Celebrate David Bowie’s 74th Birthday with Unreleased Bob Dylan & John Lennon Covers from the ’90s

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Today, Jan. 8, would have been the 74th birthday of David Bowie — and his estate is commemorating the occasion by dipping into the vaults for a pair of previously unreleased covers recorded by the legendary singer/cultural icon in the 1990s.

Here’s Bowie’s rendition of “Mother,” a song originally recorded by John Lennon for his 1970 album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Bowie’s version was produced by Tony Visconti in 1998, as part of a Lennon tribute record that didn’t end up happening:

Bob Dylan‘s “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” is the other cover shared on Friday. This one, a cover of a song featured on Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind (which won the Album of the Year GRAMMY) was recorded by Bowie in 1998.

These two covers were dug up as part of a number of events planned surrounding Bowie’s birthday as well as the five-year anniversary of his death in 2016, which is coming up on Jan. 10 — as the man passed away just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his album Blackstar.

Tonight, Jan. 8, Mike Garson of Bowie’s longtime band will host Mike Garson’s A Bowie Celebration: Just for One Day! –– a very special global live stream musical event honoring Bowie’s legacy. It will be a virtual edition of his frequent Bowie Celebration concert tours, which (in non-pandemic circumstances) has delighted crowds around the world for a few years now, keeping the spirit of the legendary artist‘s music alive.

Additionally, from Jan. 8 through Jan. 10, Lazarus, the stage musical written by Bowie that premiered in 2015 and was one of the final artistic works he created before his death, will be streamed for the first time, with  multiple showings across four different time zones.

The performance was filmed at London’s King’s Cross Theatre in 2016, and stars actor Michael C. Hall (DexterSix Feet Under) as Thomas Newton, portraying the character Bowie first played in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth (based on the 1963 novel by Walter Tevis).

Tickets to watch this special performance are on sale now, for $21.50 in the United States. Click here for more ticket details.

Speaking with Rock Cellar’s Jeff Slate about Bowie in a retrospective chat a month after his passing, longtime guitarist/collaborator Carlos Alomar reflected on the manner in which Bowie died … which was very much “in his own way,” so to speak:

“It was very difficult to deal with the passing of my best friend. But, the way that he did it was so stylish, the art part of his death. Quite honestly, I so appreciated the fact that as a man, he took care of his family, and they were not subjected to the anguish, to the ‘Hey, am I on the guest list?’ part of a funeral, with people vying for position, because I’ve been through that. People can be so insensitive and not consider what the family is going through.”

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