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See David Bowie, at 17, Defending Long-Haired Men on TV

David Bowie Long Hair 17 First TV Appearance Video

Before David Bowie was a rock’n’roll chameleon, he was David “Davey” Jones, a poor teen simply fighting for the right to wear his hair down to his shoulders. In an old interview from BBC’s Tonight, recently unearthed by Open Culture, proto-Ziggy makes an appearance with some similarly long-haired friends to speak out against the poor treatment they’ve received because of their locks.

“I think we’re all fairly tolerant,” Bowie says in what’s apparently his first-ever television interview. “But for the last two years we’ve had comments like ‘Darling!’ and ‘Can I carry your handbag?’ thrown at us, and I think it just has to stop now.”

For this reason Bowie and friends apparently chose to band together as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.

“I think we all like long hair,” he says “And we don’t see why other people should persecute us because of this.”

It all seems a little tongue-in-cheek, of course, and the man did have a reputation for playing with the press and public expectations, so don’t count on this being an entirely serious “society” even with their stated plans to “march and protest.” Then again, there is a Facebook page for the “political organization.” You can watch the whole interview above as you wait for more music from the famous recluse.