Recording: Rubber Band, The London Boys, Please Mr Gravedigger

David Bowie recorded his debut Deram single, ‘Rubber Band’, on 18 October 1966.

The session took place at RG Jones Studios, which was situated in Morden Manor on London Road in Morden, south-west London.

The RG Jones recordings featured Bowie, Derek Boyes on piano, Dek Fearnley on bass guitar, and John Eager on drums. They were all members of Bowie’s band The Buzz. Also contributing were several unknown session musicians.

The session lasted four and a half hours. Also recorded were a new version of ‘The London Boys’, which became the b-side of ‘Rubber Band’; and ‘The Gravedigger’, which was later re-recorded and retitled ‘Please Mr Gravedigger’.

On 24 October, Bowie’s manager Kenneth Pitt played acetates of the three songs to Deram’s A&R manager Hugh Mendl and staff producer Mike Vernon. Impressed by what they heard, Deram agreed to purchase the songs, and to give Bowie a contract to record a debut album. For this Bowie was paid £150, plus an advance of £100 against royalties from album sales.

The ‘Rubber Band’ single was issued by Deram on 2 December 1966. The song was re-recorded for Bowie’s eponymous debut album, which was released on 1 June 1967.

Live: Marquee Club, London – David Bowie meets Dana Gillespie
UK album release: David Bowie (1967)
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