Posts Tagged ‘Serious Moonlight Tour’

Stevie ray vaughan with david bowie the 1983 rehearsal broadcast double lp gatefold coloured 76939 1

In January 1983, David Bowie invited Stevie Ray Vaughan to record guitar for six new tracks he’d written for his upcoming album, “Let s Dance”. Vaughan’s powerful and unique guitar work brought a fresh sound to Bowie’s music, most famously on songs like China Girl and the record s title track. With the album a success, Bowie was keen for Vaughan to join his group for the subsequent “Serious Moonlight Tour”. However, with Vaughan reluctant to leave his own band Double Trouble (who had just finished recording their debut album, “Texas Flood”), David’s management offered to let the group open the show on select tour dates. However, just four days before the tour began, Bowie’s team reneged, telling Vaughan’s manager, Chesley Millikin,that the band would not be included and, furthermore, Vaughan wasn’t allowed to talk about the group or its new record in interviews. With the offer pulled, Milikin understandably took Vaughan off the tour. And although both artists still achieved huge critical and commercial success during the 1980s, what they might have gone on to do together remains one of rock’s great “What Ifs”. No video footage of Bowie and Vaughan performing together is known to exist. However, rehearsals for the tour, which took place at the Las Colinas Soundstage in Dallas – Stevie Ray’s hometown – on 26th April 1983, were not only recorded but broadcast on local radio too, thus allowing these legendary sessions to be heard again today.

This is interesting to hear the clever musical arrangements particularly the crisp horn sounds and backing vocals. Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar here and was due to be a part of the touring band. His contributions are pretty much what you’d expect rather than anything fiery or super- inventive.
Bowie and the backing singers make some mistakes particularly Life on Mars, Golden Years and Red Sails, on which Bowie seems to be trying to find the correct voice.
It’s a must-have for fans but please be aware that 132 minutes were broadcast.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and David Bowie live 1983 rehearsal broadcast for the Serious Moonlight Tour! From An FM Radio Broadcast Recorded At The Las Calinas Soundstage, Dallas, TX, 26th April 1983. 19 tracks total including China Girland Let’s Dance.

Despite David Bowie’s generous offer to take him on tour, in 1983 Texas blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan declined the offer just before the start of Bowie’s “Serious Moonlight Tour” in pursuit of his own interests. Stevie Ray though did, however, participate in tour rehearsals with David Bowie and his band, and lucky for us, someone caught the entire rehearsal session on tape! Recorded live at the Las Calinas Soundstage in Dallas, Texas, this audio features Stevie Ray Vaughan running through the song “Let’s Dance” –  I don’t know if it’s a case of David Bowie only working with the music industry’s best and brightest or if this is just a really, really good rehearsal session, but this rendition of “Let’s Dance” sounds just as amazing as an actual studio recording!

Some highlights of the “Let’s Dance” rehearsal include the explosive solo that Stevie plays beginning at 3:41 and running until the end of the song nearly two minutes later, and at the end you can hear Stevie, David, and the rest of the band complimenting each other on a job well done.

 The final night of Bowie’s Serious Moonlight Tour fell on the third anniversary of the death of John Lennon. In honor of John’s passing, Bowie and his band performed “Imagine” that night.