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David Bowie in the 60s: New documentary from the BBC

David Bowie in the 60s: New documentary from the BBC
David Bowie in the 60s: New documentary from the BBC
Note that I independently write and research everything in this article. But it may contain affiliate links.

A new film titled David Bowie: The First Five Years, is heading to BBC Two in 2019 and it sounds like it should be something very special.

David Bowie: The First Five Years is described as the ‘final part of the trilogy of films’, following the award-winning David Bowie: The Last Five Years in 2017 and David Bowie: Five Years in 2013, all produced and directed by Francis Whately.

The 90 minute film starts in 1966, soon after David Jones changed his name to Bowie and traces his interest in everything from Holst to Pinky and Perky, from Anthony Newley to Tibetan Buddhism, and how he used all these influences to create not only Ziggy Stardust, but the material for his entire career.

Speaking in one of the archive clips featured, Bowie says: ‘ spent all my formative years adopting guises and changing roles, just learning to be somebody. I wanted to be accepted as David Bowie – a person that you will always watch to see what kind of thing he is doing.’

The film also unearths a report, deep from the BBC Archives, following a BBC audition on Tuesday 2 November 1965 of David Bowie and the Lower Third. Their audition material included Chim-Chim-Cheree as well as an original number called Baby That’s A Promise. The BBC’s ‘Talent Selection Group’ describe him as having ‘quite a different sound’, but also ‘no personality’, ‘not particularly exciting’ and ‘will not improve with practice’. So that went well.

David Bowie in the 60s: New documentary from the BBC
David Bowie in the 60s: New documentary from the BBC

The David Bowie in the 60s documentary will also feature other unheard audio recordings, archive and unpublished documents alongside unique and exclusive interviews with David’s family, girlfriends, boyfriends and early collaborators.

Those contributors include Bowie’s first cousin and lifelong-friend Kristina Amadeus and former girlfriend and muse Hermione Farthingale – both of whom have never before been filmed talking about him; the late Lindsay Kemp in his last filmed interview, lifelong friend and producer Tony Visconti, former girlfriend and friend Dana Gillespie, lifelong friends Geoff MacCormack and George Underwood, Bowie’s producer Mike Vernon, Bowie’s early producer Tony Hatch, and Woody Woodmansey, the last remaining Spider from Mars.

The BBC adds: ‘It was the Sixties that made Bowie the multi-faceted artist whose career influenced generation after generation of musicians. The Bowie of the Sixties was possibly the most fascinating Bowie of them all.’

No definite date for this as yet. But I’ll update when there is.

Note that the image at the top of the page is Bowie’s debut album from 1967, which is available as a vinyl reissue at Amazon.

The image further down the page is Bowie by David Wedgbury. That’s available as an art print from Snap Galleries as well as a part of the David Wedgbury range at King & McGaw.

If you want more Bowie in the 60s imagery, then you probably want to pick up a copy of the Bowie Unseen: Portraits of an Artist as a Young Man book by Gerald Fearnley.

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