David Bowie’s 1983 hit “Let’s Dance” was rather successful, to put it mildly. What makes it particularly interesting from a local perspective is the fact it was filmed in Carinda in northern NSW. Sadly, while Bowie went on to higher levels of awesome, Carinda has suffered at the hands of ongoing drought and without significant help, the cultural landmark could end up, for all intents and purposes, abandoned.
As Ed Gibbs explains in this story over on the BBC, Carinda is looking to its past for assistance, with the new owner of the Carinda Hotel, which featured prominently in Bowie’s clip, hoping to cash in on the video decades on:
There are tentative plans … to partner with a tour company located 150 miles south, to offer Bowie tours of the pub and the nearby Warrumbungle National Park, where some scenes of Let’s Dance (and part of its follow-up, China Girl) were shot.
There’s even talk of a Bowie festival, similar to the annual Elvis event held in Parkes — another drought-stricken country town, 200 miles closer to Sydney — which, now in its 21st year, attracts up to 15,000 visitors annually.
The article also has a video containing interviews with locals involved in the shoot, some of which have, understandably, never seen the famous clip.
While it’s a nice idea, the very characteristic that made the town the perfect place for Bowie — its remoteness — make getting something like this off the ground difficult.