February 25, 1973: Four months following his first Ellis Auditorium appearance, Bowie returns to Memphis, and on the next day visits the Art School. Note Bowie's eyebrows are missing as he is now in full Aladdin Sane mode. Artist and Teacher Dolph Smith and his son Tim welcome David Bowie to MCA (then called the Memphis Academy of Art). Daughter Allison was hiding behind her Father's leg. These are the only four photos known to exist (so far) of this evening at the Art School. Read what Dolph has written so far ....

"I went back to my date book for 1973 and here is what I found.  It is an entry on Friday, February 9, 1973 and I am in my studio listening to FM 100.  

"Heard Cherry Vanilla (Promotions girl for David Bowie) on FM100 interview and just called her, ended up going over to MAA with, Judy, Karen Blockman and Jim to meet them  (Mike Powell and RCA rep.) and they all want us to get together!  Think Bowie will like them, etc.! So..."

Then on February 25, 1973:

"DAVID BOWIE/7:00/NO. HALL AUDITORIUM / FM100 ORGANIZERS.  We all loved it."  (Would have had all the kids.  Tim about 14, Benjamin about 11 and Allison about 8.)"

Then on February 26, 1973:

"We are to meet David Bowie at 7:00! (later)  Worked out!  He (with group) Mick Ronson, Woody Woodmansee) came around 9:45 and spent couple of hours at MAA looking at all work and into most Depts. Very exciting for students, etc. not to mention us (Jes, Tim, all). We gave him a painting ("Paper Airplane Having Just Spotted A Fallen Comrade").  Really nice thing to happen." 

"....I do remember Bowie walked thru-out the school.  He quietly looked into the small  metal dept and a student was working on a piece.  She apparently had not known about him being there and kinda freaked when she looked up.  The student was Joni Pekar, the sister to Ron Pekar, a faculty member at the time. David must have looked at the piece she was working on and held it because she entitled it, "David Bowie Touched This Piece".  For many years it was on Jameson Jones's deck.  He was President of MAA at the time.

I remember most of all how quiet and respectful the students were.  The word had spread and there were about 50 kids there but no one rushed him or anything like that. 

Cherry Vanilla and I exchanged letters for a while.  I know they are somewhere but it would take days to go through all the boxes where they could be.  (Some people keep scrap books, I keep scrap boxes!!!)"


We believe these fotos to be made by CHERRY VANILLA.

Memphis College of Art, Overton Park,
1930 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104
tel:(901)272-5100 email: info@mca.edu