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David Bowie – Station To Station (Live, 1976)

July 1st, 2016 | by admin

David Bowie • Station to Station • Live 1976

The video I edited in 2016, combining Phillipe Bergeron’s 1976 Montreal Forum footage, cut to Station to Station from the Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 album.

The David Bowie Isolar – 1976 Tour

Every night before the band took the stage, there was a screening of “Un Chien Andalou”, the 1929 silent surrealist short film. Then the movie screen would go up, and Stacy Heydon’s intense guitar howls would fill the hall. “It all became real when I sat on the stage watching them all file into the venue. We’d sound checked at 3ish and Buford Jones had the house audio dialed in. We were confident and well-rehearsed. It was this 21-year-old’s second time performing in front of tens of thousands of people and I could barely wait for the Dali film to end, and for me to fire up the Marshalls and get the show started with my feedback/intro to Station to Station. For the first minute or so, standing there solo doin’ my thang, my knees would have been shaking…” – Stacy Heydon

The Footage

I first came across the footage that Phillipe Bergeron shot himself 40 years ago, via the 60 seconds that he had posted, on January the 11th 2016, the day that the world heard David Bowie had died.

At that time I had been scouring the web for material to flesh out a TVC 15 live ’76 video I was working on. There is virtually no decent footage available from the ’76 tour. A few minutes of fragments from three songs was shown on French TV. According to legend, the TV station shot five songs at the final Paris show. But the reels were misplaced when the TV station moved their archive, and unfortunately remain lost.

Philippe’s one minute of footage was only Super 8, but it was very well shot, and unlike anything I’d seen before. I immediately contacted him, basically asking, “Is there more than 60 seconds, and can I have it please?” Eventually, we talked on the phone a bit, and Philippe agreed to let me have his footage for my use.

What came exceeded all expectations. It was beautiful material – close ups, long shots, pans and zooms from at least 5 totally different locations in the venue. And, unusually, plenty of band shots. The footage astonished me and I could hardly believe what I was seeing. However, the reel was silent, and moreover, there was no complete song, or even lengthy take. Just very short scenes, mostly less than 10 seconds, sometimes only 2 or 3 seconds, evidently filmed throughout the entire show.

The detective work began to ascertain what songs were being performed to decide out what the best use of the footage would be. Breaking the reel down into its separate components meant I had over 50 mini scenes. Among the fragments of other songs I did eventually identify, there was – crucially – several verifiable short sections of Station To Station. Although these fragments only totaled less than a minute, an idea began to predominate – re-purpose the entire footage, use every scene, avoid dipping into any other source, and synch it to the Nassau live version of Station to Station.

To cut a very long story short, I managed to utilize almost every second of Philippe’s footage. Where I used a verified Station To Station scene, in its correct place, I have left it naked. In other places, the long cross fades, the superimposing, and other effects, are devices to distract us from noticing that Bowie is not in fact singing the correct line, or indeed even the correct song.

I don’t know how many millions of digital manipulations I made to produce this thing, but certainly more could be done to improve it. There are some compromises in this video that I am not content with, but after in excess of 200 hours of obsessive and often frustrating work, including stretches of profound desperation when there were many minutes of blank void to fill, and no material or imagination to fill them, I’ve decided that this will have to do.

So, after forty years, finally here is…
The return of the thin white duke.

Thanks for watching, hope you dig it!

Video Source:
Super 8 footage of David Bowie at The Montreal Forum, Canada • 25 February 1976 • Footage shot by Phillipe Bergeron

Audio Source:
David Bowie • Station to Station • Live Nassau Coliseum • 23 March 1976 • from the album Live Nassau Coliseum ’76

Musicians:
David Bowie • Vocals
Stacey Heydon • Guitar
Dennis Davis • Drums
Carlos Alomar • Guitar
George Murray • Bass
Tony Kaye • Keyboards
Harry Maslin • Production

Always more videos to follow, so please keep your electric eye on me babe!

I don’t own the rights, and I’m not making any money out of this etc. Just a fan making videos for other fans.

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