Happy Birthday David Bowie: Performing Live At The Bridge School Benefit 1996

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Today marks what would have been iconic artist David Bowie’s 74th birthday. Born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947 in the South London district of Brixton, Bowie would go on to become one of the most influential and innovative artists of all time.

Clocking his first UK hit with the groundbreaking single, “Space Oddity,” in 1969, Bowie reinvented himself both musically and thematically time and time again from the Ziggy Stardust era of the early 1970s to his self described “plastic soul” of the Philadelphia recordings in the mid ‘70s to the electronic “Berlin Trilogy” collaborations with Brian Eno and into the ‘80s with hits like “Let’s Dance” and later experimentation with industrial sounds and textures. Given his shape-shifting nature and penchant for navigating and subverting visual aesthetics, it was no surprise that he was an accomplished actor and a fashion icon.

Bowie’s body of work is stunning. The world will never see anyone like him again. David Bowie died on January 10, 2016 and left us with the breathtaking swan song, Blackstar, which came out on his 69th birthday, two days before he died.

Twenty years before his death, David Bowie delivered two intimate, unplugged concerts for Pegi and Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit at the Bay Area’s Shoreline Amphitheatre in 1996. The shows featured two of the most pivotal collaborators in his career: guitarist Reeves Gabrels and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey. Gabrels had played with Bowie since 1987 while Dorsey had just joined Bowie in 1995 but would go on to perform with him until his death.

Bowie opened both concerts, October 19 and 20, with “Aladdin Sane” and “The Jean Genie” but peppered in different covers each night. October 19 saw covers from The Coasters (“I’m A Hog For You”) as well as a tune from Gabrels’ band Tin Machine (“I Can’t Read”). Both performances would feature the classics “The Man Who Sold The World” and “Heroes” with the first night closing out with “Let’s Dance” and the second night concluding with The Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat.”

To celebrate David Bowie’s birthday, watch both performances (save for “Heroes” on October 20) of the legendary singer-songwriter’s appearance at the Bridge School Benefit in 1996 via the JamBase Live Video Archive below:


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DB and TM
David Bowie (See 6 videos)

Setlist

David Bowie at Shoreline Amphitheatre

  • Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)
  • The Jean Genie
  • I'm a Hog for You  
  • I Can't Read  
  • The Man Who Sold the World
  • "Heroes"
  • Let's Dance

Setlist

David Bowie at Shoreline Amphitheatre

  • Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)
  • The Jean Genie
  • You and I and George  
  • I Can't Read  
  • The Man Who Sold the World
  • China Girl  
  • "Heroes"
  • White Light/White Heat  
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