When David Bowie was in Iggy Pop’s band: Their final concert
10:17 am
When David Bowie was in Iggy Pop’s band: Their final concert

Moscow, 1976
Iggy Pop’s The Idiot LP wasn’t just his solo debut; the 1977 album marked his return after three years of laying low. Though credited solely to Pop, The Idiot was a collaboration between Iggy and his friend, David Bowie. Iggy has attributed his rebirth to Bowie, who he’s said “resurrected” him. He’s spoken many times over the years of his appreciation for Bowie’s faith in him, and for his kindness.

Here’s an anecdote from Iggy’s 1982 book, I need more: The Stooges and other stories, that took place during the recording of The Idiot:

One day we were in Chateau d’Herouville in France, outside Paris, taking a ping-pong break. Never in my life had I been able to play ping-pong. I never had the coordination—literally couldn’t play.

David said, “Come on, give me a game.”

“I can’t. I can’t play.”

But I tried it, and suddenly that I day I could play, and I’m playing and were about tied and I said, “You know, man, this is weird. Really weird. I always failed at this game and now I can play it.”

He said, “Well, Jim, it’s probably because you’re feeling better about yourself.” In the most gentlest way he said that, because usually, you know, nobody wants to be anybody’s teacher or leaner. You know what I mean? In the very gentlest way he said that. I just thought that was a nice answer. Three games later, I beat him and he never played me again. I got good REAL fast.

March 1, 1977 poster
Bowie continued to support Iggy during The Idiot era, becoming a member of Pop’s band for the six-week jaunt promoting the album. The outing began on March 1 in Aylesbury for a run of dates in England, before coming to North America mid-month. The famed Dinah! appearance was on April 15, with the final show of the tour happening the following evening.
‘Mantra Studios Broadcast 1977.’ Chicago, March 28, 1977 (radio broadcast).

Bowie kept a low profile during this period, both on and off stage. Up until the Dinah! taping, he refused all interview requests, and during the shows he rarely looked at the audience, most of whom had no prior knowledge that he was part of Iggy’s group. Bowie played piano and keyboards, and the band also included guitarist Ricky Gardiner, as well as bassist Tony Sales, and drummer Hunt Sales. The Sales brothers also contributed backing vocals, as did Bowie.
‘Live In Concert – Cleveland 1977.’ Agora Ballroom, March 22, 1977.

The last date took place at the San Diego Civic Auditorium on April 16. There’s an audio recording of the gig, and while the sound could be better, you can still feel Ig’s fire and tell that the band is ON. Before “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” Iggys says “goodbye to David Bowie,” and later Bowie actually speaks, announcing, “this is our last show.” Bowie would resume his own career, and though he would be very much involved with Iggy’s next LP, Lust for Life, it was to a lesser degree. Iggy and Bowie would continue to collaborate off and on through the mid ‘80s, occasionally appearing on stage together. The tour for The Idiot marks the only time they played full concerts together.

The San Diego show includes songs from the Stooges studio albums, three tunes from The Idiot, plus three that would turn up on Lust for Life, and a couple of covers.

The set-list:

Raw Power
TV Eye
Medley: 1969/No Fun/96 Tears (Question Mark & The Mysterians cover)
Turn Blue
Gimme Danger
Sister Midnight
I Need Somebody
Search and Destroy
I Wanna Be Your Dog
Some Weird Sin
China Girl
Gloria (Them cover)


We’ll end with Iggy’s snotty miming of the Lust for Life track, “Some Weird Sin,” on the Dutch program, TopPop. The Pop/Bowie composition was written during rehearsals for The Idiot tour.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
A night spent hanging out with David Bowie and Iggy Pop: Ivan Kral tells us what it was like

Posted by Bart Bealmear
10:17 am



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