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

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.

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.

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

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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