He’s known as one of the great survivors of the 1960s, an enigmatic performer who has continued to reinvent his career down the decades – but like many pop hopefuls in the shadow of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, David Bowie served his dues in Stevenage and North Herts.

And now author Kevin Macan-Lind, who admits he has been obsessed by the mercurial musician for more than 40 years, is writing a book about the artist’s connections to Herts, Beds and Bucks and hopes Comet readers might be able to fill in some of the blanks from those early years.

Kevin, now based in Broom just up the A1, has lived in Herts and Beds all his life.

He’s looking for information about two concerts which featured Bowie as he tried to make his breakthrough, and before he changed his name from Jones to Bowie to avoid confusion with the lead singer of The Monkees.

One featured The Lower Third at the old Town Hall in Orchard Road, Stevenage, on January 28, 1966.

Only a couple of weeks later Bowie was back in town, appearing at Bowes-Lyon House.

Again the act on the bill on February 12 was The Lower Third but Bowie was actually backed by new band The Buzz, which had been put together in the preceding weeks. In publicity at the time the venue was billed as ‘the largest youth centre in Europe.’

Kevin said: “I’ve been obsessed with Bowie for well over 40 years and seen all the tours from the 1970s onwards.

“I’ve met him a few times and helped with other publications in the past.

“He started to ply his trade in his teenage years playing in a number of bands trying to get that elusive break.

“He toured all over the UK in those early years and on 20 occasions played in Herts, Beds and Bucks.

“A very early gig happened at Chicksands near Shefford, in the days when it was a United States air base.

“Davie Jones and The Manish Boys played there on July 25, 1964, when he was only 17.

“I am very interested to see if there are any Comet readers who were at those Stevenage gigs and have recollections of their time there – as well as any photographs.”

If you can help Kevin with his research, you can get in touch by email at kevin@bowiewonderworld.com.

And if you want to know more about the artist, you’ll find his life mapped out online at www.bowiewonderworld.com.