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Ziggy in America

September 1972 (continued)


Songs performed: Space Oddity, The Width of a Circle, The Supermen, Changes, Life on Mars?, Andy Warhol, Queen Bitch, Five Years, Moonage Daydream, Starman, Hang Onto Yourself, Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, Rock n Roll Suicide, John, I'm Only Dancing, Drive-in Saturday & The Jean Genie.

Other artists songs: White Light/White Heat (Lou Reed), Waiting for The Man (Lou Reed) & My Death (Jacques Brel), Round & Round (Chuck Berry).

Set lists: The setlist for the 1st American Tour was very much like the 1st UK Tour - split evenly between Hunky Dory and Ziggy albums, with few earlier career songs performed but a number of cover versions still featuring.  Bowie introduced "The Jean Genie" to the setlist and premiered "Drive In Saturday" - solo on acoustic guitar on the 4th November at Phoenix.

Support musicians: Mike Garson is introduced to Bowie by Annette Peacock and becomes the tour pianist for the US Tour and all subsequent Ziggy Tours.

This tour was originally planned for only eight concerts but was so successful that it was extended by another eight weeks. It was also very unusual because Bowie was only the second act to come to the US from England as a headliner; the first being the Beatles, and at a time when Bowie was little known in the US.

Sep-10th 1972

Bowie and Angie take the cruise boat Queen Elizabeth II to America (one week ahead of The Spiders From Mars who arrive in New York on September 18th) due to Bowie's well documented fear of flying.

Sep-17th 1972

The QE2 docks at New York on Sunday 17th September.  Bowie and entourage travel by chartered Greyhound bus to Cleveland from New York.

Sep-21st 1972

BBC Radio One broadcasts "John, I'm Only Dancing", "Star" and "Lady Stardust", the songs being introduced by the DJ as special recordings. Although it is hard to detect any difference between the official versions of "Lady Stardust" and "John I'm Only Dancing" these are slightly different mixes and were recorded at Maida Vale for a BBC Transcription disc. Of the three songs "Star" has a completely different lead vocal and is missing the "just watch me now" lyric at the end.

Sep-22nd 1972

KEY CONCERT: Music Hall, Cleveland - capacity 3,500. This is the first US Ziggy Stardust concert.  American jazz pianist and music teacher Mike Garson joins the Ziggy Stardust concert line-up in order to better reproduce the album sound. He is hired after a short audition (playing a jazzed up version of "Changes" which Bowie liked). Pre-concert there is a row over the piano size and De Fries threatens to cancel the show. A new piano is borrowed from the City’s symphony orchestra.  Garson plays with cotton wool in his ears as the music is so loud. 10 minute ovation results! Support is Fumble - with Sean Mayes - later to be Bowie keyboards player in the late seventies who died of Aids.  A post concert party is held that night at the Hollenden House Hotel.

 * Brian Sands and David Bowie

"David Bowie’s "Ziggy Stardust" show with the Spiders From Mars at Music Hall on Sept. 22, 1972, was his first in the United States. He sailed over; he won’t fly, his wife said. Orange-haired Bowie, one of the most important figures of ‘70s rock, seemed a little awkward at an earlier press conference, but after his smash show, he eluded his security guards and was eager to talk about coming shows. We reporters sensed that a star was born that night. Later I saw him backstage in another setting, his Broadway dressing room after his highly acclaimed performance in "The Elephant Man." - from Rock was stayin’ alive --- and knocking ‘em dead by Jane Scott

Sep-23rd 1972

Bowie begins writing the ALADDIN SANE (1973) album, basing a number of the songs on his impressions of the US from the chartered Greyhound bus. "The Jean Genie" is developed from an impromptu bus jam.

Sep-24th 1972

Concert: Ellis Auditorium, Memphis.

"They loved it. They screamed.  They yelled.  They danced on their seats and begged for more.." - John E Dove (1972) - Memphis Commercial Appeal


Video Credit: Guerrilla Monster Films

Sep-28th 1972

KEY CONCERT: Carnegie Hall, New York. It is Bowie's debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, a sell-out and very successful despite Bowie suffering from the flu. The slogan on the Carnegie Hall marquee simply reads "Fall in Love with David Bowie." There is a very large press turnout (400 applications were made for 100 places) and a who's who of celebrities attend including Andy Warhol, Albert Grossman, Todd Rundgren, Tony Perkins, Alan Bates, Lee Radziwill and the New York Dolls. Ticket scalpers are able to get $50 for the $6 tickets outside the theatre.  A rock journalist reports overhearing a member of the audience say "The 60's are over, well and truly over". A live version of "My Death" from this concert is included on RARESTONEBOWIE (1995). Due to the concert's success RCA add another 8 weeks of concerts to the tour. Bowie is interviewed for Rolling Stone at the Plaza Hotel and also features in Time and Newsweek. RCA recorded this concert for the aborted Ziggy Stardust live album. Other shows recorded included Boston and Santa Monica.

David Bowie: Future Rock

"When David Bowie made his Carnegie Hall debut last fall everybody from Albert Goldman to Andy Warhol was there plus a gaggle of weirdo's expecting some kind of a British Alice Cooper.  That's not what they got.  The concert opened as Bowie, in clockwork orange hair, came onstage amid flashing strobe lights, to the Mooged up strains of Beethoven's Ninth.  From there, except for a simulated sex act with silver haired guitarist Mick Ronson, it was a matter of music, ranging from hard rock laid down by Bowie's band, the Spiders From Mars, to a Jacques Brel song with guitar accompaniment..." - PLAYBOY

Sep-29th 1972

Concert: Kennedy Centre, Washington DC.



October 1972

Oct-1st 1972

Concert: Music Hall, Boston. RCA recorded this concert for the aborted Ziggy Stardust live album. Other shows recorded included Carnegie Hall and Santa Monica. However, three tracks from this concert can be found on the SOUND + VISION PLUS (1989) CD Video namely: "John, I'm Only Dancing", "Changes" and "The Supermen."

Oct-3rd-6th 1972

The Bowie entourage returns to New York for three days. Bowie records his own version of "All The Yong Dudes" which is later remixed by Bowie & Ken Scott at Trident Studios in London.

Oct-6th 1972

'The Jean Genie' recorded in New York and quickly released on November 24. Bowie has said that this song was written one evening in New York for Cyrinda Foxes's enjoyment.

Oct-7th 1972

Concert: Chicago Auditorium, Chicago. "The Jean Genie" performed for the first time.

Oct-8th 1972

Concert: Fisher Theatre, Detroit.

Oct-9th 1972

Concert: Indianapolis.

Oct-10th 1972

Concert: St Louis. The St. Louis gig is notable for being an 11,000 seat hall but only about 180 people attend as Bowie is not well known in this area. Bowie gathers everyone into the orchestra pit, chats to them and gives an intimate and successful performance.

Oct-11th 1972

Concert: Kansas City.

Oct-13th 1972

At one stage this was a proposed date for the Philadelphia Tower Theatre shows but were rescheduled for November when Bowie refused to play a concert on Friday 13th!

Oct-15th 1972

Concert: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, Salt Lake City.

Oct-16th 1972

Concert: Cancelled in Chicago. The 46 strong Bowie entourage arrives in Los Angeles for four days relaxation staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "Cracked Actor" is written after Bowie toured Hollywood Boulevard.  Mick Rock photographs Bowie at the Hotel.

"We did the shoot just before going to see the premier of Andy Warhol's 'Heat'. David's clothes were a tryout for the "Jean Genie" promo (we didn't call them videos then) that I shot and directed in San Francisco" - Mick Rock

Oct-20th 1972

FEATURED CONCERT: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles.

RCA recorded this concert for the aborted Ziggy Stardust live album. Other shows recorded included Carnegie Hall and Boston. The concert is also broadcast live on FM radio and quickly becomes a popular high quality bootleg. The FM recording is eventually released as an official album in 1994 as SANTA MONICA '72 (1994).

* Jon Levicke's Santa Monica 72 photos

Oct-21st 1972

Concert: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles. The second show added due to demand and the tour extended. Bowie attends a party given by disc-jockey Wolfman Jack.

Oct-24 & 25th 1972

Bowie & Iggy Pop remix Raw Power at Western Sound Studios in Hollywood. "Panic in Detroit" is written around this time after night on the town with Iggy. Leee Childers is left in LA by DeFries to rent a house for Iggy and establish MainMan West. Bowie's friends - the Underwoods and publicist Davies fly home to the UK.

Oct-27th 1972

Concert: Winterland Auditorium, San Francisco. It is at this venue that Tony DeFries forced promoter Billy Graham to build a wall from the back of the auditorium to the stage (no doubt at enormous expense) so that Bowie would be unseen until he appeared on stage. DeFries threatened cancellation unless this was done.

Oct-28th 1972

Concert: Winterland Auditorium, San Francisco.

THE JEAN GENIE promotional video shot in San Francisco around this time.

Oct-31th 1972

Concert: Paramount Theatre, Seattle. Only 400 in audience. 

"What a show. I went down with my older brother and two of his buddies in a old VW bug and got tuned up for some English heavy metal and became part of an "experience". The Spiders tour was something truly special. Years ahead of what I was listening to and it had a whole culture associated with it. Driving down from Everett, a paper mill town that was just adjusting to the introduction of aerospace with the construction of the Boeing plant for 747's in 68, it seemed like these guys were from another world. I wasn't sure if all the "costumes" were because it was Halloween or did these freaks always dress this way? Pretty weird stuff for a high school sophomore that was still into the Stones and Grand Funk." - Brad

Bowie writes "Drive in Saturday" on the train between Seattle and Phoenix.



November 1972

Ziggy Stardust (LP) is released in Japan.

'Walk On The Wild Side'/'Perfect Day' released by Lou Reed, produced by David and Mick Ronson. The single becomes Reeds biggest selling record to-date.

Bowie remixes Iggy Pop and the Stooge's album RAW POWER (1973) after Iggy had mixed most of the instruments into one channel, and the vocals into the other.

Nov-4th 1972

Concert: Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona. The first debut of "Drive in Saturday"!

"After hearing a promotional EP with "It Ain't Easy" and needing a place to take a date, I picked up tickets that night. There were only approximately 200 people there, mostly drag queens and my date and I. So few, they didn't rotate the stage (being a theatre in the round). They just asked everyone to move to one side.... Anyway, Bowie DID play "Drive In Saturday" that night, he said, for the the first time. As I was not familiar with any of the songs, and as he asked the audience to "turn off your tape recorders", I made a mental note. Later, after finally hearing the bootleg of Santa Monica 72, I realised that Drive In Saturday was played [at the Celebrity Theatre] instead of "My Death"" - Paul

Nov-5th 1972

Concert: Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona cancelled.   Entourage stay in Arizona for 10 days.

Nov-9th 1972

Bowie appears on the cover of the November issue of Rolling Stone - the article titled "David Bowie in America."

Nov-11th 1972

Concert: Majestic Theatre, Dallas. Cancelled. Adverts for the reissues of the albums Space Oddity (1969) and The Man Who Sold The World (1970) appear with the advice "Make Room for 2 Bowie Albums"

"Two new old albums by the overnight superstar whose been doing it for five years and nobody knew it until now except a small loyal following in America, the entire population of the British Isles, and his visionary record company who now presents you with "Space Oddity" and "The Man Who Sold The World" to make it a total of four albums in the collected works of David Bowie who is now touring this country playing to trendy, crazed and sellout audiences and that's the truth." - RCA RECORDS & TAPES

Nov-12th 1972

Concert: The Music Hall, Houston. Cancelled.

Nov-13th 1972

Concerts: Oklahoma City - probably cancelled.

Nov-14th 1972

Concert: Loyola University, New Orleans.

Nov-17th 1972

Concert: Pirate's World Amusement Park, Dania - south of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Accepted folklore has it that Bowie performs "Drive in Saturday" for the first time on acoustic guitar at this concert.  However, see the entry for November 4th above!

Images and reviews here Pirates World, Dania Concert - 17 November 1972

"I remember fondly the days of my youth, after high school graduation. I got a job and bought my first car, a used Datsun 510 loaded with a non-factory equipped a/c and an 8 track tape player!!!! I had a ho-hum 9-5 job during the week as a secretary/bookkeeper at a television parts warehouse. Therefore, I lived for the weekends so I could get up and go driving around Fort Lauderdale, and listen to Ziggy play guitar on my 8 track tape player. It was the only tape I played for months.....Freak out in a Moonage daydream, oh yehhh.... It was the first time I saw him in concert. Ahhh, the days of Ziggy and the Spiders from Mars. It seems like another lifetime ago and unfortunately I do not remember much except that he was mesmerizing. And if I had the time, money etc. I would have become a groupie." - Bowie fan

Nov-18 or 19th 1972

Concert: Atlanta.

Nov-20th 1972

Concert: Municipal Auditorium, Nashville. There is a pre-concert demonstration against Bowie because of Cherry Vanilla’s over-hyping him as the new Elvis Presley!

Nov-22nd 1972

Concert: The Warehouse, New Orleans.

Nov-23nd 1972

Concert: Louisville.

Nov-24th 1972

Concert: Cincinnati.

"The Jean Genie" 7" single from Aladdin Sane (1973) is released. Produced by Ken Scott and David Bowie.

"The Jean Genie/Ziggy Stardust" RCA 2302 UK. Highest chart position = #2

"The Jean Genie/Hang Onto Yourself" RCA 74-0838 US in picture sleeve. Highest chart position = #71

"The Jean Genie/John, I'm Only Dancing" RCA 552235 Japan in picture sleeve

Re-release of Bowie's first album (DAVID BOWIE) now re-titled SPACE ODDITY (1969) RCA LSP 4813 with a new "Ziggy" photo on the cover. This re-release went to #17 in the UK and #16 in the US.

Re-release of THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (1971) RCA LSP 4816 with a new "Ziggy" photo on the cover. This re-release went to #26 in the UK and #105 in the US.

Nov-25th 1972

Concert: Public Hall, Cleveland - Capacity 9,500. 10,000 attend. Such is Bowie's popularity now that the Cleveland Public Hall is used for these two concerts rather than the smaller capacity Music Hall, which was used for the first Cleveland concert.  Both the Music Hall and Public Hall shared the same back-to-back stage. Both halls are still being used today.

Nov-26th 1972

Concert: Public Hall, Cleveland. 10,000 attend.

Nov-28th 1972

Concert: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh (Confirmed - thanks to Bill Haduch).

Nov-29th 1972

On Tony DeFries recommendation Mott the Hoople play the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia and are introduced by Bowie who joins them in singing "All the Young Dudes" and an encore of "Honky Tonk Woman." Because they were not well known in the US DeFries agreed to cover all expenses and allowed the Tower to bill the show as "David Bowie Presents" and have him personally introduce the act.  Bowie however missed the train and had to travel seven hours (cost = US$200) by cab to make the Mott the Hoople show.


Bowie introduces and sings on "All The Young Dudes"
Video credit: Mr Screamin397

Mott the Hoople: Review of Live Dudes (Music Club) by Wilson Neate (PopMatters Music Critic)

The material on Live Dudes derives from two concerts: one at the Konserthuset in Stockholm in February 1971 and the other at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia in November 1972.... As Rock Trivia item #304 goes, David Bowie talked the members of Mott into sticking together, gave them the song "All the Young Dudes" to jump-start their career, hooked them up with his management company, MainMan, and produced their "comeback" album, All the Young Dudes. Subsequently, Mott the Hoople embarked on the most commercially rewarding phase of their career....once a youthful sounding David Bowie has introduced the band, the concert then begins with Mott's version of "Sweet Jane".  Although the Philadelphia concert includes renditions of more introspective, down-tempo fare such as "Sea Diver" and the poignant "Hymn for the Dudes", which center on Hunter's vocal performance, much of the set is given over to the self-assured, guitar-driven rock and roll that showcases a band at the height of its powers. Particularly noteworthy are "One of the Boys" and "Sucker", which saw the group venturing into the realm of glam.... The high point of the set, however, is the anthemic "All the Young Dudes", for which Bowie joins the band on-stage adding a distinctive vocal element to the track. On the otherwise outstanding "Sweet Angeline" from Brain Capers there's a moment of cringe-inducing interaction with the crowd (courtesy of Ian Hunter) concerning the, ahem, ladies. And, in addition to overstaying its welcome somewhat, the raucous cover of "Honky Tonk Women" is marred by its incorporation of some communal singing, complete with solo audience cameos immortalized for posterity in all their horror. OK, a good time was clearly had by all and the chemistry between Mott and their audience is plain to hear, but during these fleeting instants the proceedings lapse into Spinal Tap-dom and sound embarrassingly dated.

Nov-30th 1972

Concert: Tower Theatre, Philadelphia. Bowie is mobbed like the Beatles in Philadelphia.



December 1972

The 1972 compilation album 20 FANTASTIC HITS (Arcade) is released in this month and features an alternate mix of "The Jean Genie."

Dec-1st 1972

Concert: The Tower Theatre, Philadelphia.

Dec-2nd 1972

Concert: The Tower Theatre, Philadelphia. 3rd show added after 1st two sell out.  It also sold out.

"I have seen hundreds, if not a thousand or two concerts in the past 31 years (I have been a music critic since September 1974). The single greatest opening was "Beethoven's 9th/Hang on to Youself" on the first two US tours.   To be perfectly honest though, my first ziggy show was at Philadelphia's Tower Theater on 2/12/72; it was the last show of the tour, and instead of opening with "Hang Onto Yourself", he played solo piano and sang "Lady Stardust"!- Chuck Darrow

Dec-3rd-10th 1972

Arrives New York where RCA reception party is held in Studio C.

December 1972 RCA Press Conference - Images and information about this press conference.

Work is begun here on sessions for Aladdin Sane with "Drive in Saturday" and "The Prettiest Star" recorded here.

Promotional video of Bowie's first major hit SPACE ODDITY filmed by Mick Rock for its re-release. It features Bowie at a recording studio on acoustic guitar miming to the original backing.

Dec-8th 1972

TRANSFORMER (1972) released by Lou Reed. Produced and part arranged by Bowie. Bowie appears on backing vocals and also wrote the uncredited track "Wagon Wheel."

Dec-9th 1972

Adverts appear in the UK for his December concert dates with the words "Bowie's Back!"

Dec-10th 1972

Ziggy entourage leaves New York for the UK on board R.H.M.S. Ellinis.


Ziggy returns home: 2nd short UK Tour
December 1972 - January 1973

---This page last modified: 12 Jan 2019---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)