Live: Royal Albert Hall, London

David Bowie performed a 20-minute solo show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 12 March 1970.

It was part of a benefit event in aid of the charity Mencap. The other acts included the Faces and Josef Locke.

Bowie’s involvement came about on 4 February, during a meeting with film executive Rex Sheldon. The meeting was to discuss Bowie providing music for a proposed film, Silver Lady, which was never made. Sheldon also invited Bowie to perform at the Albert Hall event, which he accepted.

The charity show that David had agreed to take part in took place at the Royal Albert Hall on the 12th. It was in aid of Mencap and had been organised by an Irish entrepreneur named Michael Sugrue, a well-known philanthropist. For his twenty-minutes’ spot David wisely dispensed with the assistance of the Ken Mackintosh orchestra and accompanied himself with his 12-string guitar. In spite of the fact that a large contingent of fans had come to support the star of the show, the Irish tenor Josepf Locke, David was well received. I supposed the better known artists on the bill received no payment for their services, but I managed to get a payment of fifty pounds for David.

David, Angela and I then left the Royal Albert Hall and strolled along Knightsbridge and Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus underground station, where they were to catch a train. Before they descended to the concourse we stood for a while chatting, and David suddenly said ‘We’re going to get married,’ and then as if by way of an explanation, he added ‘Well, we’re happy.’

Kenneth Pitt
The Pitt Report

Bowie married Angela Barnett the following week on 20 March 1970.

Last updated: 28 March 2023
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