Music

The Long-Lost First Recording of Ziggy Stardust Has Been Discovered in a Fan's House

Experts are trying to save the damaged tape
IMAGE Getty/Michael Ochs Archives
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Long-lost footage of David Bowie’s first televised performance as Ziggy Stardust has been found at a fan’s house.

The original recording of the 1972 performance on Lift Off With Ayshea was accidentally deleted by a technician years ago. Thankfully, an audience member filmed the show on his home video recorder and experts are now working to save the time-worn tape.


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The discovery was made by Francis Whately, the man behind the upcoming BBC documentary David Bowie: Finding Fame. He hopes that the video can be restored in time to feature in the doc, which airs next month.

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He told the Radio Times that the found footage was “something of a Holy Grail” for fans. Previously, the earliest Ziggy Stardust recording was from an episode of Top of the Pops, aired a month after Lift Off With Ayshea.

If the performance is recovered, it will sit alongside never-before-heard and rare recordings of Bowie, including his audition tape for the BBC’s talent selection group in 1965. He was famously rejected, with BBC decision-makers labelling him “devoid of personality” and “not outstanding enough.”

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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