Isolar II: The 1978 World Tour (AUS/NZ)

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Christchurch (Nov 29)

Finally on to New Zealand where Bowie was set to play a further two shows, before finishing his World Tour in Japan.

In 1978, Bowie split his two shows across New Zealand's two main islands - with shows in Christchurch and Auckland.

Queen Elizabeth II Park

The show in Christchurch was at Queen Elizabeth II Park - an open air athletic stadium. It remains the one and only time Bowie has played the South Island.

Left: Car Pass sent in by Julian from NZ.
Queen Elizabeth II Park - built for the Xth Commonwealth Games which opened at the venue in 1974.

Above: QEII Park.

Right: Article from The New Zealand Listener by Ray Columbus.

Press Conference

Bowie's visit to Christchurch involved a press conference.

He told The Press that he felt uncomfortable reviving his Ziggy Stardust alter ego after retiring the character in 1973, but he played earlier material to satisfy the large crowds that came to watch him perform.

He also told of his desire to become a film director:

"I find the technical side of filming enjoyable and also working with the film crew," he said.

Above: David Bowie photographed by The Press newspaper at a press conference in Christchurch in 1978.

The Concert

Above: The crowd gave Bowie a "warm reception" at his 1978 concert at QEII Park, Christchurch.

According to the fans, the concert was one of the best they'd ever experienced.

Bowie fan Margo Barton recalls:

"The experience was a one off!

I was lucky to go to the after party at the hotel. Bowie and Carlos Alomar sang 'All The Young Dudes', oh my gad! amazing!"

JD McLellan recalls:

"Locals commented on how well the band played to the fold back from the seating stands opposite. DB only faltered once: to interrupt the set to berate some members of the audience for giving the Nazi salute and "seig heiling" him. He made some comments about how the National Front would soon be raising their heads in our country and that we shouldn't be seduced by them "that's no way to be a rebel", he said, then performed "Rebel Rebel" which I see was on the original play list anyway...

The offenders were apparently a bunch of joyous local hedonists who later transformed into the punk/glam band 'The Androidss' who made a habit of constructive interference/participation in parties, concerts etc to the annoyance and delight of the rest of us and whose single 'Auckland Tonight' is a great tribute to our queen city and its early punk scene."

Above: David Bowie at Queen Elizabeth II Park. Photo provided by Margo and photographed by her friend Bruce.

Sound  - Echo

The Bowie gig also exposed a sound problem at QEII Park as did a Peter Frampton gig a few days earlier.

According to The Press, a loud echo was noticeable.

Kiwi performer Larry Morris, who was Bowie's support act, described the echo as "harrowing" and said Bowie had noticed the echo during a sound check

Above: Larry Morris, Bowie's New Zealand support act

Pictures (by Bruce from NZ)

All of the following pictures were kindly taken by Bruce from New Zealand and provided to us via his friend Margo. Please do not reproduce without permission.


Press Articles

Editor Ray Columbus wrote a follow up article in the Christchurch press.

As gathered from the article on the right, he expressed disappointment but also accepted that he was in the minority.

Among Columbus' criticisms were:

* Bowie's comments to the audience about fascism (in which he sights a completely different - and probably more unlikely - source than the one cited by Bowie fan McLellan above)

* Bowie's lack of playing 'Space Oddity' and

* About the 'heavy' nature of the music not offering low key moments like Elton John did with 'Your Song' and Rod Stewart with 'Sailing'.

.... Errrm, do I need to say more? ;)

Above: David Bowie at Queen Elizabeth II Park. Photo provided by Margo and photographed by her friend Bruce.


Queen Elizabeth Park II was damaged beyond repair during the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011. The venue has been subsequently demolished.


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