We get a lot of famous people here

South Wales Echo

7th September 1992

Young waitress Kate Griffiths was stunned when the door of her South Wales village pub swung open – and in came rock legend David Bowie.

“I couldn’t believe it when he first walked in,” said Kate, who works at The Old House Inn at Llangynwyd, near Maesteg.

“With his slicked back hair and the shades on I said ‘Ooh look, it’s Elvis’.

“But when I saw he had different coloured eyes I knew who it was. It was really amazing and he was a really nice bloke,” said Kate, of Ystad Celyn, Llangwynyd.

Now a scrap of paper complete with the 45-year old singer’s autograph has become one of Kate’s most treasured possessions.

Bowie, one of the rock world’s biggest stars for more than 20 years, paid a surprise visit to a pub while tracing his family roots in South Wales.

He popped in last Wednesday lunchtime with a woman business manager but without his second wife, gorgeous model Iman.

He stayed for almost two hours, eating fish and chips and drinking Perrier and coffee, while his companion had a plough-man’s lunch.

Bowie, who asked if there were any tables left before deciding to sit on the patio, chatted happily with customers and signed autographs.

He was born David Jones in the Brixton area of London, but changed his surname in the mid-60s to avoid confusion with Monkees singer Davy Jones, who was then much more famous.

Although his Welsh connections are little known, locals are speculating about the Jones connection.

He asked Kate to change a Scottish £10 note and gave her a £3 tip. But she admits: “He’s not really my sort of thing. I prefer Nirvana.”

And she clearly wasn’t overawed at meeting such a big star.

She said: “We get a lot of famous people at The Old House – like Owen Money!”

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