Diamond Dogs Tour

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Diamond Dogs Tour
Bowie performing at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina on 5 July 1974
Tour by David Bowie
Associated albumDiamond Dogs
Start date14 June 1974
End date2 December 1974
David Bowie concert chronology
Ziggy Stardust Tour
Diamond Dogs Tour
Isolar - 1976 Tour
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Diamond Dogs Tour
Bowie performing at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina on 5 July 1974
Tour by David Bowie
Associated albumDiamond Dogs
Start date14 June 1974
End date2 December 1974
David Bowie concert chronology
Ziggy Stardust Tour
Diamond Dogs Tour
Isolar - 1976 Tour

The Diamond Dogs Tour was a concert tour by David Bowie in North America in 1974 to promote the studio album Diamond Dogs (1974). The end of the tour was also called The Soul Tour, which included some songs from the forthcoming album Young Americans (1975).

Tour preparation and details[edit]

Bowie during the Diamond Dogs Tour on 5 July 1974 at the Charlotte Coliseum

Two months of rehearsals were required to get the tour ready, in part due to the elaborate set & props required for the show (reported to cost $275,000 per set,[1] or about $1,320,000 today).[2] Originally the tour was planned to appear in a city for 5 nights before moving on to the next city, but that plan was abandoned early on. The tour started in June 1974 in Montreal, Canada as the "Diamond Dogs Tour" (although producer Tony DeFries demanded the tour be referred to as "The Year of the Diamond Dogs" when speaking with the press). Bowie recorded radio and television commercials for the tour, which played in advance of the tour's arrival in each city.[3] The tour took the month of August 1974 off, during which time Bowie began recording his follow-up studio album, Young Americans. On 10 October 1974, after the tour had resumed, Bowie abandoned the extravagant theatrical set and re-branded the tour "The Soul Tour," which would continue through the end of the North American leg in December.[1]

In 1987, Bowie recalled how difficult the tour was early on before changing it into the 'Soul Tour', saying "I was in a bad state of mind to have attempted that. It was pretty exciting, but I was so blocked [laughs], so stoned during the entire thing that I'm amazed I lasted with it even that one trip across America before I ditched it."[4]

Set design[edit]

The set for the theatrical Diamond Dogs tour, which was built to resemble a city (called "Hunger City"),[3] weighed 6 tons and was incorporated over 20,000 moving parts including a variety of props (such as streetlamps, chairs and catwalks). The props themselves weren't ready for use until a mere 6 days before the show opened, which led to a variety of technical problems during the tour: a movable catwalk collapsed once during the tour with Bowie on it.[3] In 1990, while preparing for this Sound+Vision Tour, Bowie recalled the difficulties faced by the show, saying it "was good fun and dangerous, with the equipment breaking down and the bridges falling apart on stage. I kept getting stuck out over the audience's heads, on the hydraulic cherry picker, after the finish of 'Space Oddity.'"[5]

Other props worked as expected: for the song "Big Brother", Bowie sang from inside a multi-mirrored glass "asylum," emerging during the next song ("Time") from a giant hand.[1]

The show in Tampa, FL, was performed without any of the stage props because the truck driver driving those components was delayed after being stung by a bee.[1]

In 1987, while preparing for the Glass Spider Tour (which picked up theatrically where the Diamond Dogs tour left off), Bowie recalled about the extraordinary nature of the set he used during the Diamond Dogs tour, saying "We had four skyscrapers on stage, with bridges that went backwards and forward and would go up and down. The whole things was built on a city pretext. I had dancers working with me and it was choreographed and was a real fantastic musical event. I thoroughly enjoyed working like that.[6]

Live recordings[edit]

Main article: David Live

A live album was culled from July 1974 performances at the Tower Theater, Philadelphia. It has been said that Bowie's refusal to pay the musicians more than scale wages led to a revolt by the band, who refused to play until they were paid $5000 a piece. Bowie acquiesced only 20 minutes before curtain time.[3]


Tour dates[edit]

14 June 1974Montreal, QuebecCanadaMontreal Forum
15 June 1974Ottawa, OntarioOttawa Civic Centre
16 June 1974Toronto, OntarioO'Keefe Centre (Two shows)
17 June 1974Rochester, New YorkUnited StatesRochester Community War Memorial
18 June 1974Cleveland, OhioPublic Auditorium
19 June 1974
20 June 1974Toledo, OhioToledo Sports Arena
22 June 1974Detroit, MichiganCobo Hall
24 June 1974Dayton, OhioHara Arena
26 June 1974Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaSyria Mosque
27 June 1974
28 June 1974Charleston, West VirginiaCharleston Civic Center
29 June 1974Nashville, TennesseeMunicipal Auditorium
30 June 1974Memphis, TennesseeMid-South Coliseum
1 July 1974Atlanta, GeorgiaFox Theater
2 July 1974Tampa, FloridaCurtis Hixon Hall
3 July 1974Casselberry, FloridaSeminole Jai-Alai Fronton
5 July 1974Charlotte, North CarolinaCharlotte Coliseum
6 July 1974Greensboro, North CarolinaGreensboro Coliseum
7 July 1974Norfolk, VirginiaNorfolk Scope
8 July 1974Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaTower Theater
9 July 1974
10 July 1974
11 July 1974
12 July 1974
13 July 1974
14 July 1974New Haven, ConnecticutNew Haven Coliseum
16 July 1974Boston, MassachusettsMusic Hall
19 July 1974New York CityMadison Square Garden
20 July 1974
2 September 1974Los Angeles, CaliforniaUniversal Amphitheatre
3 September 1974
4 September 1974
5 September 1974
6 September 1974
7 September 1974
8 September 1974
11 September 1974San Diego, CaliforniaSan Diego Sports Arena
13 September 1974Tucson, ArizonaTucson Convention Center
14 September 1974Phoenix, ArizonaArizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
15 September 1974Anaheim, CaliforniaAnaheim Convention Center
16 September 1974
5 October 1974Saint Paul, MinnesotaSaint Paul Civic Center
8 October 1974Indianapolis, IndianaIndiana Convention Center
11 October 1974Madison, WisconsinDane County Coliseum
13 October 1974Milwaukee, WisconsinMECCA Arena
15 October 1974Detroit, MichiganMichigan Palace Theater
16 October 1974
17 October 1974
19 October 1974
20 October 1974
22 October 1974Chicago, IllinoisArie Crown Theater
23 October 1974
28 October 1974New York CityRadio City Music Hall
29 October 1974
30 October 1974
31 October 1974
1 November 1974
2 November 1974
3 November 1974
6 November 1974Cleveland, OhioPublic Auditorium
8 November 1974Buffalo, New YorkWar Memorial Auditorium
11 November 1974Washington D.C.Capital Centre
14 November 1974Boston, MassachusettsMusic Hall
15 November 1974
16 November 1974
18 November 1974Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaThe Spectrum
19 November 1974Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCivic Arena
25 November 1974Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaThe Spectrum
28 November 1974Memphis, TennesseeMid-South Coliseum
30 November 1974Nashville, TennesseeMunicipal Auditorium
1 December 1974Atlanta, GeorgiaThe Omni



  1. ^ a b c d Kamp, Thomas (1985), David Bowie: The Wild-Eyed Boy 1964-1984 (1st ed.), O'Sullivan, Woodside & Co. 
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Edwards, Henry; Zanetta, Tony (1986), Stardust: The David Bowie Story, ISBN 0-07-072797-X 
  4. ^ "David Bowie Opens Up - A Little" by Scott Isler, Musician Magazine, August 1987, pp 60-73
  5. ^ Clarke, Tina (1990), "David Bowie: Ornament - Oddity - Artist - Survivor", Elle (magazine) 
  6. ^ Morse, Steve (July–August 1987), "David Bowie (Cover Story)", In Fashion magazine 3 (10): 151, 153