Published Dec 22, 2011Want to hear something that's genuinely insane? Following David Bowie's performance on Top of the Pops in 1973, the episode aired only once, and the BBC ultimately wiped the tapes so that they could be reused to save money. Yes, it's crazy to erase the only known copy of a classic Bowie performance, but luckily for us, a newly unearthed version has emerged.
It turns out that camera man John Henshall made his own personal copy of Bowie's take on "Jean Genie" from the episode recorded on January 3, 1973 (which was aired the next day). During this energetic run-through of the Alladin Sane classic, Bowie is looking wonderfully glam with his flaming red hair, dangling earrings and sparkly suit. He's backed by his band the Spiders from Mars, and there are even some corny visual effects to really date this one.
Thanks to Spin/BBC for this decades-old gem.