Surprise visitor Tony Visconti promises to be at the Bowie Bandstand in 2019

Surprise visitor Tony Visconti promises to be at the Bowie Bandstand in 2019

Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity is a festival based around the bandstand where Bowie and friends organised a day of music in the local park (It’s even said that he sat on the steps and wrote the early parts of ‘Life on Mars‘). On 16 August 1969, David Bowie helped organise, compere and perform at a free festival based at the bandstand.  It was romantically immortalised on the Space Oddity album on the track ‘Memory of a Free Festival‘. The one-day festival has taken place annually for the last three years in it’s current guise.

This year Tony Visconti (Bowie’s long time producer), Woody Woodmansey (drummer during the ‘Spiders from Mars’ era) and his wife June surprised the crowd by turning up unannounced. Mainly staying in the artists areas behind the bandstand fans were treated to a friendly signing and selfie event. TV cameras from local TV station ‘London Live‘ captured some of the proceeding including an interview with Woody that aired that evening on their local news edition. Woody, along with guitarist Mick Ronson, famously shared a house with Bowie and girlfriend Angie a short distance from the bandstand and park.

Towards the end Visconti arrived on stage where he talked and reminised about previous times living in the area. He delighted fans by saying he would be there in 2019 when the, now annual, festival returns in 2019 to celebrate 50 years since the original ‘Growth Festival‘. When asked by the host if he could guarantee his attendance next year he said, while tapping his chest…

‘If this is still beating I will be here’.

So hopefully we can look forward to a visit from Visconti for next years event. Maybe he’ll be kind enough to bring ‘Holy Holy’ the band he mentioned onstage, a Bowie cover band (covers of songs they played on or produced!) which along with Tony on bass also has drummer Woody on sticks. We will see!

View fan’s YouTube video of stage talk and interview HERE