by Maeve Sheehan / The Sunday Tribune
18th August 1991
IT WAS the gig of all gigs for Charlie McGettigan of Dublin’s Baggot Inn.
On Friday night David Bowie played a surprise concert at the rock venue to try out his new songs on a live audience. And it is reported that he will play another ‘secret’ gig tomorrow night.
The Sunday Tribune managed to get past the 15 security guards enforcing the no-cameras rule at the Baggot Inn on Friday to get these exclusive pictures.
“We’ve got some material, we’re just here to try it out on you,” Bowie told the applauding audience of 400.
They had queued for an hour and a half and paid £5 to get into the concert, and seemed more than happy to act as David Bowie’s ‘trial audience’.
The 1990s Bowie is clean cut, fit and into hard rock. Tanned with cropped highlighted blonde hair, he wore a Hawaiian shirt over a white T-shirt and trousers. His band crashed out heavy metal guitar solos and riotous drum rolls over Bowie’s thin, nasal vocals.
Half an hour later the gig was over, Bowie said goodnight – no encore – and disappeared back to the Hotel Conrad, where he and the band are staying.
They have been in Dublin for the last two weeks rehearsing songs from the forthcoming album Tin Machine in the Factory studios in Barrow Street, before embarking on a world tour. On Tuesday they return to Los Angeles.
The Baggot’s owner Charlie McGettigan got word on Thursday that Bowie was to play the gig. He was under strict instructions not to tell anyone, even his staff.
At 3pm on Friday word got out and press and fans began to stream into the venue. By 7.30pm the queue of 1,000 stretched all the way down Merrion Row.
Six English dedicated fans got news of the secret gig on Thursday night in Brighton from a “musical source”. They travelled by ferry and plane on Friday to their hero at this unique gig. They had no idea when they arrived in Dublin that a second Bowie spectacular might be in store for them.
Word has it that the rock star will play another “top-secret” farewell gig at Dublin’s Waterfront Rock Cafe tomorrow night.