An Unforgettable Bowie Cover From “The Biggest Rock Band On Earth”

Last year we told you about an enterprising group of Italian musicians who organized a group of 1,000 people to play the Foo Fighters “Learning To Fly” at the same time, as a way to entice the Foos to come play in Italy. It worked.

Well the same folks who call themselves Rockin’ 1000 are at it again, and it looks like they’re turning the 1,000-member band into a regular thing. There’s no question they are getting better at it. Last weekend they reconvened in Cesena, Italy to play David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel”, and it is a beautiful thing to see and hear.

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The whole project seems a little better organized this time around. Instead of performing in an open field during the day, the group performs in a stadium at night, which gives it a better sound and a more genuine Rock & Roll feel. And while “Learning To Fly” is a great, great song, “Rebel Rebel” is a better selection for this self-proclaimed “biggest rock band on Earth”. The Bowie classic is more basic yet it still contains such memorable parts on the guitar, bass and drums, brilliant in their simplicity.

Not to mention that many of us are still a little emotionally sore about Mr. Bowie’s passing earlier this year, and that this is such a unique and loving tribute. You can be sure that he would have loved watching people of every age, shape, size and color playing his song with such joy and enthusiasm and love. He would surely be even more moved than I was at the beauty of it all.

Rockin’ 1000’s founder Fabio Zaffagnini put it all in perspective after the song:

Last year, we did something extraordinary. Someone called it a revolution. But this, what you’re seeing here behind me: this is the revolution. Musicians from all over the world came together and are giving us an incredible live show. They’re just like themselves, but they perform like rock stars, with no one standing out – showing us that with passion, dedication and fucking hard work, we can transform our lives. So stick together, no more conflicts and play Rock & Roll.

I’m with him all the way on that one. I don’t need any more convincing that Rock & Roll has transformative powers for the good, but he provides a useful reminder that musicians and listeners alike must summon the passion and dedication needed to bring those powers to life.

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