Mike Garson regales the audience with a tale of David Bowie at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Feb. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Imagine if David Bowie, alive and healthy today, were to hit the road for a tour. He would undoubtedly call up pianist Mike Garson and say, “All right, let’s assemble a band.”
The results of such an imagined scenario became joyous reality at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Saturday when Mike there assembled the world’s greatest Bowie band. Banded together to play many of the most powerful Bowie hits, the musicians gathered from across Bowie’s career read like a who’s who in a moonage daydream of a Bowie group — guitarist Earl Slick, guitarist Gerry Leonard, bassist Carmine Rojas, and the impeccable Mr. Garson.
Mike Garson (Photo by Jiro Schneider)
To tell the story of David Bowie is to tell the story of the musicians he chose to play with him over his career spanning roughly 50 years. For at least 30 of those years, pianist Mike Garson sat next to Bowie in the studio and on the stage. Listeners perhaps first heard Mike in the fantastic piano on “Aladdin Sane” in 1973. Now, Mike is leading a team of musicians who performed shows with Bowie in a tribute concert called Celebrating David Bowie, and locally the show launches a North American tour at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Saturday, Feb. 10.
Mike played piano on at least 16 Bowie albums, beginning with Aladdin Sane and ending with A Reality Tour (live album). The Celebrating David Bowie show presents his vision of a concert by David today, including songs like “Ashes to Ashes, “Let’s Dance,” “Life on Mars,” “Fame,” “The Man Who Sold the World,” and more. Parklife DC caught up with Mike Garson to chat about the tour, the last time he saw David Bowie, and his plans for keeping David’s music alive.