January 11, 2016 9:40 pm
Updated: January 12, 2016 7:56 am

Saskatoon musician remembers opening for David Bowie

Watch above: In his amazing, life-long career, David Bowie touched many lives and influenced many people. Ryan Kessler speaks with a Saskatoon musician who had the opportunity to be ‘up close and personal’ with one of his heroes.


SASKATOON – As people across the world mourn the loss of a pop rock icon, a local singer-songwriter remembered the shows his band opened for David Bowie. Jay Semko and the Saskatoon-based Northern Pikes played two concerts during Bowie’s 1987 Glass Spider tour.

“His band was great and you got to see this guy who was at the top of his game doing a sound check,” Semko said.

His first encounter with Bowie’s music came several years earlier as a teenager. Semko would practice guitar and bass while playing Bowie records.

“He was a very outside character … I felt really outside too,” Semko said.

READ MORE: Music legend David Bowie dies of cancer at 69

The provocative singer of Let’s Dance, Space Oddity and many more hits died Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer. He recorded 27 studio albums – including Black Star, released last Friday on Bowie’s 69th birthday.

Gerard Weber is a concert saxophonist and salesperson at St. John’s Music in Saskatoon. Though he enjoyed Bowie’s music, Weber noted Bowie’s theatrical performances in films like Labyrinth and The Snowman were important parts of his childhood.

“He was very involved with the Live Aid concert that went on in the 1980s with artists from the U.K. and North America. So he was involved with that and I think that’s really important for people to know too,” Weber said.

READ MORE: Remembering David Bowie: a timeline of his music, life and love

The following message was posted to Bowie’s website Sunday: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

© 2016 Shaw Media

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