David Bowie is one of the world’s most innovative recording artists, pioneering the birth of Glam Rock and constantly morphing through styles, personas and genres with every decade.
The world famous star man was born right here in Brixton and is currently the face of the £10 Brixton note.
Bowie in Brixton
On 8th January 1947 Margaret Mary Peggy Jones (an usherette at the local cinema) gave birth to a son, David Robert Jones. He was born in the family home at number 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton, London, SW9 9RZ.
David Jones lived in Brixton with his Mum and Dad until he was six years old.
He attended Stockwell Infants School until 1953 when the family moved out to Bromley in Kent. The young David Jones sung in his school choir and was reported as having an ‘adequate’ singing voice.
Little did his teachers know, this young boy would go on to become one of the world’s most popular, innovative and iconic Rock stars.
Davie Jones and the King Bees
The band released their single ‘Liza Jane’ on the 5th June 1964, but soon went their separate ways due to lack of any real success with the record. Listen to the single on Spotify
By the following year, David had reinvented himself with a new group going by the name of Davy Jones and the Mannish Boys.
Their debut single ‘I Pity The Fool’ was released in March 1965.
David went on to sing with a succession of bands throughout the Sixties including The Lower Third, The Buzz and The Riot Squad.
While these bands recorded and sold records, they never achieved the success of their peers and the fame that David was hoping for.
Meanwhile the growing success of an American band called ‘The Monkees’ (who also had a member called Davy Jones) led to the boy from Brixton deciding to change his name and reinvent himself as David Bowie.
In 1967 David Bowie recorded his first real solo project ‘David Bowie’ although it wasn’t until two years later and the end of the Sixties that David would finally get the breakthrough he had dreamed of with his classic 1969 album ‘Space Oddity’.
Although the album was not a commercial success at the time of its release, ‘Space Oddity’ allowed Bowie to explore the concepts and characterisations that defined his work over the following decades.
David has continually reinvented himself and reinvigorated Pop music as a result, creating personas as diverse as cosmic pop idol Ziggy Stardust and the emotionless mad aristocrat The Thin White Duke as well as pioneering what would become Glam Rock in the early Seventies.
David Bowie’s music has reached far beyond Brixton, the UK and even planet Earth – the boy born on Stansfield Road has become a global megastar.
His home town paid tribute in 2011 by using Bowie as the face of the current Brixton £10 note.
David Bowie, Brixton salutes you!
Check out the 2 Many DJs David Bowie Mash Up Live at Brixton Academy: