David Bowie Reportedly Retired From Touring

Sure, David Bowie is staying active in the studio, including last week’s release of the opening credits theme he composed for the TV series “The Last Panthers.” But don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s returning to the road any time soon. Solo Agency managing director John Giddings says Bowie has retired from touring.

Giddings’ big breakthrough was arranging Bowie’s 1987 “Glass Spider Tour” stop at England’s Wembley Stadium, according to Douglas Stafford’s When Performance Is Everything Summer 2013 newsletter. That led to working with artists including The Rolling Stones and U2. In addition to heading up Solo Agency, Giddings runs the Isle of Wight Festival.

Photo: Peter Kramer/AP, file
Attending the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York.

The topic of Bowie’s touring plans was brought up during an interview at the International Festival Forum.

“David [Bowie] is one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with,” Giddings said, according to Music Week. “But every time I see him now, before I even speak to him, he goes, I’m not touring and I say, I’m not asking.”

Giddings added, “He has decided to retire and, like Phil Collins, you can’t demand these people go out there again and again and again. I’m really pleased and proud that the last show he ever did in the UK was the 2004 Isle Of Wight Festival.”

After touring in 2004, Bowie has just played a handful of dates. He last took the stage in November 2006 at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom as part of Keep a Child Alive’s annual Black Ball fundraiser.  The three-song set was made up of “Wild Is The Wind,” “Fantastic Voyage” and a duet of “Changes” with Alicia Keys, according to Rolling Stone.

Last week Sky Atlantic released a 45-second clip of a track called “Blackstar,” which was commissioned for the British crime drama “The Last Panthers.” Rolling Stone notes that “it’s unclear if and when the entire song will be released.”

Bowie has also written four new songs for the musical “Lazarus,” which is directed by Ivo van Hove and opens at the New York Theatre Workshop in November. Inspired by “The Man Who Fell to Earth” character Thomas Newton, the new production is by Bowie and Enda Walsh. Bowie portrayed Newton in the 1976 screen adaption.