David Bowie and the Concert for New York City

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When I read the news that David Bowie had died I was saddened not because I was a super Bowie fan because a talented creative human being had died from a terrible disease that kills so many. I am saddened for his family and friends as they grieve their personal loss with the world.  David Bowie was a public figure but more than that he was someone’s dad, business associate and friend. Please take a moment to pray or send a good thought or whatever you do to those who truly knew him.

As I looked at the posts on FB of people sharing their “personal” Bowie stories, I was reminded that I had seen David Bowie perform at the Concert for New York City in October 2001. After seeing the clip I remembered his performance. To be honest I don’t remember much about that concert partially because it was over 14 years ago but mostly because I believe I was still in shock when I attended it.  I don’t think I was even functioning on auto-pilot as of that point.

Forgive me for jumping on the David Bowie band wagon but here is my David Bowie story:

The FDNY had invited my teenage daughters and myself to attend the Concert for New York City at Madison Square Garden.  The Concert for New York City was to be my first “rock” concert. I asked my brother and sister-in-law to come along. My little brother https://missannsays.com/2012/06/05/my-little-brother/ was a rock concert veteran and very tall. Both things I assumed could come in handy.  As we walked from the parking garage to MSG the streets were quiet. It seemed all wrong – this is NYC on a Saturday – quiet isn’t normal. Quiet gave way to loud as we entered MSG. Our seats were on side so we could actually see into the wings/ backstage so we could see who was up next. Thankfully my sister-in-law brought earplugs. The concert opened with David Bowie sitting on stage. The word that comes to mind is humble or humbled.  http://davidbowienews.com/2014/04/america-concert-for-new-york-city-2001/

There are three other things that resonate with me  about the concert:

  • The firefighters trying to make sure my daughters were having a good time. Escorting my daughters so they could have a front row view for part of the concert.
  • My 17-year-old and myself having an Abbott and Costello type conversation about “who” is on stage and me saying “The Who” and her saying who???
  • When former President Bill Clinton came on stage the atmosphere totally changed to a mob like mentality that was scary. My brother and FDNY escorts positioned themselves to protect my daughters, my sister-in-law and myself. Thankfully things calmed down but there was a few moments of raw emotion, too much beer, and lack of sleep that could have got bad. The only thing scarier than that was watching the Concert for New York on MSG network years later and hearing the announcer say “the Clintons were cheered.” I was dumbfounded and started yelling at the television. Really we can just change events like that. Not good. To the best of my memory neither former President Clinton or Hillary were cheered.  Wikipedia in their description of the Concert for New York mentions the dubbing in of cheers – what?!? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Concert_for_New_York_City

Thank you Mr. Bowie for sharing your talents and teaching us that we can always reinvent ourselves. Rest in Peace. May your family and friends find comfort in the memories and hope for the future.