He’ll be remembered like Beethoven, in a hundred years’ time,” longtime producer Tony Visconti said of David Bowie recently, and, five years on from the artist’s death, his colossal influence still resonates across all manner of art forms. The latest incarnations range from the new Harry Styles single to a children’s relaxation app that features “Ziggy’s hunky dory sleepy story”.
The weekend that would have marked the singer’s 74th birthday brought a flurry of activity, not least this epic livestreamed tribute. Pianist Mike Garson, Bowie’s longest-serving musician, curated a lineup of singers and six-decades worth of Bowie alumni – almost 100 musicians – for three hours of sound and vision. The 40 songs ranged from obvious classics to lesser-known gems such as Strangers When We Meet and Conversation Piece. Despite a hiccup (blaming technical issues and Covid) meaning a 24-hour postponement, the event finally got off to a strong start with Duran Duran’s homage to Five Years, Bowie’s enormous shadow looming fondly over their coiffured hair and tailored suits.