Radio Bowie: Unheard David Bowie Pin Ups recording to air on 6 Music

Music fans get their first chance to hear a 15-min recording made in 1973 to promote Pin Ups

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The Independent Culture

Radio 1's loss was pop music's gain, it appears, after a recording of David Bowie presenting his own radio show emerged after more than 40 years.

Bowie's debut as a DJ, a 15-minute mock radio show which he made to promote Pin Ups, his 1973 album of cover versions, will be broadcast for the first time by BBC Radio 6 Music on Wednesday.

"Radio Bowie" features the singer's own musings and insights into the London music scene, interspersed with hit songs including The Who's "I Can’t Explain".

The show was produced by Bowie, with his producer Ken Scott, but never broadcast. It was unearthed by Nigel Reeve who oversees Bowie's back catalogue. He said: "I discovered it during some research several years ago. It was in an old tape vault on 1/4" tape with simply the words "Radio Show" written on it.

Reeve added: "This is such a rare find. No one knew of its existence, apart from David and Ken. To play it for the first time was quite simply a jaw-dropping moment."

6 Music Breakfast Show presenter Shaun Keaveny will play the first part of recording, followed by further clips broadcast on the station's shows during the day.

Bowie presents the programme in the style of his earliest persona, born-and-bred Londoner David Jones, the music-loving, club-going man about town.

Opening with "Rosalyn" by The Pretty Things, Bowie recalls the "blues boom" which ignited the British music scene. "I'd already been up Ealing Broadway to see Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, and that's when he had a killer line-up with Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Cyril Davies and Spike Heatley on bass, Graham Bond on organ and alto with of course John Baldry on vocals.

"I think most London art school students found themselves carted up there some time or other. Viv Andrews and Dick Taylor for sure. Dick was at Sidcup forming The Pretty Things with Phil after he got chucked out of the Stones. Phil was pretty electric and cleared most halls in about 15 minutes."

After "Here Comes the Night" by Them, Bowie continues: "Anyway, there was lots to choose from – up the Windmill or the Elephant, get blocked and bussed over to Richmond. Brian had cancer and was going to drop any day, Mick never washed. How could this new lot replace the Stones? Yardbirds? Any wallop, they blasted out the old solos."

"I Wish You Would" by The Yardbirds prompts the thought that: "The Liddyball (Liverpool) thing didn't mean a light up Richmond. It affected one band who dropped the "beat" bit and became The Merseys. Never saw 'em play but they hung about a lot."

After playing "Sorrow" by The Merseys, Bowie concludes: "So there you were, you had the Prettys, Yardbirds and, if you ventured down The Marquee on a Sunday night, the Floyd with dear old Syd (Barrett), or The Animals down Windmill Street at the Scene Club, Eel Pie Island Ricky Tick Club for The Creation or Reg's mob The Action. But the biggest buzz was back at The Marquee. They dressed weeks out of date, but they did all the right stuff – Martha and Vandellas and all that. A lot of action on a night. They were our band, The Who."

Keaveny said: "It's beyond exciting for 6 Music to be showcasing the first-ever airing of this historic recording, in a year that has been all about the Bowie comeback."

James Stirling, Editor, 6 Music, says: "This exclusive is a fantastic coup for 6 Music. As a network showcasing music of alternative spirit, David Bowie is at our core, and it's fantastic that our listeners will have the opportunity to hear this radio show for the first time ever."

Bowie broke a 10-year silence in January, releasing a new single, "Where Are We Now". The album which followed, The Next Day, is nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, which will be announced on 30 October.

6 Music will use the Pin Ups radio show to celebrate a day of cover versions, with listeners asked to nominate their favourite interpretations.