Bowie’s Brixton Spirit
Taking time out in South London? Walk with the spirit of David Bowie in Brixton.
Stansfield Road, Brixton where David Bowie was born and grew up; David’s very first school (Stockwell Primary School) and the O2 Brixton Academy have put this South London district on the map.
The David Bowie mural near Brixton Station, which is made by Australian artist James Cochran a.k.a. Jimmy C is opposite Brixton London Underground station on the Victoria Line, almost opposite the tube exit and entrance. If you’re taking time out on this side of London, take a walk.
Happy Christmas – Bowie’s Voice on Video?
This video of 1980’s Brixton, above, features a disembodied voice, sounding like David Bowie, wishing us “Happy Christmas” at 8 minutes and 22 seconds in.
What is really strange is that this was filmed as stock news footage in Brixton on 19th June 1982! Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence appeared a year after this was filmed, in 1983. Bowie is also well-known for Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby and of course, his part in Do They Know It’s Christmas. You be the judge of this footage. (Bowie Brixton Mural: BBC)
David Bowie Walking Tours
The Stansfield Road House
Thanks to the joys of real-estate advertising you can take a video tour of 40 Stansfield Road, as it was offered to buyers.
Bowie’s father, John Jones, and his first wife, Hilda, paid about 500 pounds for it after the war.
David Jones was born here on 8th January 1948 at 40 Stansfield Road in Brixton. It’s a few train stops to Leicester Square and Soho.
The Ziggy Stardust Plaque in Soho
The cover photograph of the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was taken at 23 Heddon Street in Soho. A plaque was placed there in 1972 by the Crown Estate, who own the land. It was unveiled by Garry Kemp of Spandau Ballet, a big fan of David Bowie. Find out more about Bowie’s Soho here.
The David Bowie Memory Map is a fascinating, crowdsourced world map of Bowie places and spaces by a number of different faces – you can add yours here.
David Bowie’s love of black music may have come from growing up in Brixton. On June 22nd, 1948, a little over a year after David Bowie was born, the British passenger liner, HMT Empire Windrush made port just outside London with migrants from Jamaica. The 1,027 passengers were housed in the Clapham South deep shelter, about two miles from Coldharbour Lane, in Brixton.
In 1979, David Bowie’s contemporaries, the English punk band The Clash (also fans of black music) released The Guns of Brixton, which was written and sung by Paul Simonon, the bassist who had also grown up in Brixton.
Our Brixton Boy on the Brixton Pound
After Bowie passed, the Ritzy cinema in Brixton changed their marquee lettering to say, “David Bowie – Our Brixton Boy – RIP.” He also features on the local currency, the Brixton Pound, and shops in Brixton accept these notes as a way to keep money within the community, as theirs is money that sticks to Brixton.
The iconic photo of Bowie as Aladdin Sane, shot by Brian Duffy in 1973, is featured on the B£10 note—which is the same image that would later be painted on the wall of Morleys, the Brixton department store, on Tunstall Road.
There’s money in Bowie and Bowie in money. In fact, his Royal Mint coins (gold) are GBP 14,500 pounds each on eBay.
The two ounce gold proof Bowie coins from the Royal Mint Music Legends Series were released in 2020. There are only 100 pieces with box and certificate of authenticity.