David Bowie Jones and The King Bees

David Bowie Jones and The King Bees – 1964

01 Liza Jane –
1964 Davie Jones & The King Bees.flac
02 Louie Louie Go Home –
1964 Davie Jones & The King Bees.flac
03 Liza Jane –
1964 Davie Jones & The King Bees.flac
04 Louie Louie Go Home –
1964 Davie Jones & The King Bees.flac

Members
Davie Jones [aka David Bowie] (vocals, tenor saxophone), George Underwood (rhythm guitar, vocals, harmonica), Roger Bluck (lead guitar), Dave Howard (bass), Robert “Bobby” Allen (drums)

“Liza Jane” was the first recording to be released as a single by David Bowie, but under the name Davie Jones with the King Bees. This event took place in 1964 when Bowie was 17 years old. The B-side of the single was the Paul Revere and the Raiders song “Louie, Louie Go Home”. Both songs on the single were recorded in a seven-hour session at Decca Studios in Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead

Bowie came in touch with Leslie Conn, who ran Doris Day’s music publishing company and was a talent scout for the Dick James Organisation. Conn booked The King Bees for a wedding anniversary party, but with loud RnB on the setlist, Conn stopped the gig after only 10 minutes. Conn still became The King Bees’ manager and promoter for some months in 1964, and they recorded and released “Liza Jane” as a single for the Decca Records label Vocalion Pop.Despite promoting the single on the television shows Juke Box Jury, Ready Steady Go! and The Beat Room, and receiving good radio coverage, the single sold poorly and the band were subsequently dropped from the label.

The song was an arrangement of the old standard “Li’l Liza Jane”, but Conn was credited as the songwriter, and the usual story is that this was done to get more royalties from the single. Conn recalled in 1997 how the King Bees had come up with a six bar blues, which everyone used. Conn came up with some ideas of his own for the song, they improvised and the song came together.

After Conn and Bowie parted in 1964, Conn moved to Majorca for a few years, and was one day on the phone with his mother who wanted to get rid of a few hundred copies of “Liza Jane” that were stored in her garage. They agreed to throw them away.

Bowie recorded the song again, in 2000, for the album Toy, which was never officially released but eventually leaked on the Internet in 2011.

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