When David Bowie talks, people listen – even if the interview is from 40 years ago. BBC Radio has offered up a 13-minute recording of Bowie, then 26, promoting his 1973 covers LP Pin-Ups; in it, the Thin White Duke reminisces about his early musical influences and the British music scene at hip London clubs like the Marquee.
Bowie plays five tracks from Pin-Ups (Things’ “Rosalyn,” Them’s “Here Comes the Night,” the Yardbirds‘ “I Wish You Would,” the Merseys’ “Sorrow” and the Who‘s “I Can’t Explain”), introducing each with some brief anecdotes about the bands.
“The biggest bands was back at the Marquee,” Bowie says before introducing his gritty, slowed-down take on “I Can’t Explain.” “They dressed weeks out of date, and they did all the right stuff – Martha and the Vandellas and all that. Lot of action on a night. They were our band, the Who.”
The recording was unearthed by Bowie’s manager, Nigel Reeve. In an interview with the BBC, he says he found the rare tape while perusing the singer’s archives.
“It was in an old tape vault on 1/4-inch tape with simply the words ‘Radio Show’ written on it,” Reeve says. “This is such a rare find. No one knew of its existence, apart from David and [co-producer Ken Scott]. To play it for the first time was quite simply a jaw-dropping moment.”