“A lover sings false”. The harsh verdict comes from an account of the hearing written in 1965 by the BBC about a singer who will eventually be a monument of the british music: David Bowie.

It was on the 2nd of November 1965 and the british musician, then 18 years old, plays with his band, David Bowie and the Lower Third, for a team to gauge the level of artists that could go on the airwaves of the BBC, tells the story of the documentary David Bowie: Finding Fame , which will be released on 9 February on BBC Two.

” READ ALSO – David Bowie, A Life : chronic extravagant of ordinary days of Ziggy Stardust.

At the time, David Bowie is changing in the music scene for a few years, but the success is slow to come and the BBC is a golden opportunity to make themselves known to the general public. But after having played three titles (one of Bowie, a cover of James Brown and Chim Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins), the group is notified of a refusal.

“there is nothing interesting in all they do”

report from the BBC on the group of David Bowie and the Lower Third

“They don’t really have a default musically, it’s just that there is nothing interesting in everything they do”, writes one of the members of the panel of the BBC in the record of the hearing, found in the archives of the audiovisual group. “The singer is not very exciting”, one can read also. But also: “a lover sings false” or “I don’t think the group will improve with more reps. One of the observers differs, however, by judging the style of the training “rather different” groups of the time.

David Bowie is no access to the celebrity, that four years later, in 1969, with the song Space Oddity, before becoming a pop legend. He died in 2016 as a result of cancer, two days after he released his last album on the occasion of his 69th birthday.

The letter of the BBC is reminiscent of several refusals remained famous in the history of music or the arts. In 1962, the producer of the label Decca Record’s Dick Rowe, flunks a cassette tape… the Beatles, a considered decision as the biggest mistake in the history of music.