Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Kate Bush at the Dance Centre 1976 -7

Kate Bush at the Dance Centre 1976 -7 

Watching Newsnight this evening brought back memories of  1976-7.  This is how I remember those years!
In 1973 I finished my degree in Marine Biology which the tutors had charitably allowed me to pass.  The day I got the news that my academic career was over I made a bonfire of all my books (which were all unread) and a few weeks later I went to London to work as a security guard for about 70 - 90p an hour.  I worked 13 hours shifts, sometime 7 nights week.  After about a year I had saved about £800 and I also had a £700 inheritance from my grandmother.  I was rich enough to give up my job and start studying drawing full time. 

This is the drawing I made in 1075 at my first life drawing class.

An artist had told me that artists should draw moving figures everyday.  With this advice in mind I went to The Dance Centre in Covent Garden and asked the teachers to be allowed to draw their students.  They kindly allowed me in and after that I would go every day and draw from 10am in the morning until about 6.00pm, then I would rush off to open classes for drawing and sculpture at Sir John Cass in East Aldgate. 

One of the afternoon classes I used to attend every day was a freestyle contemporary dance class given by Robyn Kovak. One student who came every day had a very sensuous way of dancing quite unlike anything I had seen before. All my attention became focused on trying to capture the beauty of her movements.  Robyn noticed my attention and used to tell Kate Bush to dance in front on me.  

Tonight I went to find these drawings.  I have huge piles of drawings, so it was quite difficult to find material from so long ago, but I did find this one which is dated 14 Oct 76.  I am pretty certain it is Kate

After class I used to rush off to do more sculpture classes, and it seems Kate used to go to rehearse her music.  

I was trying to live on a budget of 50p a day. I was very dirty and looked destitute and my drawing was not accomplished. Robyn must have quite liked me, I am not sure why, perhaps she appreciated my passion.  One day Robyn invited me and Kate to her flat to a small party.  After that Kate and I began to exchange a few words and I gave her some drawings.  

I think the last time I saw her was in early December 1977.  We had coffee together at the Dance Centre bar.  Kate told me her friends had gone wild over the drawings that I had given her, so I gave her some more.  She told me about how she had been given money by EMI and that she was about to release a record.  She promised to give me a copy after it came out

That Christmas I went to my parents farm to help them prune their blackcurrant bushes.  By the time I returned to London in January 1978  Kate had hit the number one spot in the charts. Of course we never met again. I was not interested in pop music and unaware of her success.   I think the first time I was aware of it was when my father told me about an exotic girl he had seen on the television.

This is a picture of me in 1978

I never did get my copy of her record.


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