Live: Winterland Auditorium, San Francisco

David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars performed at San Francisco’s Winterland Auditorium on 27 October 1972.

It was the 69th date of the Ziggy Stardust Tour, which had begun on 29 January 1972. The support acts were Sylvester and Flo & Eddie, the latter billed as Phlorescent & Eddie.

This was the first of two consecutive nights at the Winterland. Both nights were poorly attended, with around half the tickets sold.

Earlier in the day Mick Rock filmed Bowie and Cyrinda Foxe in and around the Mars Hotel, for use in the promo for ‘The Jean Genie’. One of the cameramen at the shoot was Jerry Slick, the first husband of Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick.

We shot Bowie and Cyrinda on the streets outside the Mars Hotel fairly early in the day. He played the Winterland that night – I remember Sylvester and his band were one of the support acts. I viewed the footage we had the next morning, and thought we didn’t have enough stuff, but, of course, there was no more budget. Somehow I got some more dollars off Defries to rent an Arriflex camera, a silent one, and I went and shot all the live stuff myself the next night, because David did two nights at the Winterland. So, I filmed him singing ‘The Jean Genie’ that night, processed overnight and, because there was no time, edited in one ten-hour rush. If you look at it now, there are no effects whatsoever – they’re all cuts. But lots of the cuts were a matter of necessity because I had to chop it up a lot to keep everything in synch with his live performance, which was fairly close to the recorded version, as he’d only just recorded it. Necessity, as ever, is often the mother of interesting art, and it certainly was in this case.
Mick Rock
Aladdin Sane – 30th Anniversary Edition

Last updated: 1 May 2023
Live: Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica
Live: Winterland Auditorium, San Francisco
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