New David Bowie doc highlights career failures
- Bang Showbiz
- 2 February 2019
David Bowie was blasted by the BBC as an "amateur-sounding vocalist who sings wrong notes and out of tune", when he auditioned for the TV station in 1965
David Bowie was blasted by the BBC as an "amateur-sounding vocalist who sings wrong notes and out of tune".
A new documentary, 'David Bowie: Finding Fame', is set to air on BBC Two next week and will chart the music icon's rocky path to fame and the pitfalls and criticism he faced along the way, including the BBC's disparaging comments about him in 1965.
Filmmaker Francis Whately calls the documentary a tribute to Bowie's enduring legacy, explaining to The Guardian: "It shows an icon in rude health, really, that we can make a whole film about someone's lack of success."
In 1965, David and his group The Lower Third auditioned for the BBC and recorded three songs, James Brown's 'Out of Sight', Bowie's 'That's a Promise' and, 'Chim Chim Cher-ee' from Mary Poppins.
A researcher for the new documentary discovered the verdict of the BBC's "talent selection group" and their comments have been included in the new film.
They included comments such as: "I don't think the group will get better with more rehearsal – what we heard will always be the product," and "The treatment of Chim Chim Cher-ee kills the song completely. Instead of being bright and gay the song becomes a sad ballad. The singer is a cockney type but not outstanding enough."
And the talent selection group was particularly unimpressed with Bowie, stating: "There is no entertainment in anything they do. It's just a group and very ordinary, too, backing a singer devoid of personality."
'David Bowie: Finding Fame' will air on BBC Two Saturday 9 February at 9pm.