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The Jean Genie On TOTP From Rumour To Reality

Total Blam Blam's picture
on November 28, 2011

 

Unwiped, I'm somewhat slightly dazed...

There had always been rumours circulating of a live 1973 TOTP performance of The Jean Genie by Bowie and The Spiders.

However, most fans remained skeptical until a low quality version of the above still was published in Dave Thompson's Moonage Daydream book in 1987, albeit actually captioned as a performance of 'The Starman'!

Obviously we all knew it wasn't Starman and it soon became apparent with the clothing and BBC camera clues that it was in fact from the fabled Jean Genie broadcast.

A few years ago, a scratchy audio recording surfaced and even though it had been tampered with to make it a slightly longer version, it seemed legit.

No further evidence of the recording came to light and even though I was excited to have unearthed another even better quality colour still, below, back in July of this year (07.04.2011 NEWS: THE QUEST FOR A COLOUR SHOT OF THE JEAN GENIE ON TOTP) it seemed the actual tape itself was to join the likes of Space Oddity on the BBC's wiped list.

 

 

Back in July, soon after I posted the picture, the online forum, missing-episodes.com, acknowledged it with a link to my news item.

But the most exciting news is that cameraman John Henshall has just announced on missing-episodes.com the existence of a copy of the performance he made himself at the time.

Here's a bit from John posted yesterday by forum member Ray Langstone...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"First I went with Richard Turley, a producer from the BBC, to Westpoint Television, a company which specialises in playing and copying very old broadcast video tapes. It was an amazing spine-tingling experience when David Bowie performing 'The Jean Genie' live on 'Top of the Pops' in January 1973 came up on screen in superb broadcast quality. It was the first time the tape has been played for over 38 years. It is 'rarer than rare' to quote Ray Langstone, who heard me mention that I have the recording when I was on BBC Radio 2's 'Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the Seventies' a couple of months ago.

It seems that people have been searching for this recording, on which Bowie played live, for years without success. Until now! The BBC wiped their tape after the original broadcast and there is no other version. Why do I have it? Well I

was a young cameraman at the time and used one of my Telefex Fisheye lenses on my camera. I'm even in shot myself! So I went down to VTR and asked them to make me a copy – on 2-inch broadcast videotape. No VHS in those days."

---------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So there you have it. Let's hope there are even more diligent types like John out there and that one day the likes of Space Oddity on TOTP, Starman on Lift Off and My Death on Russell Harty join the ranks of the great unwiped!
 

Total Blam Blam - (BowieNet News Editor)



blog image: 
    28 November 2011
    The Jean Genie On TOTP From Rumour To Reality

     

    Unwiped, I'm somewhat slightly dazed...

    There had always been rumours circulating of a live 1973 TOTP performance of The Jean Genie by Bowie and The Spiders.

    However, most fans remained skeptical until a low quality version of the above still was published in Dave Thompson's Moonage Daydream book in 1987, albeit actually captioned as a performance of 'The Starman'!

    Obviously we all knew it wasn't Starman and it soon became apparent with the clothing and BBC camera clues that it was in fact from the fabled Jean Genie broadcast.

    A few years ago, a scratchy audio recording surfaced and even though it had been tampered with to make it a slightly longer version, it seemed legit.

    No further evidence of the recording came to light and even though I was excited to have unearthed another even better quality colour still, below, back in July of this year (07.04.2011 NEWS: THE QUEST FOR A COLOUR SHOT OF THE JEAN GENIE ON TOTP) it seemed the actual tape itself was to join the likes of Space Oddity on the BBC's wiped list.

     

     

    Back in July, soon after I posted the picture, the online forum, missing-episodes.com, acknowledged it with a link to my news item.

    But the most exciting news is that cameraman John Henshall has just announced on missing-episodes.com the existence of a copy of the performance he made himself at the time.

    Here's a bit from John posted yesterday by forum member Ray Langstone...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "First I went with Richard Turley, a producer from the BBC, to Westpoint Television, a company which specialises in playing and copying very old broadcast video tapes. It was an amazing spine-tingling experience when David Bowie performing 'The Jean Genie' live on 'Top of the Pops' in January 1973 came up on screen in superb broadcast quality. It was the first time the tape has been played for over 38 years. It is 'rarer than rare' to quote Ray Langstone, who heard me mention that I have the recording when I was on BBC Radio 2's 'Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the Seventies' a couple of months ago.

    It seems that people have been searching for this recording, on which Bowie played live, for years without success. Until now! The BBC wiped their tape after the original broadcast and there is no other version. Why do I have it? Well I

    was a young cameraman at the time and used one of my Telefex Fisheye lenses on my camera. I'm even in shot myself! So I went down to VTR and asked them to make me a copy – on 2-inch broadcast videotape. No VHS in those days."

    ---------------------------------

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So there you have it. Let's hope there are even more diligent types like John out there and that one day the likes of Space Oddity on TOTP, Starman on Lift Off and My Death on Russell Harty join the ranks of the great unwiped!
     

    Total Blam Blam - (BowieNet News Editor)