David Bowie attended a performance of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s stage show Behind The Fridge on 8 May 1973.
Also attending the show at London’s Cambridge Theatre were Angela Bowie and Tony Visconti and his wife Mary Hopkin.
David and I were reunited socially after The Man Who Sold The World split up Hype (Woody Woodmansey, Mick Ronson and myself) in 1970. The ice was broken in 1973, when David and Angie invited my wife, Mary Hopkin, and I to see the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore show Behind The Fridge in the West End. We were on speaking terms again and kept up our renewed friendship via phone and the occasional visit to his flat in Chelsea.
Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) book
The title was a play on Beyond The Fringe, the hugely successful and groundbreaking comedy show starring Cook, Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller in the early Sixties. Bowie later immortalised the show in the opening line of ‘Young Americans’: “They pulled in just behind the fridge, he lays her down”.
David and Angela invited us to the theatre to see Behind The Fridge written by and starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. When they arrived to pick us up in their limo, David took the lift up to our flat to collect us. I was giving the babysitter instructions about how to feed our infant son when David walked into our kitchen dressed in full Ziggy Stardust regalia, with orange spiked hair and shaved eyebrows – how long it must have taken him to get ready to go out? The babysitter, unbeknownst to me, was a Bowie fan; she dropped the pan filled with warm water that contained the baby’s bottle on the kitchen floor and shrieked. David was amused (no doubt he was used to having this effect on people) and I laughed hysterically. The stretch limo was an American left-hand drive car and as we got into the narrow streets of Covent Garden the driver wedged the limo in between cars parked on either side of the narrow lane. We had to squeeze out of the narrowly open doors and walk the rest of the way to the theatre.
Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy
Following the show Bowie was photographed with Cook and Moore.
Angela heckled Peter Cook and Dudley Moore all night, and it was quite a bizarre evening, but exactly the evening I expected, strained and full of tension and real culture shock. As you may know, Mary, my wife, is a very subdued, laid back, and in her own description, ‘twee’ person, and here we were going out with these two extroverts in the personas of David and Angela Bowie. However, we bridged the gap very quickly and got friendly again, and before I knew it, I was working with him again on Diamond Dogs, and underneath all the make-up and stuff, it was really my old buddy David.
The Record Producers, John Tobler and Stuart Grundy
Also on this day...
- 2004: Live: Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta
- 1999: David Bowie receives honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music
- 1978: Live: Madison Square Garden, New York
- 1976: Live: Empire Pool, London
- 1966: Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Marquee Club, London
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.