With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day 3 June 19, 2022


Just how did the final day of the rather spiffing David Bowie World Convention come around so quickly? I really don’t know, but here it is. the day kicked off really well as I managed to complete a great set of autographs in the “Little People, Big Dreams – David Bowie” (written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Ana Albero) for my 18-month-old grandson Leo. The book has dedications for Leo from John Cambridge, Woody Woodmansey, Donny McCaslin, Gail Ann Dorsey, Robin Clark, and Carlos Alomar. Carlos was kind enough to add a cartoon self-portrait. I plan to teach Leo everything I know about Dame David! I suspect that after the excellent Bowie Ball on Saturday night that there were a few sore heads in the audience for Sunday, but the schedule was busy and exciting.

Jonathan Barnbrook
Pegg, Duffy, Auliac, O’Regan

First up were a couple of very interesting and informative short films presented by the curators of the David Bowie Is exhibition, Victoria Broackes, and Geoffrey Marsh. This was followed by Jonathan Barnbrook a supremely talented designer who created the cover for Bowie’s final two albums and Heathen to name just a few. Not only is he a great designer he is also a confident and eloquent raconteur. His sense of humour is magnificent and frankly right up my street! After that Kevin Cann was back to facilitate a conversation with the owner and creator of the Duffy Archive, Chris Duffy. Chris is a talented photographer in his own right and his father was the person behind the iconic ‘Aladdin Sane’ album. Chris talked about his childhood, his father, Bowie, and many of the artists he has photographed. Very entertaining indeed! Chris returned for the next session in which Nicholas Pegg was in conversation with Mr. Duffy, Phillipe Auliac, and Denis O’Regan. It was pleasing to hear Phillipe say that it was him who shot Bowie not doing a Nazi salute at Victoria Station in 1976. I was there and there most definitely was not a nazi salute. The press turned a snapshot into a vile slur. O’Regan’s memories were enlightening, especially his story about the on-stage feuds between Mick and Keef. The final session was Nicholas Pegg in conversation with the obscenely talented Donny McCaslin. Donny went into great depths about the creation of ‘Black Star’ and the ‘No Plan’ EP. We learned that while Donny is a master of many instruments, the piccolo is not one of them. Donny shared some demos of his new project which is performing ‘Black Star’ and other Bowie songs with a full concert orchestra. The plan is for it to be performed for the first time in the US in September. Even the demos sounded magical, they made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and I was washed with wonderfully warm emotions. Donny closed his session with a solo sax performance of, I think, “Warszawa”. Every session has been incredibly good, (apart from the NFT presentation on Friday), but I think Donny’s just about shaded it for me as the best of the whole weekend. Before we left we were treated to seeing all the remaining guests appear on stage as a final thank you.

Donny McCaslin

The 2nd David Bowie World Fan Convention is planned for June 2023 in New York, sadly I won’t be able to make that, but I am so glad I made it to Liverpool for this one. We met some great people, especially top bloke and our new friend Jeremy. Perhaps a slight disappointment was not being able to get into the incredibly limited capacity Bowie Quiz at Phase One. But that is minor and did not spoil a truly spectacular weekend!

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The David Bowie World Fan Convention 2022 – Day 2


All of us hard-core Bowie fans flocked back to the Mountford Hall in Liverpool on Saturday for day 2 of the magnificent David Bowie World Fan Convention. Proceedings were kicked off by Bowie specialist and author, Kevin Cann, If you ever had to choose someone who might truly be the font of knowledge for all things Bowie, Kevin might well be it, followed closely by Nicholas Pegg. Kevin’s rather excellent presentation centred on Bowie’s early years, particularly his childhood and early manager Ken Pitt. He shared some very rare clips and photographs that absolutely delighted his audience. Woody Woodmansey’s appearance on day 1 was incredibly funny, but early Bowie drummer John Cambridge’s session on Day 2 took the humour to another stratospheric level. What a wonderful raconteur he is and his memory definitely borders on photographic. He stayed in touch with David over the years and some of their interactions, particularly the emails he shared showed that both Cambo and Bowie possessed great comedy talent.

Nicholas Pegg was back on stage to facilitate the next session which featured Professor Alex Sharpe and Doctor Bethany Usher alongside John Cambridge and Woody Woodmansey. Woody clearly enjoyed the first day so much that he stayed on! Although we had two wonderfully talented academics on stage this was also quite a fun session too. It was really interesting to hear Professor Sharpe’s personal take on how Bowie had been so important in her journey as a transgender woman. Dr. Usher’s story about living opposite Roker Park in Sunderland as a young child and hearing David Bowie play there in the 80s started her own Bowie journey. John Cambridge confirmed what many of us probably believed that David Bowie was an alien. Obviously, I took that as a cast-iron fact! The day’s proceedings closed with Kevin Cann hosting a panel that included Carlos Alomar, Robin Clark, Gail Ann Dorsey, and Donnie McCaslin. This was perhaps the most emotional session we have experienced so far with all four of the panel sharing intimate memories of their friendship with Bowie including their very last conversations with him. My new friend Jeremy suggested that this might have been quite cathartic for them and I think he is right!

After that, we all dashed back to our hotels to sparkle up for the Bowie Ball. My wonderful wife Catherine and I used the theme of “put on your red shoes and dance the blues”. Check out our pictures below. There were some truly amazing costumes on show and so many people had made a huge effort to look great. Many of us are more all the old dudes (and dudettes) these days, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time enjoying some great film footage from Nacho (check out some of his fab Bowie videos below) and singing and dancing to a great Bowie tribute act, Rebel Heroes. We left just as the Bowie DJs started playing. Why so early? Well at our age we need the sleep! The venue, St. Georges Hall is a stunning and in places labyrinthian building. The size is breathtaking as are the stained glass windows. Day 3 will, I am sure be another epic day!

Catherine, me, and Jeremy jazzin’ for Blue Jean at the Bowie Ball
What a lucky man I am 🙂

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