Bay Area musicians, fans remember David Bowie

Byby Cornell Barnard KGO logo
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Bay Area musicians, fans remember David Bowie
Fans and musicians in the Bay Area are remembering David Bowie as an artist who they say was a true original who gave people permission to be who they wanted to be.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Tributes are pouring in for David Bowie after the announcement of his death. He last played in the Bay Area at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View in 2006.

READ MORE: How David Bowie said goodbye to his fans

The artist's final album, "Blackstar," is in demand. He had just turned 69 on Friday, the day he released the new album. It sold out within minutes after Amoeba Music in San Francisco opened its doors on Monday.

"It's amazing to think that he planned all this as an exit," said Amoeba Music Manager David James.

Bowie's music was playing all day inside Amoeba.

"He did it all," said one fan. "He was an actor, a musician."

Bowie fans Sharon Adam and Isis Starr made the record store their first stop the moment they heard news of his passing.

"Actually I had an encounter with him in London where he kissed me," Starr said. "I get very emotional talking about this."

Starr never forgot that kiss. She says Bowie was an icon, a true original

PHOTOS: David Bowie throughout the years

"He was the first gender bender out there, giving permission to people to be who they wanted to be," she said.

Bowie played the Bay Area many times, including Shoreline Amphitheater back in 2002.

And San Francisco was the backdrop for a music video of his song "The Jean Genie," which was shot near the old Mars Hotel on Howard Street.

Former Rolling Stone magazine senior editor Ben Fong Torres Says Bowie's contribution to rock and roll can't be measured.

"He dove into disco music, he made MTV videos," he said. "It didn't matter that many rock bands liked to stay true to their specific identify and image. He was all over the place because that's where his mind took him."

The Bay Area is home to several Bowie tribute bands, including First Church of the Sacred Silversexual. The group performed Ziggy Stardust on Bowie's birthday. Singer Tony Romeo called Bowie a God.

"As a kid growing up in the suburbs or small town, he was kind of a beacon of hope," he said.

He was a one of a kind performer, gone too soon.

For a look at other celebrities and notable figures who have recently passed, click here.

IN MEMORIAM: Celebrities and notable figures who have recently passed away

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In this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo, actor Max von Sydow poses at the International Film Festival Berlinale, in Berlin.
AP Photo/Gero Breloer, File