A walking tour of David Bowie locations in London 1963-1971
Before Ziggy Stardust, before the Thin White Duke, before Berlin he was plain old David Jones from Bromley via Brixton.
This is a tour of his West End, from 1964 to 1971 – the pre-history of David Bowie.
We’ll track his early progress in the music business – his nomadic record label wanderings from Decca to Columbia to Pye; his quest for originality in sound and vision; the failed auditions and abandoned directions… the years when others such as Pete Townshend and Syd Barrett were the Pin Ups, and Bowie was still plotting his course.
We’ll follow his movements in the week of his debut album in 1967…
The Summer of Love is beginning to spark up and will ultimately leave Bowie behind. But in that first week of June ’67… can he finally see light at the end of the tunnel after three years labouring in obscurity?
Single-after-single has generated miss-after-miss… Fronting Davie Jones & The King Bees… with the Manish Boys… then Davy Jones & The Lower Third… and finally, from 1966, as David Bowie… by the end of ’67 our would-be star man is on an extraordinary streak of NINE singles with NO hits.
Would an artist be allowed so many misfires today?
The brief, deceptive rainbow that is Space Oddity shot to the upper-reaches of the charts in the summer of 1969… but then it’s two further years until Hunky Dory (recorded in Soho, we’ll visit the site of the studio) and Ziggy. By 1973, every paper suddenly wants to know whose shirts he wears. Our odyssey will spill over into the early 70s and the genesis of his legendary career in the public eye.
t’s a period when Jones/Bowie belonged to London. He was London’s secret and his journey is a mirror to the city at the time. It holds a continuing fascination because we can find within the songs and the image-changes the seeds of the 70s superstar to come.
At the turn of the 21st Century, Bowie was poised to reappraise his 60s roots with the album Toy – but the project was shelved. The album is finally getting a release as Toy:Box (six 10” vinyl records) on 7th January 2022.
With a new lease of life for his 60s music, it’s a great time to follow in his 60s footsteps.
David Bowie In 60s London: The Walking Tour takes place on the 75th Anniversary of Bowie’s birth.
We will visit…
The Long-Gone Places
Bunjies Coffee House
Regent Sound Studios
The Supporting Cast
At the end of the tour you’ll get some bonus content – a virtual tour of Brixton and Bromley with maps and info and trivia so you can explore under your own steam.
We can also stop-off at Fopp Records along the way for those of you who want to buy the new box set.