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Maidstone: David Bowie's legacy commemorated with plaque unveiling

Music icon David Bowie has been immortalised in Maidstone thanks to a blue plaque commemorating his history and association with the town. 

Nick "Topper" Headon, former drummer with the Clash, and Bowie's ex-bandmate Bob Solly were on hand to unveil the plaque in the Royal Star Arcade. 

Dozens of music fans filled the floor to mark the special occasion at a place Bowie played a number of times between 1964 and 1965. 

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Bob Solly and Nick "Topper" Headon unveil the plaque to commemorate David Bowie's musical heritage in Maidstone.
Bob Solly and Nick "Topper" Headon unveil the plaque to commemorate David Bowie's musical heritage in Maidstone.

Bowie performed several times as part of Maidstone band The Manish Boys at The Royal Star Arcade, formerly the Royal Star Hotel Ballroom, in the High Street, in the mid 60s. 

Manish Boys band members Woof Byrne, Bob Solly with Topper Headon, former drummer with The Clash and the plaque
Manish Boys band members Woof Byrne, Bob Solly with Topper Headon, former drummer with The Clash and the plaque

The commemoration was arranged by Radio Kent as part of 47 unveiled across the country to mark BBC Music Day, based on listener nominations.

Nick "Topper" Headon, after unveiling the plaque, said: "I was given a list about three months ago to choose a suitable recipient, whether it be a place or person connected to Kent.

Topper Headon,former drummer with The Clash with fan Sal Hook
Topper Headon,former drummer with The Clash with fan Sal Hook

"There were various gigs such as the Chislehurst Caves, the start of the Canterbury music scene.

"There was Noel Redding from Fat Mattress and Jimi Hendrix Experience and he was born in Folkestone, but as soon as David Bowie was mentioned he stood out a mile."

The new blue plaque to Bowie in The Royal Star Arcade
The new blue plaque to Bowie in The Royal Star Arcade

Bob Solly, founder of the Mannish Boys, added: "It’s fabulous seeing the plaque here. It has the mannish boys recognised on the plaque itself and with his name quite rightly.

"To see a specific band name on there is quite something. It makes 55 years of waiting quite something." 

Video: David Bowie's plaque unveiling

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