David Bowie honored at The Who's Madison Square Garden concert

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The Who and Madison Square Garden paid tribute to the late, legendary David Bowie prior to the British rock group's performance Thursday night in NYC.

Bowie, who passed away Jan. 10 after a battle with cancer, had strong connections with both band and venue. He was a long-time resident of New York and a regular guest and performer at the Garden, and his admiration for The Who is well reported. Bowie covered two of the Who's works on his 1973 album Pin Ups, while the veteran rockers' guitarist Pete Townshend returned the favor when he guested on Bowie's Scary Monsters album from 1980.

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A message displayed on the Garden's big screens 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."

The Who went on to deliver a career-spanning set at the MSG to celebrate 50 years in the rock 'n' roll business.

50 YEARS OF THE WHO3 March 1966. While The Who are appearing at Madison Square Garden in the heart of New york City...

Posted by The Who on Thursday, March 3, 2016


Check out more from Bowie in the gallery below

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David Bowie through the years
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David Bowie honored at The Who's Madison Square Garden concert
February 1970: Pop singer David Bowie at the 'Disc and Music Echo' Valentine Awards ceremony at the Cafe Royal in London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
9th July 1973: Pop singer David Bowie prepares to do some mileage with British Rail. (Photo by Smith/Express/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: NEWCASTLE CITY HALL Photo of David BOWIE, performing live onstage on Ziggy Stardust tour (Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)
LOS ANGELES - 1973: Musician David Bowie performs onstage during his 'Ziggy Stardust' era in 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
3rd July 1973: David Bowie on stage at the Hammersmith Odeon in London at the last of the Ziggy Stardust concerts. (Photo by Steve Wood/Express/Getty Images)
LONDON - MAY 12: David Bowie performs live on stage at Earls Court Arena on May 12 1973 during the Ziggy Stardust tour (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
British rock singer David Bowie performs with an acoustic guitar on stage, in costume as 'Ziggy Stardust,' circa 1973. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
David Bowie (wearing an eyepatch) appears at a press conference at the Amstel Hotel on 7th February 1974 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 13: David Bowie, with eye patch, performs ÂRebel Rebel in the Top Pop Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands on February 13 1974. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
1976: David Bowie poses for a portrait in 1976. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: David Bowie wears sunglasses on in 1974 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
DENMARK - APRIL 01: Photo of David BOWIE; ID#: BowieA 04, David Bowie, Copenhagen 1976 (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: NEWCASTLE CITY HALL Photo of David BOWIE, performing live onstage on Ziggy Stardust tour (Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)
British pop singer David Bowie in concert at Earl's Court, London during his 1978 world tour. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
A portrait taken on May 13, 1983 shows British singer David Bowie during a press conference at the 36th Cannes Film Festival. He is the main actor in Nagisa Oshima's film 'Furyo (Merry christmas Mr. Lawrence)', official selection in Cannes. He is also with French actress Catherine Deneuve maina ctor in Tony Scott's film 'The hunger' presented out competition at the festival. AFP PHOTO RALPH GATTI (Photo credit should read RALPH GATTI/AFP/Getty Images)
Actors David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in a scene from the movie 'Labyrinth', 1986. (Photo by Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images)
Musician David Bowie performs in concert circa 1987 in New York City. (Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)
David Bowie, vocal, performs at the Ahoy hal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 30th March 1990. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
LONDON - 23rd JANUARY: David Bowie appears at a press conference to promote his Sound + Vision tour at the Rainbow Theatre in London on 23rd January 1990. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)
Musician David Bowie and model Iman attend Seventh on Sale AIDS Benefit on November 29, 1990 at the Armory in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 1991: David Bowie Concert And Party, Astoria Theatre, Club Top, Davidbowieretro (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Annie Lennox and David Bowie perform 'Under Pressure' (Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 7 -- Aired 11/23/1991 -- Pictured: Musical guest David Bowie performs -- Photo by: Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 221 -- Pictured: (l-r) Musical guest David Bowie during an interview with host Jay Leno on May 10, 1993-- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
David Bowie (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Singers David Bowie (L) and Eric Clapton pose for photographers during the 1995 Q Music Awards in London 07 November. Clapton was decorated with the order of British Empire (OBE) at a Buckingham Palace ceremony 07 November. AFP PHOTO Sean DEMPSEY (Photo credit should read SEAN DEMPSEY/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 09: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN Photo of David BOWIE, David Bowie performing at Madison Square Garden, New York City on 9th January 1996 (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)
David Bowie during David Bowie Honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Magma Agency/WireImage)
NETHERLANDS - JULY 16: Singer David Bowie performs on stage at the Ahoy in Rotterdam during the Outside tour on July 16, 1996. (Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns)
(GERMANY OUT) (eigentlich David Robert Jones)*08.01.1947-Sänger, Musiker, Schauspieler, GrossbritannienKonzertauftritt- 1996 (Photo by Martin Lengemann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 10: David Bowie, vocal, performs at the Paradiso on 10th June 1997 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 09 : Singer David Bowie performs on stage during his 50th birthday benefit concert held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 09, 1997. (Photo by George De Sota/Redferns)
FRANCE - OCTOBER 14: David Bowie In Concert Of Paris On October 14th, 1999 In Paris,France (Photo by Frederic REGLAIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN -- Episode 1182 -- Air Date 11/16/1999 -- Pictured: Musical guest David Bowie performs on November 16, 1999 -- Photo by: Lesly Weiner/NBCU Photo Bank
David Bowie during David Bowie 'Reality Tour' at Madison Square Garden - Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
David Bowie Performing At The Tweeter Centre, Boston, America - Aug 2002, David Bowie (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
(FILES) In this file picture taken on September 24, 2002 British singer David Bowie performs during a concert at the Zenith in Paris. British rock icon David Bowie broke a decade-long musical silence on January 8, 2013, unveiling a new single to coincide with his 66th birthday and announcing that he will release an album in March. The outlandish star surprised fans by posting a video for the single, entitled 'Where are We Now?', on his website, and it will also be available to download on iTunes. AFP PHOTO MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
David Bowie during David Bowie Performs on 'The Today Show' Summer Concert Series - September 18, 2003 at NBC Studios, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEWPORT, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: David Bowie performs on stage on the third and final day of 'The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival 2004' at Seaclose Park, on June 13, 2004 in Newport, UK. The third annual rock festival takes place during the Isle of Wight Festival which runs from June 4-19. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: Model Iman and musician David Bowie arrive at the party for Iman's new book 'The Beauty of Color' hosted by Naomi Campbell October 18, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 26: Singer David Bowie attends the Vanity Fair Tribeca Film Festival Party at The State Supreme Courthouse April 26, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images for TFF)
David Bowie during David Bowie in Concert - October 14, 2007 at Capital Theater in Port Chester, New York, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
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