All Bowie wanted in Portsmouth was a lit mirror for his make-up

David Bowie in 1972
David Bowie in 1972
It would take  someone of the age of 55-plus to remember this scene along Commercial Road at the junction of Church Street.

NOSTALGIA: A Portsmouth scene unrecognisable today: Commercial Road in its pomp

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Hot water, power points, some heating and, oh, a lit mirror would be nice.

Nothing much there to indicate how huge this artist might become and perhaps what demands for a rider he might make before long.

The contract for David Bowie's March 1972 gig at South Parade Pier, Southsea

The contract for David Bowie's March 1972 gig at South Parade Pier, Southsea

This is the contract sent to David Bowie by promoter Philip Haines for a gig on South Parade Pier, Southsea, on March 4, 1972.

It was the year of Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars in which he adopted the persona of Ziggy complete with full make-up. So there was real need for that illuminated mirror.

It wouldn’t be too many months before Starman Bowie’s career would rocket and he would never play the likes of South Parade Pier again.

Examine the contract carefully and you will spot Bowie’s flat fee for the night – not a percentage of door takings – of £225. That equates to £2,843 in today’s money.

Philip told my colleague Chris Broom in The News yesterday: ‘I booked a gig with David very early on having seen him do two or three shows.’

He was already selling out shows in London, but the provinces had not yet caught on to the man who would, literally change the face of rock music.

Philip adds of the South Parade gig: ‘My abiding memory is how he was surrounded by more security than anyone else I had ever encountered.

‘But it was far from sold out that night.’

There is an interesting line on the poster too.

Look at the top and you will see that Philip promised the concert would go ahead ‘regardless of power cuts’.

That was a reference to the 1972 miners’ strike between the National Union of Mineworkers and Edward Heath’s Conservative government which led to power shortages and reduced voltage on the national grid as a cold snap hit Britain that winter.