David Robert Jones was born on January 8, 1947, in Brixton, South London, England. His mother, Margaret Mary "Peggy" was born in Kent and worked as a waitress. His father, Haywood Stenton "John" Jones, from Yorkshire, was a promotions officer for the children's charity Barnardo's. The family lived at 40 Stansfield Road, near the border of the south London areas of Brixton and Stockwell.
David was a creative child who developed an early interest in music. He listened to songs of artists like Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, the Platters, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, and Little Richard. He was greatly influenced by Elvis Presley.