Teenage Wildlife

Bowie at the Roundhouse

by Emilio Pacheco

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In 1978 (I was 17 back then) I was waiting for my turn at the dentist while browsing some old magazines in the waiting room. Suddenly I saw a familiar face: David Bowie with curly hair in a golden outfit, singing his heart out. The article was titled "The Craziest Place in London" - meaning the Roundhouse. David's name is not even mentioned, as no one knew him at the time, at least not in Brazil. The photographer just liked what he saw and thought it would make for good illustration - and it certainly did! The reason why there were Brazilian journalists in London in 1969 was that two major Brazilian singer/songwriters were living there at the time, Caetano Velloso and Gilberto Gil. They had been banned for political reasons. In 1976 another magazine mentioned that Velloso and Gil's manager Guilherme Araujo also saw Bowie at the Roundhouse (though not necessarily on that same night) and spoke to Angie. She suggested maybe he could turn David "into another Carmen Miranda". Perhaps Bowie himself can confirm this piece of trivia.

I should have kept the whole magazine. I could have asked for it, I think the dentist would have let me have it. Instead, I just tore out the two pages, so no I'm not sure whether the magazine was Manchete or Fatos & Fotos, or whether it was from 1969 or 1970. Also, the picture is split between the pages (and the tear marks), but Bowie's image is intact except for his left hand. Anyway, I wonder if this is a rare picture that has never been divulged before in the Bowie world. The next step is to try to locate the negatives, if they still exist. We have the photographer's name (Alecio de Andrade) and even though I'm not sure about the magazine, both titles are published by the same company.

This is it. Have you seen this picture before? Or is it a genuine, bona fide rare item?

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This document last updated Tuesday, 25-Apr-2000 20:24:48 EDT
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