By Jeevin Johal
February 16, 2019
On the surface, the Beatles are just four, slick white kids from Liverpool, but in the shadows, Keyboardist Billy Preston played an integral role in helping form many of their iconic melodies, while all the glory and accolades went solely to the fab four. Preston is one of many session musicians whose role extends beyond just showing up and gigging, but actually helping shape the identities of some of Pop music’s elite, while all the while taking a back seat to fame.
Another such musician is Mike Garson. Garson recorded on over 20 of David Bowie’s albums and was witness to his many personas, adapting his playing style to enhance that of his chameleon leader’s, without attaining commercial recognition himself. Though this past Saturday, Garson played Conductor and was joined by a select group of Bowie band alumni to pay tribute to the man whose spotlight he sat alongside for so many years.
Seasoned singer, Bernard Fowler was first of many vocalists that would take a crack at some of the Thin White Duke’s gems. With only Garson on piano, the two began the night with, “Bring me the Disco King,” before Veteran guitarists Charlie Sexton, and Earl Slick joined the stage to amp up the crowd with bangers like “Rebel, Rebel,” and “Fame.” Guatemalan singer Gaby Moreno performed an emotional rendition of “Rock n’ Roll Suicide,” that if hasn’t yet been recorded for a coming of age indie film, likely soon will. But of all the singer’s it was certainly former Living Colour frontman Corey Glover that stole the show with his wildly operatic version of “Young Americans.”
This ain’t no cover band. These musicians names may be buried within the liner notes of many esteemed Bowie records, but they put in the work that helped craft the man who many consider Rock’s greatest performer. For real though, when are we going to get a Living Colour reunion?