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New from Nacho! David Bowie – My Death (Original Complete Version) Live at the Hammersmith Odeon, 3rd July 1973

May 11th, 2020 | by admin
New from Nacho! David Bowie – My Death (Original Complete Version) Live at the Hammersmith Odeon, 3rd July 1973
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This video is a newly enhanced version of the famous David Bowie performance of Jacques Brel’s ‘My Death’. It features newly remastered sound, and includes Bowie’s infamous introduction, that is omitted from all official releases.

My Death was a dramatic way to end the first half of the Hammersmith show. Additional drama spontaneously occurred because in the last line of the song, “Behind the door, there is…”, Bowie doesn’t get to add “…you”; the fans beat him to it, screaming back at him, “Me! Me! Me!”

But what is not seen or heard on any of the official releases of the movie, or the soundtrack album, is Bowie’s intro to the song. This video restores that intro in full:
Before the performance of My Death, Bowie repeatedly asks the frenzied audience to quieten down, so that he can perform the solemn and sensitive song. But when the fans fail to do as he asks, Bowie loses patience with them, and finally demands, “Be quiet!”

Utilised in this video is a matrix of sources, originating predominantly from several versions of the D.A. Pennebaker in concert / rockumentary film, shot at the Hammersmith ’73 show.

Although the legendary final Ziggy and the Spiders Hammersmith performance took place in 1973, it was to be six years until Pennebaker’s movie of the show had its theatrical premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival, on 31 August 1979. And it would be a further four years until the film was finally released in UK cinemas, in 1983.

During that ’73 to ’83 period, there were a lot of post-production work done to the material. Both the visual and audio that was captured that night was generally considered to be below par. Pennebaker struggled with the project, acknowledging that the resulting film was “very sloppy”. Bowie was until the early 80’s not much interested in helping to salvage the material, having abandoned the Ziggy Stardust character and moved on. Even after the 1983 release, subsequent revised versions of the film and its soundtrack have been produced and released.

An initial version of the film was finished in 1974, and in the 1975 David Bowie documentary Cracked Actor, there is a scene of Bowie in L.A., watching that ’74 cut on a home projector. The film was shown in US movie theatres in ‘74, and ABC-TV broadcast a shortened 60-minute version on the 25th of October that year, as an episode of the network’s regular series In Concert.

The official accompanying soundtrack album, ‘Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)’ was first released in 1983. However, a widely circulated bootleg had been available for many years, containing highlights from the show. The official release, when it did finally surface, surprised many fans, because in places it was quite radically different to the familiar bootlegs. The official release omitted several songs. And due to the extensive overdubbing by Bowie and different musicians, editors and producers over the years, some tracks were almost unrecognisable from the originals. It is said that when in 2003 Tony Visconti stepped in, he ended up removing some of the more intrusive and obvious overdubbing.

Most of the footage in this video originates from the current 2003 DVD version of the Ziggy movie. The extra footage is from one of the early cuts of the film – David Bowie “A London Show”.

I am not keen on the official audio of the My Death performance, featuring as it does a very obviously overdubbed funereal sounding organ. The audio used here is an enhanced version of the DVD soundtrack, remastered exclusively for this video by Neil Wilkes at Opus Productions Ltd.

Since all the official releases omit the intro and outro sections, I’ve used part of the original monitor mix from the night, as recorded by Robin Mayhew, the live sound man for all of Bowie’s Ziggy shows. The complete monitor mix of show is available on CD via Robin’s site

I produced a previous version of this video back in 2016. It was one of the very many Bowie videos I created in an obsessive continuous blur of work in the months that followed DB’s passing.

That video quickly achieved almost a quarter of a million views, and then suddenly one day last year, it was blocked for copyright reasons.

After many requests to make that video available again, I decided instead to produce a new version, since I had better quality source material, and more sophisticated editing software and techniques at my fingertips. Subsequently that second version was taken down, when Vimeo deleted all the music videos from the channel I had on their platform. And so here’s a third version, a few more of the wrinkles ironed out.

Hope you dig it!


Video Source:
David Bowie • My Death • Hammersmith Odeon • London • 3rd of July 1973 • From the movie Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars • 1983 • David Bowie A London Show • 1974 • Directed by D.A. Pennebaker

Audio Source:
David Bowie • My Death • Hammersmith Odeon • London • 3rd of July 1973 • Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture DVD • 2003
Ziggy Stardust Hammersmith Odeon 3rd July 1973 • The Robin Mayhew monitor mix •

Vocals & 12-string guitar • David Bowie
Piano • Mike Garson

Producers • David Bowie • Mike Moran • Tony Visconti • Robin Mayhew

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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#DavidBowie #MyDeath #ZiggyStardust #HammersmithOdeon #DAPennebaker #MikeGarson #TonyVisconti #1973

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