BOWIE was the Beethoven of his time.

That's the view of promoter John Giddings, who booked the Life on Mars singer for his final ever major UK appearance at Isle of Wight Festival 2004.

"I would say he was someone on the level of Beethoven. He has affected every piece of music over the last 40 years.

"He was always a step ahead. By the time the kids were wearing Ziggy Stardust or Starman suits, he had moved on to the next thing.

"Anyone who missed the Isle of Wight Festival show missed something very special. I had booked The Who for one night and he was a great fan. He wanted to do the other night and he certainly delivered. It was extraordinary.

"I'm proud that was his last date, but I really wanted him to do more. I was hoping against hope he'd headline Saturday night this year."

John, who runs Solo Music Agency in London, was devastated to hear of David Bowie's death at the weekend, aged 69, after an 18 month battle with cancer.

He had worked with the iconic musician on hundreds of shows across Europe over the years, starting with the Let's Dance tour in 1983.

Daily Echo: David Bowie at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2004

"There have been so many memorable moments. I remember playing the Kremlin Palace in Moscow. I was stood at the back, thinking this is one of the best shows I've ever seen, but he was annoyed because the first few rows of dignitaries were all sat there with their fingers in their ears!

"Another time when he had formed Tin Machine , the metal rock band, we were playing at Wolverhampton Civic Hall and the soundcheck sounded a bit loud to me. He laughed and said you're the only person who's ever asked me to turn it down before I've even played!"

John, who cites his favourite track as Heroes, has enjoyed many memorable moments with the legendary singer songwriter multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor over the years.

He added: "One time I was out for dinner with him and Iggy Pop. We all had glasses of water with varying amounts in and he started composing and playing a song with the glasses. What a talent!

"At the festival, he got off the ferry and just started wandering around the cafe talking to people. How cool is that?!

"The last contact I had with him was before Christmas when someone sent me a painting claiming he had painted it. I knew it wasn't anything like his signature, but for a laugh I sent it to him. He found it funny and just said of course it's not me, but if they want to say so, let them go for it!

"He had a great sense of humour and he should be remembered for that.

"I am in mourning this morning. It was as big a surprise to me as anyone else. I suspected he was ill, but I had no idea how ill. It's shocking.

"It really puts into perspective the fantastic music he has been making recently."

Among those also playing tribute to the star was Southampton fan Jodie Copeland who took his poorly Mum Josie to the 2004 Isle of Wight headline show.

He told the Daily Echo: "He was my Mum's hero and she had always wanted to see him. When it was announced, I knew we had to go. 

"She has a condition related to MS and was getting quite ill. She sat down all day, but the moment he came on stage she pushed her way to the front, ignoring the abuse along the way! 

"When she died nearly seven years ago, I only had one song on my phone. It was Life on Mars and that was the last thing she ever heard."