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Long-Lost David Bowie 1973 ‘Top Of The Pops’ Performance Airs


David Bowie‘s long lost 1973 ‘Top Of The Pops’ video was broadcast Wednesday (Dec. 22) as part of a 90 minute Christmas special on BBC2. It was the first time in nearly 39 years that this legendary performance appeared on the airwaves, and according to Bowie’s website “Ziggymania gripped the UK” just prior to the broadcast.

As previously reported, John Henshall, a retired cameraman had a broadcast quality copy of Bowie and The Spiders From Mars performing ‘Jean Genie’ on TOTP in 1973. Upon realizing that the BBC had wiped the original master, Henshall came forward and the rest is history.

Since then the rumors roared, first with talk of a broadcast this year, followed by news that fans would have to wait until 2012 to view it as part of a BBC4 documentary. Thankfully, Christmas came early and the ‘Jean Genie’ footage was aired in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

As you can see from the footage below, Bowie and band are in top form with Bowie playing harmonica and shaking his maracas, wearing one silver glove and singing sassier than ever. Guitarist Mick Ronson comes off stunningly — his guitar solo is simply goose-bump worthy.

Bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Woody Woodmansey add their own form of pomp to the number while Bowie’s injection of the riff from the Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ elevates things yet another notch higher.

Henshall is getting a lot of media coverage due to this treasure, as he should. If it were up to classic rock fans he’d be presented with some sort of hero award; one double-dipped in glittering gold.

Watch David Bowie Perform ‘Jean Genie’ On ‘Top Of The Pops’ in 1973

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