David Bowie



David Bowie logo
David Bowie logo 1967
from his first album
Artist names:
--- "David Robert Jones" (born 1947)
--- "Davie Jones" (debut 1964)
--- "David Bowie" (since 1965)

Band name: "Davie Jones with The King Bees"

First song title: "Liza Jane"

Genre: Rock, Beat, Rock 'n' roll

Musicians:
--- David Jones - vocals, alto sax
--- George Underwood - rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals
--- Roger Bluck - lead guitar
--- Francis Howard - bass
--- Bob Allen - drums

Writer: Leslie Conn

Recorded: May 1964

Released: June 5, 1964 - UK

Producer: Leslie Conn

Studio: Decca Studios, 165 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, London

Label: Vocalion Pop (catalogue No. V.9221)

Format: Vinyl, 7", 45 rpm, A-side. On B-side: Davie Jones with The King Bees perform a cover of "Louie, Louie Go Home", by Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Lenght: 2:18

Features: "Liza Jane" was the first recording to be released as a single by David Bowie, and credited to Davie Jones with The King Bees. The song was an arrangement of the old standard "Li'l Liza Jane", but Leslie Conn was controversially credited as the songwriter. On B-side, Davie Jones with The King Bees perform a cover of "Louie, Louie Go Home", by Paul Revere and the Raiders. Both songs on the single were recorded in a seven-hour session at Decca Studios in London, 165 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, under the label Vocalion Pop, May 1964. Release: June 5, 1964.

Interestings facts: In 1962 David Bowie formed his first band at the age of 15, while at Bromley Technical College. In the spring of the same year, Bowie got into a fight over a girl, with his school pal - and, later, lifetime artistic partner - George Underwood; George punched him in the left eye. His doctors determined that the damage could not be fully repaired and Bowie was left with faulty depth perception and a permanently dilated pupil, which gave a false impression of a change in the iris' colour. Playing guitar-based rock and roll at local youth gatherings and weddings, The Kon-rads had a varying line-up of between four and eight members, Underwood among them. In 1964, frustrated by his band-mates' limited aspirations, Bowie left The Kon-rads and joined another band, The King Bees. He wrote to the newly successful washing-machine entrepreneur John Bloom inviting him to "do for us what Brian Epstein has done for the Beatles - and make another million". Bloom did not respond to the offer, but his referral to Dick James's partner Leslie Conn led to Bowie's first personal management contract. Conn signs a deal with Decca for a single, "Liza Jane", with "Louie, Louie Go Home" on the B-side, released on June 5, 1964. Conn quickly began to promote Bowie, and since than, he becomes a fully fledged professional musician. Music weeklies NME, Record Mirror and Record Retailer each ran encouraging reviews of the disc, it was aired by DJs on Radio Luxembourg, and the band got to appear on TV shows such as Juke Box Jury (June 6), Ready! Steady! Go! (June 19), and The Beat Room (July 27). Despite promoting, the single sold poorly. Bowie quit the band less than a month later to join the Manish Boys, another blues outfit, who incorporated folk and soul. "I Pity the Fool" was no more successful than "Liza Jane", and Bowie soon moved on again to join the Lower Third, a blues trio strongly influenced by the Who. "You've Got a Habit of Leaving" fared no better, signalling the end of Conn's contract. His new manager, Ralph Horton, later instrumental in his transition to solo artist, soon witnessed Bowie's move to yet another group, the Buzz, yielding the singer's fifth unsuccessful single release, "Do Anything You Say". While with the Buzz, Bowie also joined the Riot Squad; their recordings, which included a Bowie number and The Velvet Underground material, went unreleased. Ken Pitt, introduced by Horton, took over as Bowie's manager. In late 1965, dissatisfied with his stage name as Davy (and Davie) Jones, Bowie renamed himself after the 19th-century American frontiersman Jim Bowie and the knife he had popularised. His April 1967 solo single, "The Laughing Gnome", failed to chart. Released six weeks later, his album debut, David Bowie, an amalgam of pop, psychedelia, and music hall, met the same fate. It was not until 1969 that the splash onto the charts would begin, with the legendary "Space Oddity", which peaked at No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart.

Quote: David Bowie, during the live at PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, USA, 5 June 2004, sang the first verse and chorus of his debut single "Liza Jane" to honor its 40th anniversary, and prefaced it by calling the song «absolutely dreadful» and «excruciating», which isn't a bad description of the sludgy blues fragment he offered that night.

Property: © Decca Records

Artist website: http://www.davidbowie.com


David Bowie and The Kon-rads
David Bowie formed his first band "The Kon-rads" in 1962 (15 years old). A guitar-based rock and roll group with a varying line-up of between four and eight members.

David Bowie 1964
David Bowie in 1964 (17 years old, then Davie Jones). David Robert Jones, known as David Bowie (Brixton, Jan. 8, 1947 - Manhattan, Jan. 10, 2016), was an English singer, songwriter, musician, actor, record producer and arranger.

Davie Jones with The King Bees 1964
Davie Jones with The King Bees (1964). Standing in the middle: Bowie (then David Jones); from left: George Underwood, Dave Howard, Robert Allen, and Roger Bluck.


"Liza Jane" original audio from the single (June 5, 1964)
LIZA JANE

Well, I got a girl that's so good to me
(Oh, little Liza)
Well, now she ain't more than five foot three
(Oh, little Liza)

Well, this little girl is so good to me
(Oh, little Liza)
Yeah, this little girl's nearly half of me
(Oh, little Liza)

Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane

I got a girl, duh-duh-goo-to-duh
(Oh, little Liza)
Yeah, this little girl turn me upside down
(Oh, little Liza)

Well, I like all little girl had
(Oh, little Liza)
You know this little girl drive me to despair
(Oh, little Liza)

Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane

Yeah, I got a girl who loves me true
(Oh, little Liza)
Now she ain't more than five foot two, yeah
(Oh, little Liza)

You know this little girl is so good for me, yeah
(Oh, little Liza)
You know this little girl's is half of me
(Oh, little Liza)

Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane
Little Liza Jane

Oh yeah, I love her
Little Liza Jane
Well, I'm coming back to me love
'Cause she's driving insane
"Liza Jane" lyrics

David Bowie, single 1964 cover front
David Bowie, single 1964 side A
David Bowie, single 1964 cover back
David Bowie, single 1964 side B
David Bowie, his first song ever: "Liza Jane", credited to Davie Jones with The King Bees and released on June 5, 1964, in 7" vinyl single format, A-side. On B-side, their version (cover) of the song "Louie, Louie Go Home", by Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Liza Jane advertising 1964
Liza Jane, advertising on the Record Mirror (June 6, 1964)

Davie Jones with The King Bees, review 1964
Davie Jones with The King Bees, review on the Record Mirror (June 20, 1964)

Liza Jane score
Liza Jane, sheet music cover (1964, Dick James Music Ltd.)

Davie Jones with The King Bees on BBC
Davie Jones with The King Bees: Liza Jane on BBC TV's "The Beat Room" (July 27, 1964)

David Bowie album 1967
David Bowie, cover for the eponymous debut studio album (June 1, 1967)