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October 31, 2022

Amazing Photographs of David Bowie at a RCA Studio in Rome, 1977

In the beginning of October 1977, David Bowie arrived in Rome to promote his new album. It was titled Heroes, like the single, and it would go on to become one of the great classics of his discography.

It was not David’s first time in Italy or in Rome, but he had never performed a live show in Italy at the time, and he would not do so for another ten years. At that time, he was interviewed by the talented journalist, Fiorella Gentile, and it was broadcast shortly after. Strangely, it has never been rebroadcasted since 1977, despite their being a video recording in the archives of RAI, the Italian public TV channel.

Today we can just see some beautiful photos from that meeting. People who saw the interview are still waiting to see it again, like many fans who did not even have that fortune. Bowie was also filmed for the program Odeon, in which he talked about himself over the ethereal notes of “Sense of Doubt,” and mimed to “Heroes.” Recordings of this show are still readily available everywhere on the internet, in the Italian language, and it is a precious and remarkable treasure for Bowie fans.

The Odeon was filmed on October 8, and Piero Togni, an Italian photographer who specializes in photographing musicians, was there to immortalize with his camera the new incarnation of the man who was once an alien, a soul singer and a Duke. Incredibly, his photos were not published until 2017, when the Italian magazine PROG Italia asked him for them. So only now we can see these wonderful photos, forgotten for 40 years in the archives:

“I have photographed many international musicians but it was the first time I met David. The session was in a RCA studio in Rome. I had thought I would find an ocean of journalists and photographers. Instead it was just me and a small troupe ready for the interview, filmed in various corners of the studio, and next to the piano. Bowie had been very kind with me… the interview was cut putting together his thoughts about his marriage and his artistic career. At the time he used to live in Berlin and I was impressed by his narration about a couple that was meeting every afternoon by the Wall, just in front of the windows of the Hansa Studios, where he was recording Heroes. I could perceive that feeling, romantic, harsh and yearning at the same time into the songs and the lyrics of the album. I didn’t meet David again, but I carry that remembrance in my heart and I still recall that sensation with the same feeling… I had quite forgotten these photos. What joyfulness to see them again, published for the very first time.”


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