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

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Impromptu Club Appearance (Mon, Nov 20)

Bowie and the band had a couple of spare days in Brisbane before the next major concert.

On the Monday, it was the first wedding anniversary of Tony Mascia (Bowie's bodyguard) and the entourage headed off to a couple of night clubs.

By the time they reached the second club, Sean Mayes and Coco had left but the others stayed on.

In an exclusive with BDU, Boom Crash Opera member Peter Maslen has filled in some of the details....

Above: Stuey George (left) and Tony Mascia (right) in Australia.

Top of The State

"I believe the band was called Stax.

We had a residency at a city nightclub then called Top of the State. We played there 6 nights a week for many months.

To our surprise, David Bowie and entourage of about 15-20 people arrived at the club.

Being an early week night, there wasn't many people out, so Bowie et al had a hassle free venue in which to drink and party. I can tell you, the Champagne was flowing that night.

Stax played a variety of music, but when we saw who had arrived, we played our most 'funky' tracks.

In a break, Dennis Davis (drummer for Bowie) who had heard us playing BT Express and Stevie Wonder songs, asked me if he could play my kit, to which I agreed.

Light headed from all the sudden 'free' drinks going around and with no obvious security around him, I brazenly walked over to David Bowie and introduced myself ...

'Hi David ... I'm Peter Maslen, welcome to Australia' ...

He gave me a big, somewhat curious smile as if he was unsure of my next move, but as I walked away he said 'thank you'!

(I mean really .. what were we possibly going to talk about? I was 19 and stupid)!

All night as the drink continued, people kept getting up and jamming on stage and Dennis Davis was loving playing drums to BT Express and T-Connection songs.

At some point, I noticed that the musicians who were resident at the nightclub on the 30th floor of the Lennons Plaza in George St (about 1k away) had arrived and were jumping up onstage and joining in.

The bass player from the Lennons band was legendary Barry Sullivan (R.I.P.) who played with Chain, Renee Geyer and LRB (incidentally, Barry was a sole parent of his 5yr old son Shannon, who was also present this night and reflects on this event to this day).

My strongest memory of that night now over 30 years ago, was getting back on the drums (Dennis wanted to sing by this stage), Barry Sullivan on bass, most of the Bowie band playing guitars and keyboards to some funky tune and as I looked up out of my drunken haze, I see David Bowie on the centre mic singing something that resembled Fame.

I remember saying in my head ... 'I'm onstage, playing with David Bowie'!!

Much more jamming and frolicking happened after this, but sadly, I really don't remember much ... no, I never went back to their hotel and partied till the wee hours, but I do remember inviting a girl to the show, who was not impressed by my starry state and left me in damage control.

Not long after that experience, I moved to Melbourne and most notably became the drummer in Boom Crash Opera and many, many others in a long career which still continues".

~ Peter 'Maz' Maslen, 2010.

Above: Peter Maslen pictured in 1978, around the time of the Bowie jam.

Above: Barry Sullivan from Lennon's Plaza band. He was considered one of Australia's finest ever bass players. More info about him here.

The Peter Moselle Revue

In addition to the resident band, the Top of the State was show casing a drag review around the same time.

Known as "The Peter Moselle Revue", the show featured
local performers including Holly Brown and Phaedra Nunn-Smith - both of whom appear to have met Bowie that night.

"Sean [the revue manager] called me very late one night to say that Bowie had just walked in with his entourage and hanging off his arm was none other than Holly Brown!

Holly was one of the drag queens in the show and quite the glamourpuss! Certainly as gorgeous as Romy Haag in my opinion."

~ Mr. Kenneth, Brisbane.


Later when Holly introduced Bowie to her co-performer Phaedra Nunn-Smith. Phaedra recalls:

"I was so gob smacked and speechless - he really does have an aura.

[David] walked off with Holly. She looked like the drag queen that had swallowed every canary ever born .... and I so wanted it to be me."

~ Phaedra Nunn-Smith


Above: Sean and Phaedra, 1978. Below: Flyer for the Peter Moselle Review.

'Top of The State' and 'Images'

In the 1980s Top of the State became known as Images.

The night club was known for a revolving dance floor and also its position on the top (24th) floor  of the SGIO Building which was the tallest building in Brisbane when it opened in 1971.

The night club closed in 1987.

The building is now known as Suncorp Plaza and is sadly set for demolition.

Brisbane from the 1950s through to the 1970s had a decent night life as reflected on in this article by The Courier Mail.

'Images' Advertisement

The following night, Bowie was set to play another huge concert - Lang Park, Brisbane.


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