David leaves this world

It is hard not to mark the passing of such an important musician as Mr Bowie so here is a quote from our book ‘Over, Under Sideways, Down’ where Bob Solly recalls getting a new band member:

  • In the early Sixties I was asked to go professional by a band called Band Seven, a seven-piece band, and they had saxes and so on, and it was one of those showband type of things where you wear a tuxedo and a dickie bow; I was a guitar player then. So that was the start of my professional career and they were based in Maidstone in Kent. There were a couple of fellows in that band, who had the same thinking as I did, so we left and formed The Manish Boys. We had a contract with Dick James Music. We went to see Dick James and he lined us all up against the wall and said: Look, you lot, one thing, no booze and no girls; I won’t tolerate it. Now you can go and see Leslie Conn. Leslie Conn was a manager in another office, he was a real character. He said: I’ve got a great thing lined up for you; I’m glad I’ve met you all because I’ve got a singer who’s ideal for you. His name is David Jones.
  • We said no more singers, because we all sang ourselves; I started out as a singer actually, and he said: Well, he’s made a record and he’s very good, plays a saxophone, you’ve got saxes in the band. I’ll come down with him at the weekend and you can give him a trial. So we did. He came down one summer weekend, he came in the back door with Davie, and that was it. We thought, wow. He had long hair down here, and buckskin and everything, and we thought, oh yeah, he’s great, he’ll do. So we make a place for him in the band, but we didn’t really want him at first, we didn’t want anyone else. That’s how that David Jones/Bowie happened.