This week, the entire world mourns the loss of revolutionary rock and roll legend David Bowie. The singer, actor, and icon stood as a prominent figure in the music industry for nearly half a century, with influence in everything to records, to albums, to fashion, and to popular culture.
But his influence didn’t stop there. Bowie’s unparalleled reach even seemed to hit the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin. Texas. To celebrate the life of one of rock’s very best, we’re listing 5 ways Bowie has influenced the one and only Austin.
The Bowie Project
This past year, the Andrea Ariel Dance Company honored David Bowie through dance in The Bowie Project 2: A Rock and Roll Soundpainting, right here at the Long Center in the Rollins Studio Theatre. This mash-up of a live rock and roll concert, dance, and theatre debuted to rave reviews from the Austin Chronicle.
A Stop or Two at the Frank Erwin Center
David Bowie played the Frank Erwin Center twice- first in 1983 on the Serious Moonlight Tour, and again in 1990.
Best Concert by a Touring Artist
On April 27 2004, Bowie returned to Austin and played Austin’s now-closed The Backyard, and won an Austin Music Award for Best Concert by a Touring Artist. Reviewed by the Austin Chronicle, Bowie’s performance was described as “a perfect lullaby to the dream from which Austin had just woken.” To this day, David Bowie’s performance remains one of the Backyard’s claims to fame.
Bowie had many talents besides his music. The singer was personally trained in boxing by Golden Gloves boxer (and University of Texas alum) Richard Lord in 1983, right here in Austin. “I’m one of the few people that punched David Bowie in the face and didn’t get the shit beat out of me for it,” Lord said.
Austin’s very-own David Bowie tribute band frequents The Highball and Spider House, and has even played the Long Center! Named one of the Austin Chronicle’s “Top Kinky Lineups in 2014,” the Super Creeps have been described as doing “excellent covers of Bowie tunes that won’t disappoint music fans, let alone fans of Bowie himself.”
To quote the New York Times, “David Bowie’s voice was widely imitated but always his own; his message was that there was always empathy beyond difference.” He will be remembered and sorely missed.