Why David Bowie Glastonbury’s magical set was cut halfway by the BBC in 2000


Widely regarded as one of the best stages in Glastonbury’s rich 50-year history, David Bowie’s 2000 title performance has a mysterious air about it – as much of it has never been seen before. television. A quarter of a million people are said to have gathered in the pyramid scene field for the magical and historic ensemble, in the days leading up to the huge Worthy Farm site, surrounded by a wall, and the Festival founder Michael Eavis often mentions him as his favorite Glastonbury Festival Moment.

Glasto fans can watch the full two-hour series tonight (June 28) at 9:30 p.m. on BBC Two for the first time, but why was the full performance not shown to the nation the night that night? has occurred?

Mark Cooper, who was responsible for the BBC’s broadcast in June 2000, revealed exactly what happened in The Guardian.

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He wrote: “We had the Chemical Brothers on Friday and Travis on Saturday, but the whole story of the festival was built around Bowie.

“However, there was a problem: Bowie really didn’t want to be filmed.

“Weeks of quarreling, coaxing, and even advocating through Bowie publicist Alan Edwards had ended in a kind but steadfast stalemate.

“We could film and broadcast the first four songs of the ensemble, then one or two songs from the recall, but no more. “

Cooper added, “Just after 10 p.m. Bowie appeared behind the scenes on camera, looking nervous but determined.

“Moments later, he was on stage … he got into Station to Station’s Wild to the Wind, then China Girl.

“He followed him with Changes, a song he started when he appeared on Worthy Farm in 1971 as the sun rose.

“We were only three songs and the crowd was already eating from Bowie’s hand.

“As Edwards and I started watching filming in director Janet Fraser-Crook’s scanner, it was obvious that we were headed for a broadcasting disaster if we interrupted it. “

Mr. Cooper went with Bowie’s publicist on the side of the stage in an attempt to get the message to the main man about showing more of the set to viewers at home, but the trip was unsuccessful .

Cooper wrote: “I rushed into the BBC Two scanner moments before the end of Life On Mars and I had to explain to the presenter, Jamie Theakston, that we were coming out of Bowie.

“Unfortunately, we had nothing to filter that could explain from a distance why we were coming out of the big man in full circulation.

“Ultimately, Jamie presented a short film exploring the world of underground theater in Glastonbury, which resulted in Jools accompanying Michael Eavis on an Elvis gospel from the Rabbit Hole. It was weird and inexplicable and, if I had been a spectator, unforgivable. ”

Cooper continued, “Since then I have often tried to persuade his management to let us see more of the evening’s performances.

“There have been murmurs on the audio quality, on certain aspects of the performance, but I think that the big man already had at least half an eye on posterity.

“I think Bowie knew exactly what he was doing on the night of June 25, 2000.

“He wasn’t about to show off his peak performance or his catalog for nothing.

“He hoarded that night so that one day he could be shown in all its splendor as his legacy, the culmination of his golden years and surely his greatest concert since he buried Ziggy Stardust at Hammersmith in July 1973.

“It is a time capsule from his life, ready to be shared with us now that the stars have aligned. “

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What are you waiting for? See you at the pyramid!

David Bowie to the Glastonbury 2000 setlist – in full

1. The wind is wild

2. China Girl

3. Changes

4. Stay

5. Life on Mars?

6. Absolute beginners

7. Ashes to Ashes

8. Rebel Rebel

9. Little Wonder

10. Golden Years

11. Renown

12. All the young guys

13. The man who sold the world

14. Station to station

15. Starman

16. Hallo Spaceboy

17. under pressure


18. Ziggy Stardust

19. “Heroes”

20. Let’s Dance

21. I’m afraid of the Americans


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