Ziggy Stardust – Hammersmith Odeon – 03/07/73
Bowie’s farewell as cult alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, was released on 7″ for Record Store Day 2014. He gave a farewell speech revealing that “this is not only the last show of the tour, but the last show we’ll ever do” before going into ‘Rock N Roll Suicide’. Here’s 15 more of the most memorable final bow-outs from bands.
The Smiths/ Morrissey – Wolverhampton Civic Hall – 22/12/88
Although the gig was technically Morrissey’s first solo, it was backed by Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce for the last time. It was, however, still the first without Johnny Marr and proved to be a subtle farewell to The Smiths, closing on an emotional ‘Sweet and Tender Hooligan’.
Bauhaus – Hammersmith Palais – 05/07/83
The stage crew kept the fact that this show was to be Bauhaus’ last to themselves, and instead simply warned dedicated fans not to miss it. Bassist David J departed the stage with the poignant words, “rest in peace.”
The Beatles – Apple Rooftop Saville Row – 30/01/69
In 1969, The Beatles staged a final 42-minute impromptu public performance on the rooftop of Apple’s HQ before the Met brought a stop to it all. The set featured a memorable rendition of ‘Get Back’ and other songs from their forthcoming album, ‘Let It Be’, to a crowd of fans gathered below.
The Beach Boys – Wembley Arena 28/09/13
The Beach Boys played Wembley Arena for the final date of their 50th anniversary tour. Due to rights issues over the band’s name, and an unwillingness by Brian Wilson to tour, it’s likely to be the final time the band will appear together as The Beach Boys.
Alexis On Fire – Copps Coliseum – 30/12/12
The very last Alexisonfire show took place at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario performing to a crowd of 10,000. As frontman, George Pettit aptly summarised – “this is not a fucking funeral. This is a celebration.” Dallas Green is now focusing on his solo project, City & Colour.
Vivian Girls – Baby’s All Right – 02/03/14
Taking to a stage adorned with purple balloons, Brooklyn’s own garage rock darlings played their final show, with founding member Katy Goodman declaring ‘I’m not gonna cry!’, as she played the opening chords to ‘All The Time’.
The Spice Girls – The O2 Arena, 22/01/08
The Spice Girls commenced a world tour in 2008 bidding a final farewell to their fans. They played 17 final shows at the O2 Arena, with the first performance selling out in 38 seconds.
The Streets at The Big Reunion 26/11/11
The Streets played their final show at The Big Reunion in November 26th, 2011. Frontman Mike Skinner invited fans onstage for a farewell drink, toasting to 10 years of the band.
The Doors – The Warehouse, 12/12/70
The Doors last public performance at The Warehouse in New Orleans, on December 12, 1970 ended with Jim Morrison destroying the stage and refusing to finish the show.
The Band – The Winterland Ballroom, 25/11/76
The Band ended with an elaborate live performance in LA. They were joined by a host of legends, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Ringo Starr and Dr. John. Later immortalised in Scorsese’s 1978 documentary, The Last Waltz, which famously included a Neil Young scene where a large blob of cocaine had to be edited out in post-production.
John Coltrane – Olatunji Center of African Culture, 23/04/67
Secretly dying of liver cancer, the Jazz legend played at the Famous Ballroom, Baltimore with his wife Alice and long-time collaborator Pharoah Sanders in 1967. The Jazz world was shocked by his death with Miles Davis saying “I didn’t know he was that sick—or even sick at all.”
Wham! – Wembley Stadium, 28/06/86
72,000 people attended the eight-hour goodbye to Wham! At London’s Wembley Stadium in 1986. The concert included guest appearances by Simon Le Bon and Sir Elton John, for a glitzy 1980s extravaganza to really Wake Us Up Before They Went Went.
The White Stripes – Southaven, 31/07/07 Brother/Sister/ex-wife/whatever Jack and Meg White’s last proper gig together took place on July 2007 in Southaven, Mississippi. It featured covers of Robert Johnson, Son House and Leadbelly songs and was released under the title ‘Live In Mississippi’ in 2011. The played Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2009 and broke up in 2011.
Nirvana – Munich, 01/03/94
Nirvana’s final concert took place in Munich, Germany, on March 1 1994. The opened with Cars cover ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ and closed with ‘Heart-Shaped Box’. The also played their cover of David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World’. Days later Cobain collapsed from a drug overdose and the rest of the tour was cancelled.