January 23rd, 2015

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Down the pub with Dave

Travels with David Bowie...

This website lists all Bowie's early gigs. It's strangely fascinating if you're a rock 'n' roll geek. He certainly paid his dues - and played some places that are now well off the gig circuit.

I mean, the White Bear in Hounslow? That's all Sky Sports and lager louts these days. But Bowie played there several times - they were Arts Lab gigs, too, which presumably meant Dave and friends would be wafting about doing mime and what-not. In a pub. In Hounslow. How come he didn't get lynched?

The White Bear, Hounslow - Google Streetview pic. David Bowie wuz here. But not recently...

Lots of other evocative names on the list. Ah, the good old Hampstead Country Club, always a riot, that one. And the Fickle Pickle club in Southend. You're nobody until you've played the Fickle Pickle club. Keep going through the gig history, and you can see when his career really took off - it was incredibly quick when it happened. One minute he's playing the Three Tuns pub in Beckenham, next minute it's the Hollywood Palladium.

But I think my favourite gig is that classic performance in August 1958 - at Bromley Scouts annual camp. Starting as we mean to go on, eh, Dave?