The Defining Ten with...Dana Gillespie

The Defining Ten with…Dana Gillespie

At The Cellar Arts Club, 70 Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3QB


Availability: In stock

The Defining Ten is where an artist/creative is invited to take us on a musical dot-to-dot journey of the tracks that led them to who they are today. These could be the first song they have a memory of, first purchase, first song they learnt to play, the track that opened doors, the track that closed doors, a track that inspired and led to a new musical direction – so expect a variety of tracks from themselves and other artists. These tracks will be played in turn – either from vinyl, CD or streamed – and discussed with the artist.

On Thursday 23rd May we bring Dana Gillespie to the Cellar Arts Club in Worthing for a unique version of the Defining Ten, where instead of playing the recorded versions of the tracks Dana will be performing her interpretations of the tracks between discussing what these songs mean to her!

Dana Gillespie, a quintessential artist with an adventurous and creative spirit, has lived a life full of musical and theatrical exploits!

Born in 1949 and raised in London in an era of unrivalled experimentation and artistic rebellion, Dana began her recording career at 15 with Pye Records. By 1968, she was signed to Decca/London releasing two albums Foolish Season (reissued on vinyl for Record Store Day in 2022) and Box Of Surprises, showcasing her songwriting prowess and featurED Jimmy Page as a session guitarist. Her steadfast trajectory was further solidified by her 1974 release Weren’t Born A Man which included David Bowie and Mick Ronson as part of the production team, with David having written the song Andy Warhol especially for Dana.

Her journey in entertainment is marked by significant milestones, including being the first actress to play Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, and worked and collaborated with icons such as Bob Dylan and Elton John. Despite challenges, including the implosion of her management company MainMan, Dana’s ability to pivot as an enigma of that time showed a resilience that led to a successful acting career in the late 1970s and early 1980s, where she featured in various notable films including Nic Roeg’s Bad Timing.

Dana’s revered status in the industry is especially of note considering the context of her early career given no female soloist hit No.1 with a studio album in the UK until 1980. Returning to music in 1982, she released Blue Job, reaching a new career milestone by venturing into blues and founding the Mustique Blues Festival. A respected radio presenter, Dana also embraces spirituality, recording bhajans since becoming a follower of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, adding devotional music to her extensive discography.

An esteemed underdog of music, stage and screen, Dana Gillespie’s illustrious career as a gifted entertainer is detailed in her 2021 memoir Weren’t Born A Man, epitomising the adventurous spirit of a true artist. In 2023, she made her debut at the SXSW Music and Film Festival, a significant addition to her already impressive portfolio.

On her latest studio project First Love – her 74th album which is co-produced by Marc Almond – Dana takes on the unlikely reimagining of certified and newly established classics from Morrissey, Leonard Cohen, Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan and David Bowie (amongst others) with her unique and contemporary style. Exuding the confidence and conviction of the master of her craft, First Love re-asserts Dana’s place in art-pop history.

With a career spanning decades Dana Gillespie remains a significant figure in the music industry, enchanting audiences with her unique blend of blues, pop, and spiritual music.

We are very excited to be spending several hours in Dana’s company where she will be performing and discussing 10 songs which have inspired and defined her career,

Please note this is a ticketless event – you will need your order number/ email receipt to gain entry to the show.

Tickets are non refundable unless event is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control

This event plants trees – for each ticket purchased we will plant one tree with #nomusiconadeadplanet


The Cellar Arts Club, 70 Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3QB