Bowie's Astoria gig 1999

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cat People, May 20, 2020.

  1. Cat People

    Cat People Forum Resident Thread Starter

    West Midlands
    Been listening to this boot during the lockdown and am quite surprised how bad some tracks are - the sound quality is excellent and DB is vocally in fine form, but some of the instrumentation leaves a lot to be desired. Does anyone know who was on main guitar was it Mark Plati? Partic the choice of effect on Ashes and how it is played and also some quite amateurish 'I don't really know this one but I will try it' guitar on the mighty Stay!
    The mix doesn't help, having the keys almost silent and the bass and drums low...what are people's thoughts?
    Who attended and what do you think of the rhythm guitar on some of it?
  2. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident

    Mark Plati is one of the guitar players, however this gig was in the period between Reeves Gabrels leaving the band and Earl Slick joining. In the meantime he recruited Page Hamilton.
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  3. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    Plati was on rhythm guitar.

    Lead guitar was played by Page Hamilton of the band Helmet.

    I was at the Astoria gig, as well as all the other gigs on the Hours tour, except for NYC. I don’t recall anything being off about the Astoria performance. Bowie was pissed off at someone for shrinking his jumper, I remember that much. Not heard the recording of this show in years.
  4. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident

    I tried to get tickets for this gig and remember being annoyed that it had sold out by the time I got through, particularly as I read that a lot of tickets went to industry people.

    I have watched a video of the whole show on YouTube which sounded fine to me. My main memory was when he told the crowd that he had flu and someone in the audience put their arms out to hug him because they wanted to catch it off of him. The ultimate souvenir I guess lol.
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  5. johnnyyen

    johnnyyen Forum Resident

    I was never that keen on the Mark Plati era. I can’t comment on this show, but I always thought the BBC live gig from this time, and released on the Bowie at the Beeb sessions, was rather banal.
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  6. muzzer

    muzzer Forum Resident

    Page Hamilton did pretty well filling in at very short notice. Others will know the precise chronology but iirc Reeves walked out/left after a TOTP taping
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  7. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    I don’t remember London being particularly difficult to buy tickets for. There were certainly plenty available to the general public.

    Copenhagen was the most difficult on that tour, and one of the hardest tickets to get in all my time following Bowie. IIRC, they were available to personal buyers only, none online, and there were no touts outside the venue. I only ended up getting in because I ran into Bowie’s security guy, Eric, before the doors opened.
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  8. majorlance

    majorlance "The future ain't what it used to be."

    Collingswood, NJ
    Hard to imagine even the most rabid Bowie fan doing this nowadays.
    Your "ultimate souvenir" could be your last! :doh:
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  9. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    As far as souvenirs go, a better option was to nip up to the Virgin Megastore, on Oxford Street, where Bowie held a signing session on the afternoon of the Astoria gig.

    Here is my signed CD from that day:

  10. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident

    That always seemed to be my curse back then when buying tickets. I would spend hours on the phone listening to an engaged tone until I was 'lucky' enough to get in a queue, while others somehow managed to get tickets without any real trouble!
  11. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    I can’t remember the specifics of this particular gig, but I do remember ending up with a spare, which I sold outside the venue.

    It is always the difficult ones that we remember most vividly. On this tour, that was Copenhagen. And it wasn’t just me. All the fans who travelled from outside Denmark for that show were in the same predicament.

    Boston Avalon in 1996 was another that was extremely difficult to get into. I ended up running into a friend, who, by complete chance, had a spare.

    Fortune favours the brave was always my motto. Not having a ticket in advance was not a barrier to me booking flights, or whatever. I always managed to get in somehow.
  12. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident

    I had got to see him at the Netaid show a few weeks before Astoria but he only sang 6 songs there unfortunately.

    I did however manage to get to more shows during the Heathen and Reality tours. A show I was particularly glad I got to see was the 2002 show at Hammersmith Apollo - having learnt some lessons from the Astoria experience I left home in the middle of the night in order to queue outside for tickets.
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  13. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    I was at NetAid, also. The most exciting thing about that gig was hearing him do “Drive-In Saturday” for the first time since, what, 1974? We knew he’d rehearsed it, but it was a massive buzz to hear it in the flesh.

    I was living in the United States by 2002, so wasn’t at Hammersmith. The five boroughs tour came right after Hammersmith, though, and I was at a couple of those gigs, so I got to see him do “The Bewlay Brothers”, which was another huge thrill.
  14. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident

    Yes it was great hearing him do Bewlay Brothers.

    Another thing I found amusing was that there had been a tube train strike on that day which made getting to the gig a challenge so referencing that other gig he did at the same venue several years earlier he said "not only is it the last show of the tour but it's the last show we will ever do.......when there's a bloody tube strike".
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  15. footprintsinthesand

    footprintsinthesand Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 1

    Dutch mountains
    Then check out this pro shot footage, especially Stay (52:50) and Rebel Rebel (107:45) and focus on Hamilton. He has major problems with his timing and sound isn't all that good either. Some of the worst live versions of these songs.

  16. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    That's the only 1 of the 4 US 1996 club dates I didn't try to attend - just didn't wanna travel that far.

    I don't recall DC/NYC/Philly being too tough, but... maybe? I can't remember! :D
  17. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    The others weren’t difficult, but there were very few spares knocking about for Boston, and, surprisingly, no touts around the venue, either. But, he who dares wins.
  18. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    Life’s too short for me to be analysing Bowie bootleg videos at this stage. I’ll leave that up to you guys, and take your word that Page was having a few issues that night.
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  19. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    In retrospect, I regret not going to Boston.

    I also regret not doing more than the Beacon show during the fall 2002 NYC run. Back then, I'd only go out of town if my parents would watch my dogs. I wouldn't hire a dog-sitter or take them on the road with me. My parents weren't available for the 2002 run so I missed those tiny venue shows.

    Dumb! There are so many shows I missed because of that!

    Now the dogs go with me on road trips - and I hire a dog-sitter when I fly! :cool:
  20. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    That was a really hot gig, in both senses of the word. Live debut of “Seven Years in Tibet”, also.

    I did Snug Harbor — the smallest gig of the tour at 400 capacity, all seated — and St. Ann’s Warehouse. St. Ann’s was the only U.S. gig where he played “The Bewlay Brothers”, I believe. I haven’t fact-checked that, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    It is only the stuff we don’t do that we regret, I feel. I have a few myself, but you can’t let that stuff chew you up. I saw a lot of great gigs over the years; more than most.
  21. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Oh, I'm not "chewed up" by it. I saw Bowie 73 times over the years - wish I could've seen another 73 shows, but given how many people saw him 1 or 0 times, I can't complain! :D

    It's more a "damn, what was I thinking?" thing, not a regret that gnaws me from the inside.

    More with the 2002 shows than Boston 1996. I had no reason to think Boston 1996 would be notably different from the other 3 shows I saw that year, but it was clear the other NYC shows would be special.

    And IIRC, they weren't tough tickets to land - at least not for BowieNet members. Maybe I'm wrong, but I recall that I could've gotten tickets to all if I chose - but I didn't. :sigh:

    Coulda woulda shoulda!
  22. Cat People

    Cat People Forum Resident Thread Starter

    West Midlands
    Some great stories coming out here about people getting tix etc., not sure what I was doing at this time and why I didn't get tickets but keep the stories coming! I only have good stories about the TM gigs in london quite a bit earlier!
    I didn't know Reeves left and they had a gap to fill for this gig; perhaps need to give the Helmet guitarist credit for the step in....
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  23. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident

    I think the Storytellers show was the last gig Reeves played with Bowie. That was in August 1999 I believe. So Page came in for the Hours promo tour which included this small group of gigs as well as the various TV performances that Bowie did at this time.
  24. akmonday

    akmonday Forum Resident

    berkeley, ca
    interesting, I didn't know that; does anyone know the details? was there a row or falling out? at any rate I think his leaving was several years too late.
  25. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    Do tell.

    I queued overnight in Bradford, in 1989, and in my hometown of Manchester, in 1991.

    The International 2 was in Longsight, a rough area of South Manchester (the venue itself is long gone now). Luckily, there were plenty of friendly faces to keep me company. Simple Minds were playing at Man Shitty’s ground that night, and you could hear the sound drifting across town. The Minds gig was on Saturday, 10 August 1991, so the Tin Machine tickets must have gone on sale on the Sunday morning.
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