Photo shoot: Clapham Common, London

David Bowie was photographed on London’s Clapham Common on Sunday 6 November 1966.

Among the images from this day were of Bowie working at a cafe table, and in the park’s bandstand.

At the cafe Bowie wrote a new song, ‘Join The Gang’, which was released on his debut album in June 1967. The song’s genesis was documented in a Decca press release circulated with images from the shoot.

It was twelve o’clock and he had just got up. ‘I can’t do anything until I’ve had a cup of coffee!’ he groaned and we dashed off to an open-air cafe on Clapham Common. It was completely deserted.

‘I feel a tune coming on,’ said David, so we left him to compose it in peace. Half an hour later when we got back, he was still there surrounded by a pile of cups and plates. ‘What did I have? Um, six coffees, baked beans, spaghetti and eggs and two doughnuts. Oh! And I finished the song. It’s called ‘Join The Gang’ – about some kids, like most of my songs.

Last updated: 23 June 2022
Live: Shoreline, Bognor Regis
Photo shoot: Thames Embankment, London
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