WHEN THE WHITE DUKE SANG FOR NAPLES

ON THE UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT OF JULY 10, 1997 

The first concert of the Tuborg Neapolis Live Festival was held in the abandoned industrial area of ​​the Italsider. Under the skies of Bagnoli, David Bowie, the legendary singer of Starman, Space Oddity and Life on Mars, opened the event with a two-hour concert that remained legend in the heart of the Neapolitans. The Thin White Duke was fascinated by that location, a disused iron and steel industry just right the sea, and looking out from the Bagnoli wharf he said to his manager «It's  absolutely incredible! It is a really incredible place».

For the stage he wanted a walkway reaching out to the arena so as to have greater contact with fans who had come from all over Italy to see him. Bowie appeared on stage in dim light,  dressed in white, with an acoustic guitar in his hand, and performed for two hours, interrupted only by a change of clothes. He sang new and historic songs including Dead Man Walking and an exciting version of Heroes.

At the post-event press conference, Bowie said that the Naples concert would become one of his memorable dates and expressed his willingness to shoot a video clip in the city. As a VIP guest at the Grand Hotel Parker’s, the White Duke had the opportunity during the hours of relaxation in the hotel to contemplate the spectacular view of Naples from above and to catch all the charm with a single glance. One evening on the terrace he was joined by a member of his staff who started talking to him. Bowie silenced him. «Now I'm on another planet. I tell you when I’m coming down».

The 10th July, 1997 was the only time that the rock star performed in Naples, but as a tourist he visited the city, “beautiful as a picture”. He visited Naples in the second half of the 1980s.  When his elegant yacht the Deneb Star, docked at Mergellina harbor, the word of mouth «David Bowie is here» immediately spread in the city and the paparazzi hunted him.

One day Bowie decided to visit the historic center of Naples and the church of Santa Chiara. He was with his partner, the supermodel, Iman. The tour organizers recommended «Mister Bowie, look low profile otherwise you will be recognized and disturbed by fans». Bowie showed up in a white suite, a huge hat adorned with a sparkling American flag. At his side Iman, the black Venus. As soon as he put his foot out of the car, he was recognized. Only after he signing countless autographs did he finally manage to visit Santa Chiara and the cloister.