Bowie Receives Lukewarm Response In Italy

July 4, 1997 12:00 AM ET

David Bowie may be a big hit on Wall Street, but his stock is low in Italy. The Thin White Duke's current trans-Atlantic tour isn't faring too well; his first two Italian shows only sold to one-sixth of capacity. Some sources attribute the sparse turnout to his high ticket price (about $25 U.S.). Others claim the problem lies in the fact that Bowie must contend with several other big name musicians such as David Byrne and Sinead O'Connor who are also presently on tour in Italy.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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