VIDEO: David Bowie Pianist Mike Garson Recalls Shocking Cleveland Debut


Mike Garson has a special place in his heart for Cleveland. He auditioned as pianist with the Spiders From Mars for Mick Ronson in New York in 1972, and earned the gig after sight reading “Changes” for 7 seconds. Four days later, he was on stage performing David Bowie’s first-ever U.S. gig at Cleveland’s Music Hall on September 22, 1972.

Garson is a true raconteur, regaling CoolCleveland’s Thomas Mulready with tales of his 30 years with Bowie, recording 20 studio albums and playing keyboards on over 1000 of his concerts. His debut in Cleveland is still on his mind. “It was a special show here tonight, because I have memories of being here in ’72,” Garson recalls. “It was my first show and it was shocking.”

Garson anchors A Bowie Celebration, which features a rotating band of Bowie’s alumni (the Cleveland gig included guitarist Earl Slick and bassist Carmine Rojas), plus singers Bernard Fowler (vocalist with The Rolling Stones since 1989), Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno, Sting’s son Joe Sumner, and In Living Color founder Cory Glover, along with percussionist Jeroen de Rijk, guitarist and musical director Stevie Salas (music director with Justin Timberlake, Mick Jagger, Adam Lambert, American Idol), and Earl Slick’s son Lee Slick John on drums. The tour continues to Canada, New York, Florida and Texas.

View the video here.

@BowieTour, @mikegarson, @bernardfowler, @steviesalas, @gaby_moreno, @real_earl_slick, @thejoesumner, @officialsting, @revdaddylove, @JeroendeRijk, @livingcolor

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