John Otway shot to fame on the back of punk rock and a gymnastic performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test. His sixth single, the half-spoken love song “Really Free” reached number 27 in the Singles Chart in 1977. It would be his greatest success. The song earned him a five album deal with Polydor Records, (in what would be the largest advance to any artist of the time. Polydor viewed Otway as a punk rather than merely an eccentric as they were keen to get in on the rise of this new musical style. His first album, recorded with Wild Willy Barrett, was produced by Pete Townshend. In a career characterised by almost-making-it, Otway has attracted a massive crowd of keen followers, loving his eccentric performances and his virtuosity on guitar.
In October 2012, to celebrate his 60th birthday, Otway booked the Odeon Leicester Square to show the documentary of his life. Titled Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie, the screening saw cinematic history made with the final scenes of the movie being filmed from the red carpet on the morning of the film. Following the success of the producers’ premiere, 2013 saw Otway take the completed movie to the Cannes Film Festival. Readers of the Guardian voted it the 2nd best movie of the year.
Join us for OtDAY, 3 September.
We’re screening Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure: Otway, The Movie, followed by a Q&A with John Otway at 4pm, followed by John Otway LIVE on stage at 8pm. Tickets £5/10/12