THE ALADDIN SANE RETIREMENT TOUR OF GREAT
Songs performed: Space Oddity, The Width of
A Circle, medley: Quicksand/Life on Mars/Memory of a Free Festival, medley: The Wild-Eyed
Boy from Freecloud/All the Young Dudes/Oh! You Pretty Things, Changes, Moonage Daydream, Hang Onto Yourself, Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, Rock n Roll Suicide, The Prettiest Star, Watch That Man, Aladdin Sane,
Drive-In Saturday, Panic in Detroit, Cracked Actor, Time & The Jean Genie.
Other artists songs: White Light/White Heat
(Lou Reed), My Death (Jacques Brel), Round and Round (Chuck Berry), Lets Spend the Night
Together (Jagger - Richards) & Love Me Do (McCartney-Lennon - 3 July 1973 only).
Set lists: Bowie now performed what was basically the same set night
after night with songs from Aladdin Sane and Ziggy making up most of the set. He also
reached back into his early songbook for some numbers and used them as medleys. A
typical concert at the start of the tour had the following sequence of songs: Hang Onto
Yourself / Ziggy Stardust / Watch That Man / medley: Quicksand/Life on Mars/Memory of a
Free Festival/ The Prettiest Star / Moonage Daydream / Changes / Space Oddity / The Jean
Genie / Time / The Width of A Circle / Lets Spend The Night Together / Drive In Saturday /
Panic in Detroit / Suffragette City / Cracked Actor / Rock n Roll Suicide. A typical
concert at the end of the tour had the following sequence of songs: Hang Onto Yourself /
Ziggy Stardust / Watch That Man / medley: The Wild-Eyed Boy from Freecloud/All the Young
Dudes/Oh! You Pretty Things / Moonage Daydream / Changes / Space Oddity / The Jean Genie /
Time / The Width of A Circle / Lets Spend The Night Together / Suffragette City / White
Light White Heat/ Round & Round / Rock n Roll Suicide.
Reaches Moscow. Travels on the Orient Express to Paris.
Arrives in France and stays at the George V Hotel and spends evening
with songwriter Jacques Brel in Paris. He oversleeps and misses the arranged train
connection to Boulogne. He finally takes the ferry to Boulogne and hovercraft back to
England. Bowie only reluctantly crossed the Channel in a hover-craft (he thinks it is too
much like flying).
Arrives in Charing Cross Station (orginally intended to be Victoria
Station), London to be greeted by a crowd of well-wishers - By this time Bowie and
entourage have travelled 8,000 miles overland.
Bowie has a homecoming party with friends at Haddon Hall. Present
for wine and chicken are Tony Visconti and his wife Mary Hopkin, Lindsay Kemp, Mick Ronson
and Suzie Fussey, George Underwood, Ken Scott, Freddi Burretti and Chelita Secunda.
"He invited us to a party in Beckenham. It
was one of the last few weeks he was there because kids were already starting to tear the
house down and hang outside and all that. And there he was. I recognised him, but he
wasn't really the same David. He played the part. He played the part - definitely. He was
Ziggy for a while - definitely was."- Tony Visconti (1976)
Studio: Central London. Rehearsals.
KEY CONCERT: Earls Court, London.
The eight-week tour of the UK begins at this massive stadium attended by
18,000 fans. This is to be the first use of this venue for a rock concert and the biggest
ever in-door rock audience in the UK at the time. Unfortunately the show is marred by poor
sound, poor stage visibility (it was very low) and adverse fan behaviour (some drunken
members of the audience danced naked and urinated in the aisles and there were outbreaks
of violence causing Bowie to ask for calm at one stage).
This was also the first time that Bowie wore his
new Kansai Yamamoto outfits.
"We started extremely badly. My
management, in their wisdom and to save a buck, had not supplied a sound
system that was anywhere near adequate. On top of that the stage
was ridicuously low, audience faces pressing to the lower regins of my
body. Our lighting couldn't cope with the cavernous conditions met here.
No one could hear, no one could see."
A second show at this venue
scheduled for 30 June 1973 is cancelled as a result. Apart from Earls Court, the tour is
an enormous success playing 37 towns and cities in 45 days and being sold out in each.
Altogether 150,000 fans would attend these concerts.
"The second time I saw Bowie (not
forgetting the Spiders) was at Earls Court at start of the 1973 tour...Most memorable
moment?...having a seat about 3 miles away from the stage and after crawling over, under
and through what seemed like a hundred rows of seats, ending up slap-bang centre of the
stage, watching David trying hard to keep his knee length boots up (white mini kimono
outfit) and finally giving up with the gold lipstick that was nearly sticking his lips
together (he wiped it off on his sleeve!) and him spotting me surrounded by screaming
girls, he pointed at me and smiled the most heart warming smile I've ever had smiled at
me." - Colin Richardson
The LIFE ON MARS? promotional video
is shot backstage at Earls Court on this date.
Concert: Music Hall, Aberdeen. Matinee performance. The two shows
start with a sound check at 5.00pm, the 1st show at 7.00pm and the 2nd
at 9.00pm. This pattern will be repeated many times over the next two months as extra
matinees are booked in order to keep up with fan demand.
Concert: Caird Hall, Dundee. Bowie is saved from being trapped by
fans at his car by bodyguard Stuey George.
Concert: Greens Playhouse, Glasgow. Matinee performance. Two
shows. A whole row of seating is torn out by fans at this concert. Bowie tells the press
that he never runs out of energy and that he believes he has more energy than anyone he
knows. He recalls the concert:
"We had, I think, four couples making it in the
back row which was fabulous. Its the first time I've heard of that happening.
There was also a whole row of seats physically torn out of the floor, which sounds like
the fifties to me. Can you imagine how much energy has to be used to tear out a
Poor reviews follow the Earl's Court sound
Concert: Empire Theatre, Edinburgh. Matinee performance. Two
Concert: Theatre Royal, Norwich. Matinee performance. Two shows.
Concert: Odeon, Romford
Concert: Dome, Brighton. Matinee performance. Two shows. Bowie is
later banned by the Brighton Dome management from appearing at this venue again due to
fan's vandalising the seating during the show.
Concert: Odeon, Lewisham. This was an additional performance
added due to demand.
Concert: Winter Gardens, Bournemouth.
This concert is filmed for a short documentary "Nationwide-BBC1
Concert: Civic Hall, Guildford. Matinee performance. Two shows.
Concert: Civic Hall, Wolverhampton.
Concert: Victoria Hall, Hanley.
Concert: New Theatre, Oxford. This was the original date for the
second cancelled Earls Court concert.
Concert: King George's Hall, Blackburn.