Jan. 10 [Updated 18:00 EST] — David Bowie celebrated his birthday a day late Thursday night with a star-packed birthday concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“I’m having a ball,” Bowie told MTV News. “I like where I’m at, and this show is looking like it might be a real occasion to remember, for me especially.”
The show was probably a night to remember for the thousands of fans who flocked to the Garden as well, as a string of artists stepped to the mic to pay tribute to the Thin White Duke. Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan joined Bowie for versions of “All the Young Dudes” and “Jean Genie,” (QuickTime, 640k) Sonic Youth pitched in on “I’m Afraid of Americans,” (QuickTime, 850k) and Foo Fighters lent their talents to “7 Years In Tibet” and “Hello Spaceboy” (QuickTime, 960k) with Dave Grohl hopping behind the drum kit.
Former-Pixie Frank Black was the first guest to take the stage, joining Bowie for “Heart’s Filthy Lesson” and “Scary Monsters” and Robert Smith of the Cure later turned up to help Bowie with “Last Thing You Said” and “Quicksand.” The evening’s largest chunk of guest stage time went to Lou Reed, who cranked out versions of “Queen Bitch,” “Waiting For the Man,” “Dirty Boulevard,” and “White Light, White Heat.” Bowie himself closed the evening with an acoustic rendition of his classic “Space Oddity.”
“It was a little bit first come, first serve,” Bowie said of assembling the evening’s line up. “I made a list of about 20 different people thinking that I would get way down the list, and I didn’t even get past the top six.”
The artist formerly known as Ziggy Stardust himself selected his guests, and the material they performed at the concert. “The first thing I said was, ‘Wow, I love those songs, but I cannot sing them. They’re too high’” Billy Corgan said backstage.
“He went, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ What do I say, you know?”