1974 was an interesting year for David Bowie. He officially moved to the United States, released his album Diamond Dogs plus his first live album and documentary, and officially became an international superstar. The City of Boston forever became a part of Bowie lore when he came to the Boston Music Hall (now known as the Wang Center) for three straight nights of shows beginning on November 14, 1974.
Diamond Dogs was by far Bowie’s most successful U.S. release at the time, and his third straight No.1 album in the U.K. It features the undisputed classic “Rebel Rebel,” which is one of those songs that even if you don’t know it by name, you’ve heard the riff.
The album translated to a lavishly produced live show, which Bowie took all around North America on the Diamond Dogs tour of ’74, which stopped in Boston for not one, not two, but three straight nights. According to Bowie biography Strange Fascination, the tour really took a physical and emotional toll on Bowie as he descended into cocaine addiction, which was documented in the 1975 BBC film Cracked Actor.
The tour also produced Bowie’s first live album, simply titled David Live, which contains performances from the early part of the tour. The below clip, however, claims to be from the Boston show. Wherever it’s from, the performance sounds pretty good and the audio quality is better than you think.
Here’s the full playlist from the show if you’re interested.
Were you at any of the three shows David Bowie played at the Music Hall in 1974? How was his performance? Share your memories in the comments.