David Bowie and the Arts Lab 1969

David Bowie and the Arts Lab 1969

Joined: May 1st, 2017, 10:28 am

April 24th, 2018, 12:42 pm #1

A fascinating "contract" letter to Dick Jones - a member of the Drama Band offering them a slot at the Growth Arts Lab in 1969.

DB was in businessman mode but very hippy-fied at the time. Lovely piece of history...

More about his Drama Band here: https://sisyphusascending.com/2015/11/1 ... rama-band/

I think Mary Finnigan would have a wry smile at being referred to as a "hustler"
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Joined: July 11th, 2004, 4:56 pm

April 24th, 2018, 11:01 pm #2

I'm *still* hoping tape recordings of one of the nights gets shared one day.

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 25th, 2018, 1:21 pm #3


Firstly this is to confirm that we wish you to appear at the Three Tuns, Beckenham High St. on Aug. 3rd somewhere between the hours of 7:30 and 10:45 for a duration of anything you like but for not less than 3/4 of an hour. The bread that shall pass hands will be £10 English currency, in accordance with the rules of the present monetary system.

There you go, baby.

I'm really looking forward to seeing your band, unless I'm mistaken we should have a very happy constructive evening with interplay from both sides.

On the subject of agency (sic) my ideas are embroynic and fluid but what we do have together is the following:-

1. 4 bands (local) who have no work.
a) Sin Theris, an awkward sounding tribal/folk sound
b) Oswald K. poetry/free-form Jazz/Rock
c) Giles & Abdul
Indo/blues duo with vocals
d) Midget, a 30 piece rock-orchestra
MIDGET is the most exciting venture yet, but I also have a lof of feeling for the others.

2. A number of colleges and Labs call us for suggestions as to who they could book.

3. A telephone, paper, and office facilities.

4. Mary Finnigan, join co-ordinator of the Lab (known as GROWTH). A good talker and hustler.


So as not to stamp on the toes of "Catalyst" we would steer away from mass agency concept. i.e. not have 3,000 blues-groups on books. We would concentrate only on music/visual/oral-activity media.

We should have only a limited number of groups to deal with.

Say 10 at the most. As the agency would work on a temporary basis we would have time to concentrate on each of these groups with care. Whenever a booking is obtained for a group, paid, free, or expenses, we would expect the group to offer a sum of money to cover expenses (say 3/6). This would keep us running.

It might also interest you to know that we have now secured our own record label, UNDERGROWTH, which will be in operation within two months. Apart from the studios, we have a first class distribution tie-up which will place us alongside E.M.I. Decca etc in any and every record shop.

Your ideas please.
Yours in Dharma,

growth headed paper isn't printed yet? Next week maybe!

oh! and a S.E. Underground paper.

If you wanted any details of the Lab, please don't hesitate to ask. We have a million and 1 things going SUCCESSFULLY. I may sound over-opt. on things but its because I'm so excited by what's happening down here. Dig?

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 25th, 2018, 1:23 pm #4

Yes I remember reading on his blog about this letter - he needs to put it up there before he sells it.

Noticed the auction house is up the road from me. Extra 30% auction commission is a bit steep though.

Joined: May 1st, 2017, 10:28 am

April 27th, 2018, 11:00 am #5

Totally agree - nice piece of genuine history this time unlike this fake Starman that sold for $65,000 last November
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