Rehearsal: David Bowie and the Riot Squad

David Bowie played his final show with the Buzz on 27 November 1966, but the members were retained for the recording of his debut album.

Having spent some months without a regular backing band, Bowie played a handful of solo shows in between recording sessions. But the early weeks of 1967 were a quiet time professionally, and he needed a group to take his songs on the road once again.

On Monday 13 March 1967 Bowie rehearsed for the first of four consecutive days with the Riot Squad at the Swan pub in Tottenham, London. The pub, which closed in 2008, was situated at 363 High Road, on the corner of Philip Lane.

The London-based band had formed in 1964 and were signed to Pye Records. At this time their line-up was Rod ‘Rook’ Davis (guitar), Brian ‘Croke’ Prebble (bass guitar, vocals), Bob Evans (saxophone, flute), George Butcher (keyboards), and Derek ‘Del’ Roll (drums). Evans was the only constant member of the band, which split up later in 1967.

Bowie had recently been gifted a copy of the first Velvet Underground album, and wished to explore their raw sound further in his own music. On 5 April he and the Riot Squad recorded a version of ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’ at Decca Studios.

Last updated: 25 April 2023
David Bowie becomes a member of the Performing Rights Society
Rehearsal: David Bowie and the Riot Squad
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