Live: Municipal Auditorium, Nashville

David Bowie performed at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium on 13 April 1978, as part of the Isolar II Tour.

It was the 11th date of the tour, which began on 29 March in San Diego. This was Bowie’s only show in Baton Rouge.

His guitarists were Carlos Alomar and Adrian Belew. Simon House was on electric violin, Sean Mayes played piano, and Roger Powell was on keyboards and synthesizers. George Murray played bass guitar and Dennis Davis was on drums.

They call Nashville ‘Music City, USA’. Broadway is Music Street, wide and dusty with square old buildings and everything faded in the sun. It’s lined with music stores, small bars and cafés and boutiques of country ‘n’ western gear. The music stores are, in fact, mostly pawn shops well supplied by musicians falling on hard times. Everywhere there are young Nashville cats guitar-picking at top speed. We looked at the rhinestone cowboy gear and I bought a couple more plastic jackets. The owner pressed us to bring the whole band along after the show but we escaped promising him a photo of the band for his wall – though no such photo was ever taken!

Back in ’73 on the Ziggy tour with Fumble, David – the outrageous red-head – had received anonymous threats so that night the theatre was crawling with cops to protect him, a bizarre situation as many of them would have liked to carry out the threat themselves. As one said to Fumble, ‘We hate that fag Boo-wie but we love your rock ‘n’ roll!’ So a couple of them came up to our dressing-room to chat and we tried on their caps and weighed their guns. One of them came round to the hotel the next day and drove us all round Nashville – his girlfriend even got us in to see the Grand Ole Oprey that night. He also took us to the store where they buy their uniforms and we were able to get a couple of genuine cop jackets – smart bomber-jackets with P for Police on the shiny silver buttons.

I tried to get in touch with an old friend called Mickey again, but in five years he had gone without trace.

After the show (which my diary reports as a bit subdued) we all went down to the hotel bar. It was dimly lit and David came in quietly among Tony, Frank and Coco. Soon after, a pretty crazy bunch of people filled the place. Matthew arrived with a few friends, strangely shy about being in the same bar as the Man. But they soon got busy mouthing off the crowd.

Sean Mayes
Life On Tour With Bowie

Bowie first performed at the Municipal Auditorium during the Ziggy Stardust Tour on 20 November 1972. The Diamond Dogs Tour visited the venue on 29 June and 30 November 1974, and Bowie returned for a fourth time on 7 March 1976, during the Isolar Tour.

The setlist

Last updated: 16 October 2023
Live: LSU Assembly Center, Baton Rouge
Live: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis
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