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The History of Bowie in the Bay

A Stardusted look at San Francisco from failed concerts to awesome photo shoots in SF
By - posted 1/14/2016 No Comment

Since the passing of the perpetually dilated, ground control technician-ing, androgynous British songster born David Robert Jones, aka David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, aka Sacred Silversexual, aka guy surrounded by puppets in Labyrinth, earlier this week, Bay Area fans, and the entire internet, have come together to celebrate, remember, and straight up worship, the life of this fallen star.

> This is a guest post written by Kayla Mahoney of RushTix –  a site for people passionate at the arts and culture of San Francisco.

SF Oddities

As a huge activist in the LGBTQIA community since before all those other letters were added, Bowie is particularly missed here in The Bay where the population of free spirited weirdos, eccentrics, and upstream swimmers is particularly prevalent.

Not Yet a Star, Man

His first Bay Area show was a Halloween event in 1972 at Winterland that cost only $4. It was neither well received nor attended – just a few hundred people buying tickets – so if anyone has a time machine and wants to visit the show and give the man some love, that’s where to go.

Golden Years

Bowie at the Cow Palace in 1976  – Photo credit – thethinwhiteduke.tumblr.com.

But then Bill Graham was like, “Bowie! Come back! We love you!” and he returned to play a sold out show at the Cow Palace in 1976.

He upped his game headlining the Oakland Arena in 1978 (tickets started at $6.50!) and his popularity crested with headlining Day on the Green at for a massive stadium show before 58,000 at Oakland Coliseum in 1983 for $17.50 

A Beautician Sells You Nutrition

He even visited our Golden Gated city, with supermodel Cyrinda Foxe in tow, to film the music video for “The Jean Genie” in 1972. The two “snuck off to the city” to pose and dance in front of the famous, and not there anymore, Mars Hotel on 4th and Howard Street. Watch the video filmed in San Francisco.

Here’s more photos from Mick Rock of Bowie in San Francisco from 1972.

Wham Bam Mission Mural Ma’am

This David Bowie Ziggy Stardust mural showed up in the Mission in 2012, followed by some (inter)stellar graffiti in front that’s light years better than Justin Bieber’s. It was at 2326 Mission Street (by Mission Thrift) but we can’t find anything on Google Street View.

Here’s a shot of the mural from artaround and Anomalous_A and an shot of some awesome Bowie sidewalk graffiti from Erin’s Blog 

Into the Wild Wind

His lithe, pale, glitter covered, body might be gone, but his legacy lives on through his music, and impact on the world. For information on where to find events to pay your respects to the Bo-Man (a new nickname I just made up) click here.

> If you’re looking for even more music to worship in San Francisco, join RushTix.