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Music

Glastonbury 2022: Pianist Mike Garson remembers the moment David Bowie made history 20 years ago

As Glastonbury soars towards the moment that Paul McCartney sets the Pyramid Stage alight this evening, many of us have been recalling seismic moments of old. Pianist Mike Garson was lucky enough to enjoy one of those from a stage-level view with David Bowie.

The classically trained rock and jazz pianist is known for his work with ‘The Starman’, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails and numerous symphonies, recalled: “David looked out at the quarter of a million fans. Something about that day made me feel it’d be the most powerful concert even in Glastonbury history.”

It didn’t disappoint. The 2000 edition of the famed festival remains a glorious one where Bowie was at his best. As Garson adds: “After playing with David for so many shows, our night in Glastonbury was my favourite.”

When Bowie first played the festival in 1971, it only had one year under its belt, and yet it still managed to save his career. As he said when he decided to return: “Ah! Now I remember why I want to do it again. I left my Bipperty-Bopperty hat there, in the farmhouse. I wonder if it’s still on the chair? With my bottle of cannabis tincture?”

Before getting a touch more serious and adding: “Also, I can’t resist the idea of encouraging all those slightly dazed and glazed peeps to give their voices full throttle to a chorus or two of a song or three. Just one last time. Oops! I’ll never say ‘never again’, again. Possibly.”

He is still sorely missed, and his set is still beautifully remembered. You can check out Garson’s full recollection of that glorious day at Glastonbury below. 

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