Dave Cousins, the Strawbs frontman pictured above, has received regional and national publicity following today’s release of his autobiography, Exorcising Ghosts.
Cousins, whose band is best known for 1973 hits ‘Part of the Union’ and ‘Lay Down’, reveals how David Bowie’s first US tour “bombed” after he got the wrong visa and immigration officials banned him from performing.
Bowie’s landmark visit to the States was meant to be a coast-to-coast publicity drive to promote his third album, The Man Who Sold the World.
But, despite organising a variety of gigs at colleges and universities following the album’s U.S. release in 1970, he was left high and dry when border officials refused him permission to work.
It was later revealed the singer had failed to apply for an H1 employment visa, making it legal for him to perform.
The oversight meant Bowie was forced to plug the album – hailed as the birth of glam rock – through secret gigs for ‘whoever we could get in’.
He was also restricted to simply talking about the album on U.S. radio shows, instead of performing any of its songs to live audiences.
Bowie described the tour as ‘awful’, adding: ‘I was sent [to America] to plug the LP, but I couldn’t get an HI.
The ‘lost’ recording came to light for the first time in more than 40 years after Strawbs frontman Dave Cousins discovered the radio interview he did with Bowie in the back of a drawer.
Cousins interviewed the young Bowie in March 1971 during a five-year spell as a producer for the Danish broadcaster, Danmarks Radio.
But the recording, which has never been played to a British audience, lay forgotten in his attic for more than four decades until he stumbled across it.
Cousins claims the historical importance of Bowie’s disclosure was ‘completely overlooked’ by the music media at the time.
The story was run by the Mail and the Express, and in today’s print edition of the Scotsman. Previous coverage included interviews and features in Cousin’s regional media. See it all below, or in our book PR portfolio, here.
Copies of Exorcising Ghosts are now available on a complimentary review basis to members of the UK press. For a copy, contact us on 0203 1027935.