Recording: Memory Of A Free Festival

2 April 1970 saw the fourth recording session for the remake of David Bowie’s ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’.

This was for a future single release, which spread the song over both sides of the 7″ disc. The session took place at London’s Trident Studios with Tony Visconti producing.

Recording for ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ took place on 21, 22, and 23 March, and 2 and 3 April, with mixing and editing sessions following on 4, 14, and 15 April.

This session necessitated the rescheduling of a gig in Scarborough, to the frustration of Bowie’s manager Kenneth Pitt. It eventually took place on 21 May 1970.

On March 24 I had sent David the usual memo advising him of engagements that had been confirmed. That particular one reminded him that he and the Hype had been booked at the Penthouse, Scarborough on April 2 and the Poco Club, Stockport on May 4. Such things would also be discussed on the telephone and in the office, but long experience had taught me that they should also be confirmed in writing. The contract for the Scarborough gig was issued on March 9.

A few days later it came to my attention that Tony Visconti had arranged for the first [sic] ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ re-recording sessions to take place on April 2, the day that he and David were due in Scarborough. He had not consulted me in the matter of David’s availability, but had relied on assurances he had been given at Haddon Hall. He should have known better, but Tony was only practical in his world of music, in which he was a commanding figure, and when he stepped outside he became an innocent abroad. I am sure that in making records with David he never quite understood the necessity, or the wisdom, of checking with me, a third party.

When I pointed out to David that he couldn’t be in Scarborough and London at the same time and he was contracted to go to Scarborough he flew into a tantrum. ‘My records are important to me,’ he cried, ‘and I’m not going to cancel that session.’ I agreed with him that his records were important to him, as they were to me, but shouldn’t they be made on those many days he spent in London with nothing to do? Did he have to record on a day when he should be elsewhere? He did not reply. Logic played no part in arguments such as these, except in the role of victim.

Kenneth Pitt
The Pitt Report

Memory Of A Free Festival single – Germany

‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ was released in Europe on . Bowie promoted it with appearances on the UK television show Six-O-One, and on the Dutch programme Eddy, Ready, Go!. Despite these efforts, however, it was not a commercial success.

Last updated: 31 March 2023
David Bowie decides to end management contract with Kenneth Pitt
Recording: Memory Of A Free Festival
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