Updated 1:45PM — Arthur Fogel, Live Nation’s CEO of global touring, has confirmed to Billboard that earlier reports of Bowie’s live return are, to paraphrase, completely inaccurate. Not that that stops us hoping regardless.
Now that David Bowie is back in fashion with a new album and a record-breaking exhibition, attention is inevitably turning to when he’ll next perform.
The Thin White Duke is at the center of a bidding war between promoters keen to stage his live comeback, according to British tabloid The Mirror.
The daily paper claims that Live Nation has tabled a multi-million pound offer for Bowie to play the Olympic Park in East London next year. Rival AEG is also expected to pitch for Bowie’s services, possibly to play Hyde Park, the newspaper notes without naming sources. The legendary singer hasn’t performed on stage since 2006.
If Bowie does make his overdue live return, 2014 would be a suitable occasion. The year will mark the 50th anniversary of “Liza Jane” — Bowie’s first single released as Davie Jones with the King Bees (he adopted the name Bowie to avoid confusion with the Monkee’s British frontman Davy Jones).
When Bowie returned to the spotlight earlier this year with “The Next Day” (Iso/Columbia Records), the album was met with a tsunami of publicity. The album arrived at or near the top of sales charts around the world. Almost certainly, he’ll be rewarded with numerous nominations from across the music industry’s plethora of awards ceremonies. Bowie will struggle to keep a low profile in 2014.
The No. 1 U.K. bow of “The Next Day” is bound to have benefited from the buzz surrounding a Bowie exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Like the album, the exhibition is a runaway hit. According to The Guardian newspaper, the Bowie retrospective smashed attendance records, shifting more than 42,000 advance tickets — more than double the advance sales of previous exhibitions.
Bowie’s reps haven’t commented on the speculation of his live return.