On “Changes,” David Bowie sang, "Look out you rock-and-rollers, one of these days you're gonna get older.” He was 24 then, with a glamorous life of glitter and stardust ahead of him.
But the song became a self-fulfilling prophecy as Bowie did, indeed, get older. And then he got liver cancer and passed away last week at age 69, reminding his legions of fans that mortality is a real thing. If David Bowie can die, anyone can die.
His passing was tragic, especially since his fans knew nothing of the cancer diagnosis he’d kept secret for 18 months. Of course, in true Bowie style, he managed to turn his death into a piece of art through his latest album, Blackstar, which was released just days before his death and was recorded as his requiem of sorts.
Memphis Bowie fans are mourning in true Memphis fashion — with rock ’n’ roll. Drummer Graham Winchester, who plays for a number of bands, quickly organized a line-up of local musicians for “Memphis Does Bowie,” a tribute concert at Minglewood Hall on Saturday, January 23rd. The proceeds from the $15 cover charge will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“The motivation was to turn a sad and tragic moment in music history into a catalyst for positivity. St. Jude’s involvement makes the tribute and the charity work a double header of amazingness,” Winchester told the Memphis Flyer (Memphis magazine’s sister publication).
The all-ages show will feature a mix of 17 bands and solo acts, each covering two to four Bowie songs. The show’s line-up grew so quickly that Minglewood had to move the benefit from its planned location of the 1884 Lounge to the much larger main stage venue.
Memphis Flyer film editor Chris McCoy’s band Super Witch is scheduled to play “Cat People,” Bowie’s lively and haunting theme song to the 1982 erotic horror film of the same name. McCoy says he’ll perform the song in his very best Bowie voice but warns that he also sounds a little like Danzig.
Here’s the full line-up:
6:00-6:05 EJ Friedman
6:10-6:25 Another Green World
6:30-6:40 The Sheiks
6:40-6:55 Staniel Brown
7:00-7:15 Graham Burks Presents: Infinity Stars
7:20-7:35 Crockett Hall
7:40-7:55 Electric Eye
8:00-8:05 Tiffany Harmon
8:10-8:30 Subtractions & Lorette Velvette
8:35-8:50 Richard James & the Special Riders
8:55-9:05 Brian Sharpe
9:10-9:20 Zigadoo Moneyclips
9:25- 9:40 Super Witch
9:45-10:10 The Incredible Hook
10:15-10:30 Jack O & the Tennessee Tearjerkers
10:35-11:00 Graham Winchester with special guests
11:05- 11:10 Chris Johnson & Landon Moore
11:15 -11:50 Clay Otis with Luke White & Friends
11:50-12:00 Grand finale of “Heroes”