The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

David Bowie - Biography

Mr Jones & Lower Third

Gigs at the Marquee club: 20
Period of performances: 1965-1973
Line-up members at the Marquee club:
The Lower Third: Denis 'Tea-Cup' Taylor (lead guitar), Graham Rivens (bass guitar), Les Mighall (drums), Neil Anderson (drums).
The Buzz: John 'Hutch' Hutchinson (guitar), Derek 'Dek' Fearnley (bass guitar), John 'Ego' Eager (drums), Derek 'Chow' Boyes (keyboards).

Space Oditty: Mick Wayne (guitar, vocals), Tim Renwick (guitar), John Lodge (bass), John Cambridge (drums).

Spiders from Mars: Mick Ronson (guitar), Trevor Bolder (bass), Mike Garson (piano), Mark Carr Pritchard (guitar), Aynsley Dunbar (drums).

Born David Robert Jones in Brixton, London 1947 on January 8th, 1947, David Bowie is one of the most charismatic and innovative pop artists in the history of modern music.

David Bowie started playing the saxophone at age thirteen, inspired by the jazz of the West End. He took lessons from Ronnie Ross, who later played solo baritone saxophone on the Lou Reed classic "Walk On The Wild Side" in 1973.

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David started playing soon with a number of local bands, including The Konrads, The King Bees, The Konrads, The Hooker Brothers and The Manish Boys. In 1964, David started a solo career as a singer under the name of David Jones and signed to the management agency run by The Marquee Club, Marquee Artists. He played his first gig at the Marquee on the 8th of October 1965 with his new band The Lower Third, formed by Dave Jones (vocals, tenor & alto saxophone), Denis 'Tea-Cup' Taylor (lead guitar), Graham Rivens (bass guitar) and Les Mighall (drums) along with Neil Anderson's occasional appearances. During these days David also performed with various bands on a casual basis at the club, including The High Numbers, later known as the Who, the T-Bones and blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson.

In February 1966 David formed his new band, The Buzz, and auditions were held at the Marquee club and at Ralph Horton's flat. Tha band was formed by David Jones (vocals, guitar, saxophone), John 'Hutch' Hutchinson (guitar), Derek 'Dek' Fearnley (bass guitar), John 'Ego' Eager (drums) and Derek 'Chow' Boyes (keyboards). From 10th April to the 12th of June, David and The Buzz started a residency at the Marquee club. The show was sponsored by Radio London. The band went later through changes when John Hutchinson quit, being replaced by Billy Gray, who also quit later remaining the band as a trio.

After this period, in 1967 David played a short UK tour with a band named The Riot Squad, who were known for their use of make up and theatrical stage show, and a year later Bowie formed a trio called Turquoise, which only lasted for a few weeks since the name of the band changed to Feathers. At this point David signed with Kenneth Pitt as his manager to release several pop singles in the Pye and Deram labels, such as "Can't Help Thinking About Me", "Do Anything You Say", "I Dig Everything", "Rubber Band", "The Laughing Gnome" and "Love You Till Tuesday".

David Jones later changed his name to David Bowie to avoid confusion with the lead singer of the Monkees, Davy Jones. The name of "Bowie", from the Bowie knifes, was apparently suggested by his friend and roommate at the time Marc Bolan of T. Rex. In 1969 his debut solo album "Space Oddity" was released, which was originally released on Mercury records under the title of "Man of Words, Man of Music". The album, produced by Gus Dudgeon and Tony Visconti and recorded at London Trident studios close to the Marquee club under the engineering of the prestigious engineer Ken Scott, is considered the first significant work of David Bowie. With this album Bowie started forging the style that made him one of the main music figures of the 21st century in an eclectic mix of folk, rock, blues, rock n' roll, and electronic sounds. David Bowie returned to the Marquee for one gig on the 15th of June 1969 to support the folk rock band the Strawbs, which featured his friend and collaborator keyboardist Rick Wakeman of later Yes fame.

David Bowie played his last regular gig at the Marquee on the 3rd of February 1970 to present the new album "Hunky Dory", recorded again at London's Trident studios. The album featured some of the biggest Bowie classic songs, such as "Changes" and "Life On Mars?", and mixed in a peculiar and tasteful cocktail the sounds of rock, pop, folk and cabaret music.

After the fast ascension of Bowie's career his name became much too big for the small capacity of the Marquee club, but he would return for the last time on the nights of 19th and 20th of October 1973 for a filming sesion of "The 1980 Floor Show" for the American NBC TV late night show The Midnight Special. Admission to the show was by invitation only. For this production a special and spectacular stage production was set for the performance of Bowie's legendary album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" (1972). The Marquee club's chairman, Harold Pendleton, said about Bowie: "We were always nice to him and he loved us, and when he was a star he came back and did things like videos at the Marquee".

David Bowie at the Marquee

David Bowie at the Marquee, October 1973

After this point on Bowie's career he turned into one of the most successful and reputed artists from the rock scene of all times. In 1973 he started a parallel career as a producer with the album "Transformer" for his best friend Lou Reed and later "All The Young Dudes" for Mott The Hoople. He has released more than 20 solo albums, many of them considered as the best works ever produced in modern music and reputed for their innovation, including the trilogy produced between 1977 and 1979 with the collaboration of Brian Eno, consisting of "Low"(1977), "Heroes" (1977) and "Lodger" (1979). He has also worked with and produced regularly for his friend Iggy Pop and in 1983 he was established as one of the most commercially successful pop artists during the 80's with the release of "Let's Dance" (1983).

On April 2nd 1990 David Bowie was honored with the 'Outstanding Contribution To British Music' trophy at the 35th Annual Ivor Novello awards. In 1999 he received an honorary doctorate in music from Berkley College, Boston, which has also been received by Quincy Jones, Sting, BB King, Sting, James Taylor and Dizzy Gillespie. In July 1999 David Bowie was voted as the "Biggest Music Star of the 20th Century" in a poll of the Sun newspaper. He was also voted the 6th Greatest Star of The Century in Q magazine's poll and the "Most Influential Artist of All Time" by the NME magazine.

starMore info on David Bowie

Mr Jones and the Lower Third gigs at the Marquee Club


David and the Buzz gigs at the Marquee Club


David Bowie gigs at the Marquee Club


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