Live: Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio

David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars performed at the Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio, on 22 September 1972.

It was the 59th date of the Ziggy Stardust tour, which had begun on 29 January 1972.

The tour opened at the Cleveland Music Hall on 22 September. The venue held 3,000 and had sold out in two days thanks to Denny Sanders, musical director, and Billy Bass, programme director at WMMS Radio, who had played Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust tracks repeatedly, introducing the area to our music and creating an enthusiastic fan base. We were already the talk of the town by the time we got to Cleveland.

We began the show with ‘Hang On To Yourself’ and the crowd loved it. Bowie had done a press conference earlier that day and had been a bit withdrawn, but by stage time he’d shed any inhibitions and stalked the stage like a madman. We did more or less the same show as we’d done in the UK and if I remember correctly we included ‘Lady Stardust’, one of the few times we played this song live. The experience we’d gained on our UK tour, plus the addition of Mike Garson, really helped us find our feet and the sound of the band and the performance seemed to have moved up to another level. It was exciting and the audience let us know it was the same for them. At the end we received an ovation that lasted about ten minutes. We’d done our first US concert and it had gone down amazingly, the perfect start to the tour.

Bowie loved all this. He was still in control of the Ziggy persona at the start of the first US tour and was able to adopt and discard his onstage character with relative ease. He’d wanted to be famous for years, and had worked incredibly hard to achieve it – and here he was, the biggest star of the hour.

Woody Woodmansey
Spider From Mars: My Life With Bowie

The support act was Lindisfarne. The show was a sell-out, with all 3,200 tickets sold. Afterwards a party was held at the Hollenden Hotel in Cleveland.

Last updated: 27 April 2023
Rehearsal: Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Travel: Cleveland to Memphis
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