The owners selling the outback Australian pub featured in David Bowie‘s music video for ‘Let’s Dance’ have told NME why they’re putting it up for sale, and what they hope its new owners will do with the place.
Dean and Malcolm George, father and son co-owners of the Carinda Hotel, listed the venue on the Australian classified’s site Gumtree on Tuesday (March 3) for the sum of AUD $220,000. The town of Carinda has a population of 158 people, according to the last census count.
Dean told NME his father Malcolm could no longer handle the hotel’s managerial workload while living nearly seven hours away in Gosford, New South Wales.
“He would love to have run the hotel right up to his retirement but unfortunately it’s just too much at this time and too busy to do without having family closer,” Dean said. “Leasing or having a manager was on the table but finding the right person is the next task.”
The father and son duo have run the hotel for the last five years.
“When we took over the hotel had been closed and was empty,” Dean recalled. “The local community was absolutely amazing and supportive. They even helped out majorly to get us started and with the renovations to get the hotel to where it is today, and keep the originality of the hotel including the famous Bowie wall in the bar area.”
That “famous Bowie wall” is apparently “unchanged to this day”, according to the Gumtree ad.
When the Carinda Hotel shared the ad on their Facebook page, some in the comments expressed concern that its annual Bowie tribute event, called ‘Let’s Dance Carinda’, would no longer go ahead. Dean allayed those concerns.
“The Let’s Dance festival will go ahead and for many years to come,” he said. “The festival has its own committee that is run by the local community who are very passionate and right behind the event.”
Inspections of the property will be available from mid-April, and Dean hopes its new owners will “keep the originality”.
“The most common thing the new owner will hear is the local families’ stories. Every part of the hotel has its own memories in the local community and they love to tell it!” he told NME.
“The hotel needs some bits of TLC because of its age but it has so much heritage in the community, that also includes Bowie. With his recent passing it has spiced new life into the hotel and community.
- NME OBITUARY: David Bowie (January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016)
“We hope the new owners will continue his spirit in the hotel and support in every way the Let’s Dance Festival to give back to the community and I’m sure the community will give back to the new owners!”
The ‘Let’s Dance’ music video, directed by David Mallet, was released in 1983 with the intent of drawing attention to systemic racism towards Indigenous Australians.
“The message that [the videos for ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘China Girl’] have is very simple –– it’s wrong to be racist!” Bowie told Rolling Stone in 1983.
Revisit the video for ‘Let’s Dance’ here:
Of Australia, Bowie said: “As much as I love this country, it’s probably one of the most racially intolerant in the world, well in line with South Africa. I mean, in the north, there’s unbelievable intolerance.”
In other Bowie news, Record Store Day 2020 will mark the release of a few rarities by the beloved artist: ‘I’m Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74)’ and ‘ChangesNowBowie’.