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David Bowie: Pitt Report

By Kenneth Pitt

‘What David did that afternoon is only hazily remembered, but I have a vivid recollection of how he did it. He oozed confidence and was in total command of himself, his band and his audience. His burgeoning charisma was undeniable, but I was particularly struck by the artistry with which he used his body, as if it were an accompanying instrument, essential to the singer and the song’

Kenneth Pitt was the urbane, connected music business professional. David Jones was a sixteen year old boy knocking about London’s Soho, singing with various outfits and beginning to network in the industry. Pitt had been hearing rumours about the talented, charismatic young singer-songwriter, and finally went to check him out at the Marquee Club. He took him on, and became his first manager between 1966-1970. David Jones soon evolved into David Bowie and the rest, as they say, is history.

This riveting account covers the early days of Bowie’s career, written by the man who knew him well as a friend and as his manager. Pitt took charge of the young singer’s cultural education, taking him to the theatre and lending him books. At one point Bowie actually moved into Pitt’s elegant Manchester Square flat. There is no doubt of the older man’s devotion to David, but Pitt accepts the advent of girlfriends – first Hermione Farthingale and then Angela Hartnett – with good grace. 

David Bowie’s stature has only magnified since his death in 2016, and The Pitt Report is an invaluable addition to our information about his life. Written with style and perception, it supplies great insight into the singer’s character and artistic development, as well as a vivid picture of the music scene in 1960s-1970s London. Pitt had dealings with some giants in their early incarnations – Bob Dylan and Genesis to name a couple – and took the young Bowie to legendary haunts, like The Roundhouse and The Speakeasy. When their professional relationship came to a close they remained friends, and the book is written as a testament to a man whom Pitt, as it turned out correctly, predicted would become one of the biggest stars of our time.

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