Radio: Top Gear

David Bowie recorded his second appearance on the BBC radio show Top Gear on 13 May 1968.

The recording took place at the corporation’s Piccadilly 1 Studios at 201 Piccadilly, London. The producer was Bernie Andrews and the engineers Pete Ritzema and Alan Harris, and John Peel was the presenter.

Tony Visconti was the musical director, and the musicians were named as the Tony Visconti Orchestra for the appearance. There were 14 players including John McLaughlin on guitar, Herbie Flowers on bass, Alan Hawkshaw on keyboards, Barry Morgan on drums, and Visconti and Steve Peregrine Took on backing vocals.

Bowie performed five songs: ‘London Bye Ta-Ta’, ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’, ‘Karma Man’, ‘When I’m Five’, and ‘Silly Boy Blue’.

All but ‘When I’m Five’ were released in 2000 on Bowie At The Beeb.

The edition of Top Gear was broadcast on 26 May, although ‘Silly Boy Blue’ remained unused until the session was repeated in June 1968.

Last updated: 29 March 2023
Photo shoot: Manchester Street, London
Live: Middle Earth, London
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