Rare photograph of David Bowie from Capital video shoot goes on show

Lawrence Watson's shot of David Bowie in Edinburgh.
Lawrence Watson's shot of David Bowie in Edinburgh.
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THE mysterious origins of a rare black and white photograph of David Bowie, taken in Edinburgh in 1990, has been solved.

Currently on display at Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre as part of an exhibition by legendary photographer Lawrence Watson, the shot was taken during the video shoot for the track Pretty Pink Rose, which Bowie recorded with Adrian Belew in the Capital’s Fruitmarket Gallery.

The photographer, who has worked with music artists including Oasis, Paul Weller and Run DMC recalls “I was commissioned by Adrian Belew’s record label in the States to take stills on the video shoot for Pretty Pink Rose, directed by the famous promo director, Tim Pope.

“The track was a demo David gave to Adrian for his album which Adrian reworked, it also helped to lure Adrian on to David’s tour with Tin Machine.”

The four minute 40 seconds long video was recorded on the 29th March 1990, and Watson recalls, “I was picked up from the airport and driven straight to the shoot.

“I came up from London early that morning and the shoot was the usual full on long day of a music video.

“It was a fun day and a great moment in my career to work with one of my musical heroes – a dream come true.”

During a break in filming, Watson grasped the opportunity to capture the Thin White Duke on film.

“David was a pleasure to work with he came over and introduced himself - a real gent,” he says, revealing, “The shot in the exhibition was taken just before the lunch break and I’d asked David if he would sit in the corner for a quick roll of black and white.

“The location had a great shaft of light coming through the window as he sat in a sea of darkness – it coveys all of the things I associate with Bowie - dark and mysterious.

“He’s was a gift to shoot being such a photogenic subject and so comfortable in front of the camera for stills and the moving image.

“He seemed very happy in Edinburgh, although I’m not sure why the shoot happened here, it might have just fitted in with tour dates or the Director specifically wanted to shoot there.”

The shot takes pride of place in Watson’s first photography exhibition in Scotland.

“The exhibition came about through working with Mark Ashmore at Future Artists, an arts collective in Manchester which supports new artists.

“We did a show on Manchester Musicians which went well. Mark then suggested we tour the exhibition and add more of the musicians I’d photographed.

“After discovering that Ocean Terminal hosts regular exhibitions to support local artists, it all just came together from there.”

Lawrence Watson’s exhibition runs at Ocean Terminal until 14 May