

31 July 1987 - Philadelphia, Veterans Stadium

2 August 1987 - East Rutherford, Giants Stadium

3 August 1987 - East Rutherford, Giants Stadium

7 August 1987 - San Jose, Spartan Stadium

8 August 1987 - Anaheim, Anaheim Stadium

9 August 1987 - Anaheim, Anaheim Stadium

12 August 1987 - Denver, Mile High Stadium

14 August 1987 - Portland, Civic Stadium

15 August 1987 - Vancouver, BC Place Stadium

17 August 1987 - Edmonton, Commonwealth Stadium

19 August 1987 - Winnipeg, Winnipeg Stadium

21 August 1987 - Rosemont, Rosemont Horizon

22 August 1987 - Rosemont, Rosemont Horizon

24 August 1987 - Toronto, National Exhibition Stadium

25 August 1987 - Toronto, National Exhibition Stadium

28 August 1987 - Ottawa, Frank Clair Stadium

30 August 1987 - Montreal, Olympic Stadium

1 September 1987 - New York, Madison Square Garden

2 September 1987 - New York, Madison Square Garden

3 September 1987 - Foxborough, Sullivan Stadium

6 September 1987 - Chapel Hill, Dean Smith Center

7 September 1987 - Chapel Hill, Dean Smith Center

10 September 1987 - Milwaukee, Marcus Amphitheater

11 September 1987 - Milwaukee, Marcus Amphitheater

12 September 1987 - Pontiac, Pontiac Silverdome

14 September 1987 - Lexington, Rupp Arena

18 September 1987 - Miami, Miami Orange Bowl

19 September 1987 - Tampa, Tampa Stadium

21 September 1987 - Atlanta, Omni Coliseum

22 September 1987 - Atlanta, Omni Coliseum

25 September 1987 - Hartford, Hartford Civic Center

28 September 1987 - Landover, Capital Centre

29 September 1987 - Landover, Capital Centre

1 October 1987 - St. Paul, St. Paul Civic Center

2 October 1987 - St. Paul, St. Paul Civic Center

4 October 1987 - Kansas City, Kemper Arena

6 October 1987 - New Orleans, Louisiana Superdome

7 October 1987 - Houston, The Summit

8 October 1987 - Houston, The Summit

10 October 1987 - Dallas, Reunion Arena

11 October 1987 - Dallas, Reunion Arena

13 October 1987 - Los Angeles, Memorial Sports Arena

14 October 1987 - Los Angeles, Memorial Sports Arena

 

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND TOUR

 

27 October 1987 - Sydney, Tivoli Club (Press Show)

29 October 1987 - Brisbane, Boondall Entertainment Centre

30 October 1987 - Brisbane, Boondall Entertainment Centre

3 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

4 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

6 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

7 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

9 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

10 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

13 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

14 November 1987 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre

18 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium

20 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium

21 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium

23 November 1987 - Melbourne, Kooyong Stadium

28 November 1987 - Auckland, Western Springs Stadium

 

 

 

 

 

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