Television: Gadzooks! It’s All Happening

David Bowie appeared with The Manish Boys on the BBC 2 show Gadzooks! It’s All Happening on Monday 8 March 1964.

The show was broadcast live at 7:35pm from Television Centre, following a day of rehearsals at the BBC’s Bush Theatre (later the Shepherds Bush Empire).

The Manish Boys performed their single ‘I Pity The Fool’, which had been released three days earlier.

This was the sixth episode of Gadzooks! It’s All Happening, and was presented by Alan David and Christine Holmes. It also featured Peter Cook, Dorris Henderson, the Three Bells, the Mike Leander Combo, and the Beat Girls. Davy Jones and the Manish Boys were billed as the guest artists, along with Adrienne Poster.

Bowie – then known as Davie Jones – had recently concocted a press controversy over his long hair. He had told a Daily Mirror journalist that the booking on Gadzooks! was under threat due to his long hair. The previous November he had appeared on the BBC 2 news show Tonight as president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.

The Gadzooks! controversy had been concocted by Bowie and the show’s producer Barry Langford, who told the Mirror: “Kids today just don’t want this long hair business any more.”

Inevitably, the appearance took place as scheduled. Langford told the press that the group had only been allowed to perform after their fee was donated to the Variety Club charity. This was another invention, and the band were paid their agreed fee.

Despite the efforts of the musicians and producer to drum up interest in ‘I Pity The Fool’, it was in vain and the single failed to sell well.

After the show, The Manish Boys performed at the birthday party of producer Shel Talmy, at the Mayfair Hotel on Berkeley Street, London.

UK single release: I Pity The Fool
Live: Davie Jones and the Manish Boys, Bromley Court Hotel, Bromley
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