Bowie’s First Interview

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1964

Years before the student protests in Paris 1968 and the student demonstrations at Colombia University, there was a boy named David Jones.

This was before Bowie was Bowie, he was David ‘Davey’ Jones. He was part of a group called the ‘Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men’. Catchy title don’t you think?

A video has surfaced of a 17 year-old Bowie being interviewed for the first timein 1964. In the black and white clip, ‘Davey’, appears on the BBC’s television show ‘Tonight’.

Little Ziggy is surrounded by fellow young members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men. He is questioned by the BBC’s Cliff Michelmore, he asks a teenage Bowie: “Exactly who has been cruel to you?”

Bowie responds: “I think we’re all fairly tolerant, but for the last two years we’ve had comments like ‘Darling!’ and ‘Can I carry your handbag?’ thrown at us, and I think it just has to stop now,” he says.

Michelmore seems surprised that Bowie is complaining about being slagged for his girlish hair. Michelmore retorts, “after all, you’ve got really rather long hair, haven’t you?” “We have, yes,” replies little Davey. “I think we all like long hair, and we don’t see why other people should persecute us because of this.”

According to David Bowie FAQ:

“The society came about because they were to perform on another BBC show ‘Gadzooks! It’s All Happening’, singing their single ‘I Pity The Fool’. The producer of the show, Barry Langford, insisted that David cut his 17″ long hair. There were numerous newspaper reports… of course it was all a scam for some free publicity”

Check out the hilarious interview below.

The recording was recently discovered by the website Open Culture.

Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Web 2.0 has given us great amounts of intelligent audio and video. It’s all free. But it’s also scattered across the web, and not easy to find. Our whole mission is to centralize this content, curate it, and give you access to this high quality content whenever and wherever you want it.