David Bowie during “The Jean Genie” for The 1980 Floor Show, 1973 (his US TV debut), by Mick Rock. The costume originally had a third hand (guess where) that NBC network officials insisted be removed.
That information about the third hand is so important to me
Then you need to see this recent fan re-edit of the original performance by YouTuber Mister Sussex. It’s one of the filthiest things you’ve ever seen. I was 13 when this aired, and it fried my brain for life. LOL It was after midnight (the show was The Midnight Special, which aired from 11:30PM Friday to 1AM Saturday in my time zone), and I was the only one awake in the house. Having snuck out of bed to watch, I was now practically wetting myself with some combination of panic, lust, and sheer joy. LOL
An absolutely lascivious vocal (plus, check that leer into the audience right after “Loves to be loved…”, around 2:20), regularly spreading his legs so we can see his…uhm, leotard LOL, one of Mick Ronson’s most ripping solos (and unlike the UK “Starman” video from 1972, it’s Mick doing the reaching for David this time) – and David aggressively rubbing his penis on the microphone before thrusting it in Mick’s face while they sing practically cheek to cheek! Plus a TRIO of saxophones backing them up!
Again, this was Bowie’s US TV debut. Nobody knew from Ziggy (which was a flop when it was first released), but Aladdin Sane was a hit and Pin Ups was newly in the shops, so we had SOME idea of how crazy this broadcast was gonna get….but it turns out that no, no, we had not the least fucking idea how crazy this was going to get.
I could write a whole book about this broadcast, and I hope somebody does someday. I could certainly write a whole book about how it impacted me. I mean, all the pictures of it we post on tumblr are one thing. But crank this the fuck up, imagine that it’s the first time you’re seeing anything of Bowie besides a couple of album covers, and be amazed.
@soundsof71 – it was the first time my parents let me stay up past the time they went to bed. My older brother had been able to stay up to watch the Midnight Special, and he was now driving and allowed to stay out as late as he wanted. I changed into pj’s and settled down in nest of blankets and crocheted granny-square afghans to spend me first Grown Up night.
A vision in blue spandex stepped into the stage. His hair was orange and stood straight up on top. Lipstick! Was that lipstick – on man? One arm was bare – the skin shone as white and luminous as an opal. Flames climbed his torso, appliqued gold and red on blue. One bare leg was painted to look like flames.
And then he opened his mouth.
The sound was raw and urgent and ragged and longing and sweet and aching and raw and … utterly otherworldly. I felt an ache, a longing I’d never felt before. I wanted … but I didn’t even know what it was that I ached for. My breath caught in my throat as the vision of androgynous beauty sang, costume changes with each song. My chest hurt more and more as the hour wore on. My toes curled inside my rainbow-stripped socks. I eventually lay my head down on my crossed arms, dazed and exhausted and troubled.
And then it was over. The National Anthem played – I’d stayed up past midnight for the first time in my life…
the night I became a woman. Thanks to David Bowie.