The Who paid tribute to their “longtime fan” and friend David Bowie prior to the band’s concert Thursday at New York’s Madison Square Garden, with the venue also remembering the artist who both performed and frequented the arena. Prior to the Who’s gig, a large screen projected a message from the band to Bowie.
“David Bowie. Friend of The Who. Son of New York. Tonight we will distinctly miss David Bowie, longtime fan of The Who,” the message said. “He’s told the story of how he climbed the fence at London’s Roundhouse to sneak backstage and give Pete Townshend a copy of his new 1969 album, David Bowie. He covered ‘I Can’t Explain’ and ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ on his Pin Ups album. Nearly every year at MSG, he sat in the first row right beside the stage. We’ll miss our friend, a true icon of music and art, and a brilliant innovator.”
A Mashable writer posted a photograph of the tribute on social media:
lovely little tribute to David Bowie before the Who perform pic.twitter.com/2PEXOB5lv9
— black hermione (@YohanaDesta) March 4, 2016
Following Bowie’s death on January 10th, the Who’s Pete Townshend penned a long tribute to his fellow rock god. “Woke up to the awful news that my lovely friend David Bowie passed away. I am so deeply sad, but he just completed a radical and audacious new album, and that is a great thing. Personally I am grateful to him for doing it,” the guitarist wrote. “For those who were his fans he was a charismatic and exotic creature and still gloriously beautiful even as he approached 70. But face to face he was funny, clever, well-read, excited by the arts, and really good company.”