1965 Audition Judges Did Not Like David Bowie

BBC documentary unearths criticism
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2018 6:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – In 1965, David Bowie—then still known as Davy Jones—auditioned with his group, the Lower Third, for the BBC's Talent Selection Group in an attempt to have their songs played on BBC radio. And while Bowie might be a legend now, back then he failed to impress—and failed the audition, the Times reports. The makers of an upcoming BBC documentary, David Bowie: The First Five Years, have revealed the notes the judges left for the group, and they are not good. Per the Guardian and the New York Daily News:

  • "A singer devoid of personality."
  • "Singer not particularly exciting. Routines dull."
  • "I can’t find fault with them musically—but there is no entertainment in anything they do."
  • "Amateur sounding vocalist who sings wrong notes and out of tune."
  • "I don’t think they’ll get better with more rehearsals."
  • "The singer is a cockney type but not outstanding enough."
Four years later, of course, Bowie's eponymous album launched him on the path to stardom. The documentary will air on the BBC next year to mark the album's 50th anniversary. (Bowie's very first demo track was recently unearthed.)

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