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"The Last Supper" 1/2

Illustration by Mike Allred (Red Rocket 7 #4 November 1997)

Angie & David Bowie entering the Cafe Royal

Following the "Retirement Gig" on 3 July 1973, Bowie and a handful of friends held a small post-concert party at the Inn On the Park.

The next evening (4th July 1973) Bowie's retirement party (now known as "The Last Supper") was held at one of London's most expensive restaurants - the Café Royal in Regent Street, following frantic last minute calls from MainMan inviting guests to the impromptu party. Word soon spread and large crowds gathered in the streets to watch the celebrities (usually arriving in Rolls Royce's and Bentley's) enter the restaurant.

Bowie entering the Cafe Royal

The guest list of those who attended was a virtual Who's Who of top music and film celebrities in London at the time and included: Paul and Linda McCartney, Keith Moon, Lulu, Tony Curtis, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, The Goodies, Ringo and Maureen Starr, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Jeff Beck, Lou Reed, Barbara Streisand (she was in London to film a TV special), Ryan O'Neil, Sonny Bono, Elliot Gould, Britt Ekland, Spike Milligan, Hywel Bennet, DA Pennebaker and Dr John who supplied the live music for the evening.

Ringo Starr, Lulu, David Bowies

Ringo Starr, Lulu, Angie Bowie, David Bowie

While Trevor Bolder was too upset to attend following Bowie's retirement announcement, Woody Woodmansey and John "Hutch" Hutchinson did - and Woodmansey reportedly spent the evening trying to establish whether he still had a job as Bowie's drummer or not.  Understandably these band members felt betrayed as, unlike Mick Ronson, they had not been told beforehand.  However, they were not told that they were officially redundant that night either - or even over the next few days. Hutch states that he was never told why the next US tour was cancelled.  Woodmansey was only informed by MainMan on his wedding day (almost a week later) that his services were not required for the upcoming "PinUps" recording in France. 

"Woody was devastated.  This was his life and he thought he was going to the top with David" - Mike Garson (1986)

"David's retirement was first talked about a few months before, at the start of the British tour.  It was in the air.  It was never a definite thing, but everything seemed to lead up to that Hammersmith show like it was the last one.  In the end to was almost a last minute decision.  So Woody and Trevor didn't know about it until it actually happened, but the trouble with Woody, I think, went back a lot further than that.  There was a period when we were all got paid so much a week plus expenses on top.  Then there came the period when we were all demanding so much more, and there was some bad feeling and I think that's where it all started to drift apart. As for the retirement, I don't think anyone wanted to tell Woody in case he just packed it all in and didn't turn up one night!" - Mick Ronson (1987)

Bowie at the Cafe Royal

Aynsley Dunbar, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Jeff Beck & Mick Ronson.

Lou Reed, Mick Jagger & David Bowie

Continued on next page

---This page last modified: 12/12/18---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)