David Bowie and the Buzz performed at the Pleasurama in Ramsgate, Kent, on Friday 26 August 1966.
The Pleasurama was an amusement park which incorporated a railway station, funfair, bingo hall, cafe, and amusement arcade. It was destroyed by fire in 1998. After the site was left derelict for many years, in 2020 work on the Royals Sands development of luxury apartments got underway.
Bowie and the Buzz previously performed there on 3 June 1966.
On this occasion, they had hoped to use some pre-recorded effects tapes as part of their live act. However, despite working during rehearsals, technical problems meant that the sounds did not synchronise with the live music.
On August 3 David came with Ralph [Horton] to discuss ideas for a much needed revitalisation of the stage act and plans were made for David to devote part of his show to working to the accompaniment of backing tapes, which gave him greater scope for movement. The tapes were specially recorded and Ralph built a control console. The new act was to be introduced at the Coronation Ballroom, Ramsgate on the 26th and the Kent Messenger of that date said:
“Radio London fans going to the Big L Disc Night at the Coronation Ballroom, Pleasurama, Ramsgate this Friday will have the opportunity of witnessing the completely new act of David Bowie and the Buzz. To coincide with the release of his latest record, I dig everything and I’m not losing sleep, issued by Pye last Friday, the group has re-shaped its act, spending as much as eight hours a day rehearsing.”
Earlier in the day Ralph had called at the office to pick up some cash. He took £3 for petrol for the return journey to Ramsgate and £1.15.0 for a new stage shirt for David! A dramatic reminder of what inflation has done to us since then. The new act was not a success. What worked well at rehearsal proved to be impractical, mainly because of technical difficulties, and after one more trial run the following night at the Starlite, Greenford, the venture was abandoned.
The Pitt Report
Also on this day...
- 1990: Live: Idrætsparken, Copenhagen
- 1972: Rehearsal: Rainbow Theatre, London
- 1969: Interviews: Radio Hilversum, Radio Veronica
- 1965: Live: Davie Jones and the Lower Third, 100 Club, London
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.