Prior to Bowie, David Robert Jones was called. David Robert Jones . This name slams like a pirate flag, and is reminiscent of Davy Jones, expression for the spirit of the sea. David did not choose the pirate vocation but of rock singer, who has finally not very far. He did not kept his name. Like every legend has an origin, back before David Bowie.
“When I started, I did not know which direction to go artistically. Some wanted to make me an entertainer, other composer. I did not see any solution adopted. There, I have to say, many people who have influenced me: Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jacques Brel. Jazz musicians like Charlie Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Charles Lloyd. And of course the musicians of the next decade: The Rolling Stone, The Beatles, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, the Small Faces, Bob Dylan.”
David Bowie , about his influences and his debut - source "The age of pop music", ed. Ramsay 1982
David was born on January 8th 1947. The family universe of David, that of his childhood was cradled between the notes that escape the clarinet from his grandfather and jazz records and books of the "beat generation" of his half-brother Terry in which he dedicates a total admiration.
In adolescence, as obvious, David learned to play an instrument. He chose the saxophone and jazz became his passion. He was 12. After studying at the Technical College of Bromley and a fight that will give him his mysterious look, David finds a job in an advertising agency and plays at night in the clubs of London. After six months, he cannot combine the two, so David Robert Jones decided to devote himself to music.
We are in the 60's rock with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, away everything in its path. Jazz is aging and David Robert Jones turns away for this new music that is so intense. He joined the group called King Bees, who signed with Decca and released on June 1, 1964, the title "Liza Jane". The disc is extremely rare and stirs the envy of collectors today.
But the competition is tough in this England swinging at every street corner and the 45 is a failure. David Robert Jones embarks on another adventure with a group whose name changes depending on the desire but in which one always finds the name of David Jones before the name of this "backing 'band", just to make it clear already, which is the star.
The David Jones and The Lower Third or David Jones and the Buzz ride in an ambulance and hair so Mod. During the concerts, the group shared the bill with the High Numbers, later The Who.
David, along with his band, playing the Marquee Club in London (where he met one of his most loyal fans) and was noticed by a publicist, Ken Pitt , who decides to take the artist's career in hand. David has signed to the record company, which also signed the Kinks; Pye . We are in 1965 and it's only been two years since David Jones has launched. The BBC offered him a passage to television... provided that the young man be good enough to cut hair. David refuses and sees the opportunity right under his nose.
At Pye, he recorded his first single when manager Ken Pitt's is warned that a US producer is about to launch a US version of The Beatles, The Monkees, and a member of the group, an Englishman, is called Davy Jones ...
David is not yet well known enough and feels that this other rocker of the crown, passed under the stars and stripes, could be confusing. It was imperative to change name, and as his first single is not out yet, selects David Bowie. On January 14, 1966, the single comes out - "Can’t help thinking about me" . The introduction is reminiscent of another song from Michel Polnareff release on April 26 of that year: "La poupée qui fait non". But unlike Polnareff, David's song was a commercial failure. Yet patience Bowie is as sharp as the knife that would have inspired his pseudonym and his work will eventually pay. But this is another story ...
Thank you to Thierry Dupin, music programmer at France Inter and documentaion Musicale de Radio France.