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Home > Kent > Beckenham > Three Tuns

Three Tuns

Picture source: Darkstar

The Three Tuns was situated at 157 High Street. This pub closed in 2003 and became a Zizzi restaurant the following year. A plaque on the outside of the pub records: "David Bowie Rock Musician Lived in Beckenham & Launched His Career in The Three Tuns 1969 - 1973".
David Bowie was still a long way from superstar status, despite having been in the music business for several years. He was living in Beckenham with a friend Mary Finnigan, and appearing most Sundays at The Three Tuns pub in Beckenham High Street.
The shows began as a way for him and Mary to make a little money and to showcase his talents, but developed into what was christened the Beckenham Arts Lab "Growth".
Bowie went on to fame and fortune but it was not until 2001 that a plaque commemorating his involvement with the town was hung outside the pub that was by now known as The Rat and Parrot. The pub changed it's name to The Rat and Parrot in the late 90s then changing back to the Three Tuns just before it shut again and became a Pizza Restaurant. During the development the plaque was taken down and it took another four years to get it reinstated.
Ian Muir (February 2012)
Correction to Ian Muir's description. The Folk Club started by David Bowie and I happened every Sunday. It morphed into the Beckenham Arts Lab by popular request. Became a Folk Club again after I was no longer involved. David gave up on it because he became disillusioned with the clientele -- who he said, only wanted to be entertained. A damp squib after the idealistic intensity of the Arts Lab.
Mary Finnigan (May 2015)

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Name Dates Comments
Peter Neale 1969-1973 John and Marie were landlord and landlady, my dad's pushbike was always seen tied to the railings and I sold flowers outside on Mothers Day.
Tim Hollier 1969 I was David Bowies first guest artist at the opening night. I still have the poster though history seems to have forgotten my name, they were some of David's great performances. I remember Mary Finnegan well but don't remember Angie.
Jeremy Dyer 1968-1969 When Bowie was playing on Sundays, I had a reggae sound system playing midweek. Sometimes we drew bigger crowds!
Other Photos

Picture source: Darkstar