David Bowie’s first EVER performance was on the Isle of Wight – as a scout

David Bowie gave both his first and last UK performance on the Isle of Wight and also spent time in Ventnor in the mid-60s playing at the Ventnor Winter Gardens.

david bowie at scout camp on the isle of wight in 1958 -

The outpouring of love and condolences for the artist David Bowie has been incredible to see over the last 24 hours.

The Scout Association were among those yesterday paying tribute to the icon, whose talents spanned The Arts.

They posted the above photo for their Facebook followers, showing David Bowie on Scout camp on the Isle of Wight in 1958 with the 18th Bromley Scouts.

Playing Uke and homemade single string bass
The Bromley Scouts also paid tribute to David Bowie yesterday saying,

“David, along with his school friend George Underwood were members of the 18th Bromley in the late 1950s and performed Lonnie Donnegan’s hit “Gamblin’ Man” and “Puttin’ on the style” at the troop summer camp in 1958.

“David played ukulele and a homemade single string bass which he had made with his school mate Dudley Chapman from an old tea chest and broom handle when they both attended Burnt Ash Junior school.”

A return to the Island
David Bowie returned to the Island in 1965 when he played the Ventnor Winter Gardens with his band, Davie Jones and Lower Third.

According to Bowie Wonder World, the band played the Winter Gardens every Saturday in April 1965.

Of course, in 2004 for the Isle of Wight Festival for his last UK performance.

His last public performance was in New York in 2006.

As is clear from the outpouring of grief on social media, David Bowie will be greatly missed on this planet.

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
David Bowie 1947-2016

If you haven’t seen them yet, here are a couple of videos from the new album, released by last Friday on David’s 69th birthday.

Image: © Scout Association

Tuesday, 12th January, 2016 11:59am


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Filed under: Fashion, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Art, Isle of Wight News, Music, The Arts, Top story

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3 Comments on "David Bowie’s first EVER performance was on the Isle of Wight – as a scout"

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Adam Manning

Does anyone know where the camp / first performance was?

If it was at Corf someone has got to arrangeva blue plaque!

Mr Einsteins Ghost

If this really is so, it would be great to mark it in some way!


there used to be a lot of scout and guide camping at Whitecliff bay camping site in the 50s/early sixties,i used to deliver food ect to these fields.