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This article was published 11/1/2016 (499 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
David Bowie is gone but the aura of mystery and intrigue, within and surrounding his work, will live forever.
Just ask a true fan of the man and music, such as Winnipegger Kenton Larsen, 48, who attended all four of Bowie’s shows in Winnipeg and still has the ticket stubs to prove it.
After word spread around the world that Bowie, 69, had died Sunday of cancer after an 18-month battle, Larsen stepped up his plans Monday to buy Bowie’s new album Blackstar. Larsen was at McNally Robinson for door-opening on Monday and purchased one of the last two Blackstar CDs.
Blackstar was released on Jan. 8, Bowie’s 69th birthday, just two days before his death.
"Especially because he left it as a goodbye message to his fans, it’s especially intriguing. Apparently, that’s the evidence, that he left it behind and orchestrated everything, including the release date, to coincide with when it appeared he would no longer be around," said Larsen, an advertising and public relations instructor at Red River College.
"I think every David Bowie fan will be playing it, sort of for clues and messages and all of that kind of stuff. I’ve just started playing it and it definitely sounds experimental and sombre. It’s in keeping with the man, who orchestrated everything all along."
Larsen was in the crowd in Winnipeg for the 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour, the 1987 Glass Spider Tour, the 1990 Sound+Vision Tour and the 2004 A Reality Tour.
"He first played Winnipeg in 1983 for the Serious Moonlight Tour and in Winnipeg, that was such a big deal because that was sort of the donning of a new era of concerts," Larsen said. "I already liked David Bowie’s music at that point. I still have the ticket stub from that concert, it was $20 to go see him in 1983 and I remember local radio stations were having call-in shows and (people were saying) ‘Can you believe how David Bowie is gouging concert-goers with this unheard-of ticket price?’ I remember that very clearly and even thinking, ‘$20, this had better be worth it!’"
Larsen believes he had a brush with greatness the day of the concert when he was on his way to the concert.
"I was waiting at a bus stop and a limo pulled up," he said. "In Winnipeg, there weren’t many limos in town at that time and there in the back seat was a guy with blond hair and a brightly coloured suit and I could see from about a foot away that it was David Bowie in the limo. The limo pulled away and I looked around the bus stop, like who saw, who saw, and I was the only person standing there and I had nobody to share the excitement with."
Larsen said there is a mystery in connection with the third Bowie concert in Winnipeg, the 1990 Sound+Vision Tour, and he has yet to discover the truth.
"That was him playing all his greatest hits, he said he wasn’t going to play them all again, he was retiring the old hits. In every other concert, he ended with Modern Love and in Winnipeg, he didn’t. He played Jean Jeanie and left the stage and that was that. And everybody thought, ‘where’s Modern Love?’ Since then, I’ve heard people say that he got mad at the guitarist and stormed off the stage. Other people said he had to catch a cab to the airport or whatever.
"It’s almost like a Winnipeg urban legend. Why didn’t he play Modern Love (to end) the Sound+Vision Tour in Winnipeg?" he asked. "I don’t know if anyone has the real answer to this but I’d love to know."