80s legends pay their respects to a man they revered as an inspiration and hero
Duran Duran have memorialised David Bowie, a man they considered a mentor to their own megastardom, on stage in New York last night.
In a touching tribute to a man they revered both as an influence and as a friend, the new wavers played a medley of their own first hit single, 1981’s ‘Planet Earth’, combined with Bowie’s 1969 smash ‘Space Oddity’.
The band has always considered Bowie, who died unexpectedly of cancer in January, a pivotal influence on their own formation. In 2005, Simon Le Bon confessed Bowie had “always been God to me”.
He said: “I love everything he’s done. He was so important to me growing up, and helped me towards a sense of identity. And having been lucky enough to get to know him a little, I can say that he’s a proper gentleman and hasn’t in any way disappointed me. He’s a proper artist. It’s all about the music, and the attendant fame means nothing to him. He always conducts himself perfectly too, which is inspiring in itself. You worry about meeting your heroes, but with David there’s been nothing at all to fear.”
The band also surprised a packed Barclays Center in Brooklyn by welcoming Lindsay Lohan to the stage.
The actress was called on to perform the spoken-word interlude she recorded on the band’s track ‘Danceophobia’, which appears on their fourteenth studio album, Paper Gods, which was released last September.
Duran Duran’s members first bonded over a shared love of Bowie’s chameleonic career, and the band have covered his work more than a few times over the years, including ‘Fame’, ‘Diamond Dogs’ and ‘Boys Keep Swinging’. In 1987, the two greats appeared side by side on a combined North American tour.
Duran Duran are currently touring North America, with their next show in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday.