Sixties singer a Star attraction after 57 years
Many will have seen the blue plaque erected in the Royal Star Arcade to commemorate the late David Bowie who used to perform there when it was still the Royal Star Hotel back in the 1960s.
Of course the superstar wasn’t actually David Bowie then – he was Davy Jones, lead singer with Coxheath band The Manish Boys.
The name change came later so he would not be confused with Davy Jones of The Monkees.
His blue plaque was unveiled last month by Topper Headon, former drummer with The Clash.
Sadly Bowie is no longer with us, but live music is returning to the Star, in High Street, Maidstone, with an appearance by Five In The Bar in the courtyard outside the 4 Degrees Craft Bar and Restaurant on Friday, August 5.
In a strange twist of fate, the leader singer of Five In The Bar, Tony Ellingham, used to appear with Bowie at The Royal Star back in 1964.
Mr Ellingham, from Lordswood, was then the lead singer with Gravesend-based band The Casuals.
He said: “We backed Bowie’s band on several occasions. In fact, when Bowie was having trouble finding lodgings he stayed for several months with a mate of mine, Reg Keam, in Twydall.”
Reg Keam later became the drummer in Mr Ellingham’s next band, Unit 5.
Mr Ellingham said: “Bowie was a strange character even back then – though actually of course the showbiz industry was full of strange characters.
“It will be a very nostalgic return to The Royal Star for me, and for some other members of the band who also played there at times.”
Mr Ellingham had his own brush with fame, when in 1969 – performing under the stage name Dorian Gray – he had a top 40 hit with “I’ve Got You On My Mind” staying seven weeks in the charts. He appeared on Top of The Pops with Cilla Black and Tom Jones.
His fame never reached Bowie’s stellar heights, but at the age of 75, he is still performing 57 years after his first appearance with The Casuals.
The 4 Degrees concert is free entry. Five In The Bar will perform from 9pm to 11pm.
The Mannish Boys with a young David Bowie, right back and the blue plaque at Royal Star Arcade
Tony Ellingham during his chart hit days as Dorian Gray