If you heard the latest episode of The People's Songs, whereby David Bowie arrives on earth as an interplanetary rock emissary via the medium of TV, but haven't yet been tempted to check out that classic episode of Top Of The Pops, then we’ve made it easy for you. If you wonder what all the fuss was about, then please do watch this:
On the other hand, if you do remember this legendary Top Of The Pops appearance but don't remember what all of the fuss was about, then please do listen to the show in question.
With the benefit of 30 years of hindsight, and exposure to the Sex Pistols, Madonna, Marilyn Manson et al, it all looks a bit tame now. But that's only because it was Bowie who created a new idea of what a "rock star" could be and how he might behave and look. Take for example his then unique haircut, which looks like he couldn't decide which of two hairstyles to choose, so he decided he'd have both – business at the front, party at the back!
This was also a dilemma The Human League's Phil Oakey faced a decade later, and which he would also solve with the same solution; by sporting two different haircuts. And it might look a bit odd and funny now, but this was the stuff of rock 'n roll insurrection, this was a stack-heeled call to arms. And don't just take our word for it; here's listener Colin recalling how Bowie's hair shocked his poor old dad:
Contributor Colin recalls his dad's reaction to Bowie's feminine image in the 70s.
- Listen to Starman: Androgony Arrives in the Living Room
- Listen to I Dressed Ziggy Stardust on BBC Radio 4
- Hear Front Row on David Bowie - The Return
- View Front Row's David Bowie gallery with pictures from the BBC archive and the V&A David Bowie exhibition
- Find out about 6 Music's Bowie celebration this Easter