Hidden treasures

When Bowie came second at a contest near Pistoia!

Did you know that...
David_Bowie

When Bowie came second at a contest near Pistoia!

David Bowie, the charismatic Thin White Duke, has surely played the stages of Tuscany on many occasions during concerts and festivals. One of his latest performances was at Pistoia Blues in 1997 and, for those who did not know it, he also got married in Florence in 1992 with the model Iman Abdulmajid. But going back in time, we see that David Bowie took part in August 1969 in a singing contest held in Monsummano, a small town in the province of Pistoia famous for its thermal baths and its many shoe factories.

It was the ‘International Disco Festival’ and, apparently, David Robert Jones’s, aka Bowie, week-long stay was kindly paid for by one of the sponsors, a shoe factory in the area. Even though he was not yet the star he would soon become, they boy, twenty-two years old at the time, wearing a t-shirt, jeans and with a guitar, was incredibly popular with the local young women. It seems that he did not speak a word of Italian, but we are sure that, with his charisma, chatting girls up for him was dead easy.

And how did the contest go? He had just finished recording the album ‘Space Oddity’ in London but in Monsummano he sang ‘When I live my dream’, which was instead part of the album from two years earlier. Unfortunately, although the critics were positively impressed by the young singer from Brixton, a Spanish singer named Cristina came first. Yes, it’s true, the great David Bowie came second in Monsummano! But in Monsummano folks thought it better to seek forgiveness and even named a park after him: that’s Villa Renatico Martino, where the 19th century Museum of Contemporary Art is housed. There is no denying it, Tuscany never ceases to amaze you, don’t you think? There is always a story to tell, a quirky fact to discover! And to make the most of it, look no further than our guides, they always have a card up their sleeve! Put them to the test! One idea is Your Own Florence, our tour that you can customize with them according to your interests and requests.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Florence: Do you have “il palletico?”

Palletico_Vohabolario
Figures of speech

In order to explain this term, we’ll give you a simple example: do you recall when, during a school exam, your leg would shake rhythm...

View

Florence: The story of a true Tuscan: the fiasco!

fiasco_fila_
Did you know that...

'A glass bottle, round and thick, without a base, with a covering of swamp weed that surrounds the body and forms its base...’: even ...

View

Volterra: Volterra stone of Gods

alabastro_Volterra
Did you know that...

Volterra is often referred to as a ‘gem of stone’. In fact, everything is built with this material: roads, buildings and tower...

View

Pistoia: The Pistoia’s comfits also won Zeffirelli’s heart!

confetti pistoia
Did you know that...

Pistoia comfits are a real delicacy even if, when you see them, they look a bit funny! They are white and have a very particular shape:...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View