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David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging, The Kenny Everett Show, April 23, 1979 (Nacho 2019 upgrade)

April 23rd, 2019 | by admin

David Bowie • Boys Keep Swinging • Special version produced for the Kenny Everett Show.

Video:
An excerpt from The Kenny Everett Show • Series 2 • Episode 9 • Broadcast on the 23rd of April 1979 • Directed by David Mallet

Musicians:
David Bowie • Vocal
Unconfirmed • Guitar
Unconfirmed • Bass
Unconfirmed • Drums
Unconfirmed • Violin
Unconfirmed • Keyboards
Tony Visconti • Production

Forty years ago today, on Monday 19th of February 1979, at 7pm, Bowie performed Boys Keep Swinging on the Thames TV program The Kenny Everett Show. For most Bowie fans, it was the first time they were hearing the new material from the forthcoming album, Lodger. It had been a long 18 months for Bowie fans, since the release of the “Heroes” album in October ’77.

The Boys Keep Swinging single wouldn’t be released for another four days. And when came, it was a different version to the one aired on The Kenny Everett Show, with a different video to accompany it.

The Kenny Everett Show would be the first time Bowie worked with director David Mallet. Bowie was sufficiently impressed with the results, that he also shot the official Boys Keep Swinging video with Mallet, using the same set from The Kenny Everett Show. Bowie and Mallet would continue to work together on subsequent videos for Lodger songs, and up to the Ashes to Ashes and Fashion videos in 1980.

Arguably, The Kenny Everett Show audio and video of Boys Keep Swinging are more satisfying than the official versions. Yes, we are lacking Belew’s marvelous screaming guitar break, from the Lodger version, and the three Bowie’s in drag from the official video. But I really like the “live” vocal and the rough edges of this version. And Bowie looks spectacularly beautiful here, sporting what looks to be a black boiler suit, sandals, and white nail polish, clearly enjoying himself performing his new song.

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Does anyone know anything about the recording of The Kenny Everett Show audio of Boys Keep Swinging? Listening closely to it, it’s clearly a completely different version to the official release. There seems to be a consensus that it was produced by Tony Visconti at his Good Earth Studios in London. I haven’t found any confirmed information as to who the musicians are. The drumming is more sophisticated than Carlos Alomar’s deliberately amateurish playing on the Lodger version, but it doesn’t sound like Dennis Davis to me. The bass sounds very similar to Tony Visconti’s playing on the official release, so I think it’s likely to be him. I’m guessing it could be Simon House on violin,because he played on the Lodger sessions. There are rumors that the guitarist was Brian Robertson, formerly of Thin Lizzy. That would make sense because Lizzy were another act that Tony Visconti was producing in those days. It’s tempting to ask then if the drums are played by Brian Downey from Thin Lizzy? Tho’ by early ’79 Robertson had parted company with Thin Lizzy, apparently not on the best of terms.

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This video of the The Kenny Everett show performance of Boys Keep Swinging, is a matrix I’ve put together from several sources; an attempt to create the most complete and best quality version thus far made available.

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