As a diehard rock music fan from Cleveland, I’ve always been proud to note that when the late great David Bowie made his American concert debut in 1972 in support of his phenomenal game-changing album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” he did so from the stage of Music Hall in Cleveland Public Auditorium.
Sadly, I was a couple of months late to turn on to this strange new British sensation with the orange hair, bizarre costume and alien persona, so I wasn’t in attendance. But once I heard the explosive, revolutionary sounds of “Suffragette City,” I ran out and bought the album, and played it incessantly for months. Such an incredible record full of dynamic, in-your-face music — “Moonage Daydream,” “Starman,” “Hang On To Yourself,” “Rock and Roll Suicide,” and the indelible title track…
But he’s gone now, damnit. Dead of liver cancer at age 69. We lost a musical giant, a real Major Tom, this month.
Over the course of 28 albums in nearly 50 years, Bowie clearly earned his reputation as the Chameleon of Rock, continually changing musical styles, personas, accompanying musicians, producers, fashion and more, often with little regard for how it might appeal to his fan base or the commercial charts. “My reason for performing is not to please an audience,” he said in 1997. “It’s to present what I think are exciting new ideas.”