Mike Garson and Friends Celebrate Bowie

Three-Hour Performance Paid Tribute to David Bowie’s Cinematic and Timeless Style

You didn’t need to travel to be a part of the masterpiece concert celebration that honored music legend, David Bowie. Mike Garson, Bowie’s longest-standing band member, and pianist hosted “A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day!” He also co-produced the event with Stacey Sher, Kerry Brown, and Rolling Live Studios.

The three-hour production dazzled a worldwide audience on Jan. 9, 2021, with a cinematic tribute to the esteemed entertainer who died on Jan. 10, 2016, two days after the release of his twenty-fifth studio solo album, “Blackstar.” Promoters announced Just For One Day! raised more than $40,000 for “Save the Children, an organization that was also the past recipient of Bowie’s fundraising efforts.

Bowie was known for his visual presentation, as well as his significant impact on popular music. His record sales during his lifetime are estimated at over 100 million records worldwide with chart-topping hits like “Rebel Rebel,” “Changes,” and “Let’s Dance.”

Despite the pandemic, Bowie fans were safely united as they watched the virtual three-hour live stream evening performance “at a time when virtually everyone around the world has been apart,” Garson said in an email interview.

Just For One Day: A Bowie Celebration
Mike Garson, Bowie’s longest-running band member, and pianist hosted and co-produced the cinematic “A Bowie Celebration: “Just For One Day!” a live-streamed star-studded event hosted by Rolling Live Studios. Image courtesy of Steve Rose.

“I was supposed to be on tour right now,” Garson added. “Obviously, due to COVID, that wasn’t going to happen this year. But the music needed to be played. The next best idea was an online streaming concert.

Mike Garson

Despite the obstacles the producers encountered while planning the event, diligence and perseverance allowed Garson to extend an invitation to 40 Bowie alumni and another 40 special guests. The performers either worked with Bowie or were deeply influenced by him and the result, Garson said is a “Woodstock of the virtual world.”

“The amount of talent was overwhelming and stunning with each artist bringing their own voice with heartfelt integrity.”

Mike Garson
Corey Glover performs "Young Americans" at the Just For One Day concert honoring David Bowie.
Corey Glover, an American singer, guitarist, and actor, performed “Young Americans,” a hit from Bowie’s ninth studio album released on March 7, 1975, by RCA Records.

Viewers enjoyed a seamless production thanks to technology and Garson’s unfeigned introductions and insights into the endearing relationships Bowie and his alumni shared. Who better to set the stage for this event than Garson who performed 1,000 shows with Bowie in venues around the world?

Some of the artists performed on stage at Hollywood’s The Bourbon Room while others gathered around the globe to perform. You can view the setlist by following this link.

Duran Duran opened the concert with a rendition of “Five Years,” a song David Bowie wrote and recorded in November 1971, and the opening track on the album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders released in 1972. Bernard Fowler and Nandi Bushell closed the show with Heroes, a song from his twelfth studio album released on Oct. 14, 1977, by RCA Records.

American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, and actress Macy Gray’s distinctive raspy voice offered a personalized rendering to “Changes,” one of Bowie’s best-known songs.

Charlie Sexton’s “Let’s Dance,” Macy Gray, “Changes,” and “Slaughter on 10th Avenue” by Richard Rogers were among the performances that in pre-COVID-19 days would have culminated in standing ovations.

Charlie Sexton is a world-renown musician and vocalist best known for the 1985 solo hit “Beat’s So Lonely.” He also continues to perform as a member of Bob Dylan’s backing band.

Garson’s goals were two-fold: Just For One Day is as much a celebration of Bowie’s music as a means to show gratitude. In Garson’s words,

“Music truly heals and I thank David for his contribution towards that goal.”  

Mike Garson Interview: joanmatsuitravelwriter.com 2021

Visit Rolling Live Studios to learn more about A Bowie Celebration: Just For One Day.

Watch a live-streamed concert on your new Sony TV.

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