Wednesday 11 December 2019

WATCH: A teenage David Bowie defends 'long-haired men' in 1964 TV interview

David Bowie interviewed on Cliff Michelmore's BBC Tonight programme in 1964
David Bowie interviewed on Cliff Michelmore's BBC Tonight programme in 1964
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Footage has emerged of one of David Bowie's first appearances on television as news of the music legend's sudden death shocked the world today.

The interview with a 17-year-old David is attracting attention online as fans share their own memories and anecdotes of the music icon.

The teen was interviewed on Cliff Michelmore's BBC Tonight programme as the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men.

The interview took place in November 1964, just one year before the well-known presenter Michelmore hung up his hosting hat for the programme.

"It's all got to stop, they've had enough... the rebellion of the long hairs is getting underway." Michelmore says as he introduces the group.

"They're tired of persecution, they're tired of the taunts, they're tired of losing their jobs, of being sent home from college... they're tired even of being refused the dole.

"So with the nucleus of some of his friends, 17-year-old Davey Jones has just founded The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men."

David sits among a group of eight pals, who he says have been at the end of derogatory comments on the street.

"We're all fairly tolerent...," David says.

"But the last two years there have been comments like 'darling' and 'can I carry your handbag', we think it has to stop now."

He continues: "We all like long hair... we don't see why other people should persecute us because of this."

One of the society's members tells Michelmore they are hoping to get more "followers behind us so we can march in protest".


Fans of the music icon were shocked to hear of Bowie's death this morning following a statement from his publicist.

The statement confirmed that the British singer had passed away after an 18-month battle with cancer.

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," the statement read.

"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

David's cancer diagnosis was previously unknown, although rumours of about the singer's health have plagued Bowie since he bowed out of the spotlight following a heart attack in 2004.

He collapsed backstage at a gig in Schessel, Germany, and was forced to undergo emergency surgery on a blocked coronary artery.

He made very few public appearances since then, with his final live performance taking place nearly a decade ago, when he joined Alicia Keys on stage at the Black Ball fundraiser at New York's Hammersmith Ballroom for a rendition of Changes in 2006.

His final album  Blackstar (rendered as ★) was only released last week.

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