A Letter To Hermione - Dec 26 1968;
Live Falmouth, England + 4 [Flashback]


Don’t be fooled by the name. As of early 2006, the earliest known live David Bowie recording dates from the BBC broadcast in February 1970 that marked Mick Ronson’s debut alongside the singer. Anything claiming to predate that is either a fake or sadly mistaken - and A Letter To Hermione certainly falls into this category. The bulk of the set is taken from the same nine song demo tape that originally made up the Beckenham Oddity, complete with the between song chatter that makes it patently obvious that the only audience was a microphone, and the auditorium was Bowie’s apartment - at one point, he even apologizes for the sound of the old lady who lives upstairs moving around.

The "main attraction" is then followed by four demos dating from 1967-1971 - the "Little Toy Soldier" homage to the Velvet Underground, a harmonica driven cover of the same band’s "Waiting For The Man," "Right On Mother" and an early "Lady Stardust." In other words, nothing you haven’t heard (and bought) before, and nothing like what it says on the box. Ignore at all costs. - Dave Thompson

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