The second single by The Arnold Corns was released in the UK on 11 August 1972.
The Arnold Corns was nominally fronted by fashion designer Freddie Burretti, although he didn’t appear on their recordings. David Bowie played guitar and sang, with backing from the band Rungk: guitarist Mark Pritchett, bassist Pete De Somogyl, and drummer Tim Broadbent. Pritchett wrote ‘Man In The Middle’, which featured Bowie on vocals.
What became Arnold Corns was a band called Rungk, which was me and two fellow students at Dulwich College. David was a neighbour. He lived across the street; I used to do stuff at his folk club – I probably had more equipment than he did. After The Man Who Sold The World flopped, David was having arguments with his label, and was writing all this stuff and wanted to get some of it down; he just wanted to get it out there around his current contracts.
After The Man Who Sold The World the band all left, but I was still there across the street. He thought, ‘I can do this with a load of public schoolboys’ – he loved it, and he wanted Freddie Buretti to front it up. Freddie had been around for a bit. I said to David, ‘Freddie can dance and he can pose, but he cannot sing.’ The first one, ‘Moonage Daydream’ and ‘Hang On To Yourself’, is Rungk, bass, drums and guitar – I play a bit of piano on it – and David singing. Freddie, also known as Rudi Valentino, he made the cosrumes but he didn’t have a great set of tonsils on him…
Arnold Corns’ version of ‘Hang On To Yourself’ had a pre-Beach Boys sort of feel. It was strummy guitar, like some of the early bands David was in, ‘Let’s have a shindig’ – that kind of feel to it. He’s a songwriter – he knew exactly the sound he wanted. He would sometimes tell you about the sound he had in his head – sometimes he’d tell you quite bluntly. The thing is, you could always say to him, ‘You know that bit there? If we were to do that… He would take suggestions for improvements. He was a lovely guy.
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)
Also on this day...
- 1974: Recording: Young Americans
- 1972: Rehearsal: Rainbow Theatre, London
- 1971: Live: Country Club, London
- 1967: US album release: David Bowie (1967)
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.