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Glass Spider (1988)

David Bowie's Glass Spider Tour show, held in November 1987 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Australia.

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David Bowie's Glass Spider Tour show, held in November 1987 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Australia.

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1988 (USA)  »

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The Pointing Finger at the Glass Spider Affair
18 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

Now that it's out on DVD, this irredeemably embarrassing and excruciatingly funny spectacle is graven for posterity! In search of a persona and fighting to stay inside rock's credibility jungle, the Great Man cowls behind a self-aggrandizing third-rate variety extravaganza, 80's style, by descending from a giant glass spider, instantly reminiscent of the tacky flying saucer from which the Electric Light Orchestra used to emerge. The embarrassment level of the on-stage antics seriously rivals that of Kiss, Genesis, Queen, Blue Öyster Cult or Led Zeppelin at their pantomimic worst. He continually tries to ingratiate himself with the crowd by putting on a nauseating Phil Collins-style false bonhomie, with a barrage of smiling, winking, grimacing and looks of false surprise as the stage troupe drags him back from the edge of the stage when he tries to touch hands with the audience. And gee whiz! A girl in the crowd gets up on stage and turns out to be one of the troupe! High comedy points include the tatty, pretentious introduction to 'Time' and Bowie performing levitation on a girl as a resurrected Peter Frampton wails out an off-key rendition of 'Sons of the Silent Age', but what really rolled me out of bed in stitches was the look on Bowie's face during the hysterical 'sitting-on-the-toilet' dance in the middle of 'Fame' – a real belter. If you see a copy, snap it up without a second thought: will correct all manic depressives, potential suicides and those with delusions of grandeur! Hellzapoppin'!


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