A message to the late star displayed on the screen before the band began playing.

By Jessica Goodman
Updated March 04, 2016 at 01:32 PM EST
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Credit: Gareth Davies/Getty Images
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  • Music

The Who honored David Bowie on Thursday night during their show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Before the band took the stage, a message scrawled across MSG’s screens and spoke of the late artist‘s connection to New York and to The Who.

The note read: “David Bowie. Friend of The Who. Son of New York. Tonight we will distinctly miss David Bowie, longtime fan of The Who. He’s told the story of how he climbed the fence at London’s Roundhouse to sneak backstage and give Pete Townshend a copy of his new 1969 album, David Bowie. He covered ‘I Can’t Explain’ and ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ on his Pin Ups album. Nearly every year at MSG, he sat in the first row right beside the stage. We’ll miss our friend, a true icon of music and art, and a brilliant innovator.”

Bowie’s admiration for The Who and guitarist Townshend is well documented in his music and in interviews. (Townshend even appeared on Bowie’s 1980 album Scary Monsters.) After Bowie’s death in January, Townshend posted a tribute on The Who’s website and wrote, “We have lost a monumental figurehead of the British arts scene. We have also lost a wonderful clown whose combined sense of mischief and creativity delightedly touched our hearts. David Bowie was my Salvador Dali. He was also one facet of my perfect Ace Face”

The Who are currently back on tour, celebrating their 50th anniversary after postponing dates last year.

The Who

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