Recording: Ching-A-Ling, Back To Where You’ve Never Been

David Bowie’s short-lived trio Turquoise performed just three known concerts, and one recording session. The latter took place on 24 October 1968.

They taped at least two songs, with Tony Visconti producing: ‘Ching-A-Ling’ and ‘Back To Where You’ve Never Been’, the latter written by guitarist Tony Hill.

They were very enthusiastic about one song they had written and were anxious for me to record it with them. It was called ‘Ching-A-Ling’ and, after I’d heard it, I begged Denny and David Platz to let me record it. But Denny was explicitly anti-Bowie: ‘You know I’ve never “got” him’ was Denny’s take on things. ‘I’m not about to finance another of Bowie’s follies’, was how a slightly less than generous Platz put it. I was slightly baffled because it was he who had initially wanted me to work with Bowie. Once again, I did my ’embezzling’ gambit and booked Trident Studios in St Anne’s Court in late October to record ‘Ching-A-Ling’ and a second song written by Hill, which was called ‘Back To Where You’ve Never Been’. Unfortunately within a few days Hill was out of the band and David’s friend John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson was in. I needed another day in the studio to take Hill’s voice off and put Hutch’s voice on. I thought Platz would be over the moon with the results of this session.

‘What’s this? Who’s Feathers? I didn’t know we had a group called Feathers on the label?’

I thought that Denny recorded so much bullshit stuff, wasting so much time and money in the studio I could just slip this session through. I wasn’t a great ’embezzler’ because I didn’t think of writing ‘Joe Cocker’ on the work sheet. Yet again I was severely reprimanded and almost fired.

Tony Visconti
Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy

Hill left the group shortly after the session, and was replaced by John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson. The change in line-up also prompted a new name, Feathers.

This was also Bowie’s first recording session at Trident Studios, where he would record much of his landmark music in the late 1960s and early 70s, including Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, and Aladdin Sane.

Last updated: 17 March 2023
Live: Turquoise, Country Club, London
Filming: The Virgin Soldiers
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.

Leave a Reply