I recently came across a “on this date” type article on a Buffalo media outlet’s website, which mentioned the 40th anniversary of Bowie’s Serious Moonlight tour stop in 1983. I was 14, my sister was 13. She wanted to see Bowie. I had no interest. So my mother took her along with our friend Caroline Hassett (who has saved a promotional pin from the concert to this day). I didn’t think much of missing the concert at the time but have regretted it almost ever since.
The piece commemorating the concert’s anniversary mentioned that it took place at Buffalo’s War Memorial Auditorium, the same location as the 1974 concert from which director Brett Morgen took footage of Bowie singing “Rock’n Roll with Me” for his 2022 documentary Moonage Daydream. (See my post from September 2nd on Bowie’s connection to the continuum of Buffalo’s waterfront).
Bowie came back in 1987. Well, he didn’t actually come back to Buffalo that year, but he brought the Glass Spider tour to nearby Toronto. By that point I had begun to realize that I recognized several Bowie songs and liked them. At 18 there was no need for my mother (by then, age 45), so a friend and I went. I have been a fan ever since. I subsequently saw Bowie in Buffalo twice, and twice more again in Toronto. I also saw him in Pittsburgh and Hartford. I remain mad at my 14-year old self for passing on the opportunity in 1983.
Out of curiosity I searched YouTube to see if there was a bootleg of the ‘83 Buffalo concert, and sure enough here it is. The audio quality is surprisingly good. It sounds like a great concert. And I think I hear my mother being a wiseass, shouting “Freebird!!!”