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Last Night At The NFT Plus More Exclusive TOPT Stills

Total Blam Blam's picture
on December 12, 2011

 

Last night they loved you...

One of the highlights of the year for Bowie fans has to be last night's screening of the 'lost' Jean Genie footage at the BFI's NFT1 screen on London's Southbank.

The clip was shown twice due to the obvious popularity of it and it was clear thet the majority of the audience was there for this footage alone.

I've been babbling on about this performance ever since I found an exclusive colour still back in July. (07.04.2011 NEWS: THE QUEST FOR A COLOUR SHOT OF THE JEAN GENIE ON TOTP & 11.28.2011 NEWS: THE JEAN GENIE ON TOTP FROM RUMOUR TO REALITY & 12.02.2011 NEWS: BFI SHOWING FULL JEAN GENIE TOTP PERFORMANCE AT NFT & 12.06.2011 NEWS: HOW A FISHEYE DEFEATED THE BBC'S TOTP TAPE WIPERS)

 

While the image was clearly an actual photographic still as opposed to a grab from the footage itself, it did give rise to new hope that the footage might still exist.

Those of you that have been following this will know that John Henshall has had a broadcast quality copy of the footage for the past 38 years and last night was the first public airing of it since January 4th, 1973.

Anyway, one of the friends who accompanied me to the NFT has kindly sent in his impressions of the recording. And so, without further ado, over to Andy Barding and a load more exclusive stills...

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What a Christmas for David Bowie fans!

Sunday night's much-anticipated first screening of the newly-rediscovered clip of Bowie, Ronson, Woodmansey and Bolder performing The Jean Genie on BBC TV's Top of the Pops saw a packed National Film Theatre struck agog at the majesty of Ziggy in action: in pristine, full-colour TV quality.

 

David, with deep-red hair, shaved brows and bafflingly wide trousers, looked every inch the epitome of what we recall as ‘glam’. But while the likes of Sweet, Gary Glitter and Slade were stomping and pouting their way into teenage hearts and pop charts on a manifesto of colour and outrage alone, this extraordinary footage shows an integrity that was massively lacking in the rest of that early-70s field.

As a token nod to space-age weirdness, David has just one painted nail, one dangly earring, and what looks like one silk glove dangled over the BBC micstand. But, for the most part, he and the Spiders have their image and music in fine harmony – and are rocking very hard indeed.

 

Much is forever being made about the classic, often-repeated ‘Starman’ performance from the previous year. But, if anything, this newly-rediscovered footage is an even better testimony to the sheer power of Ziggy and the Spiders. A faint smile creeps over the singer’s face between shrieking, bang-on vocals, an occasional maraca shuffle and loads of bluesy harmonica-riffery (including a nod to ‘Love Me Do’), but it’s obvious that he and the band have some serious news to lay down in TV land: and Ronno’s spectacularly dissonant solo towards the end of the footage sends a battery of icy chills down the spine.

It’s clear David and the Spiders were at their peak when this video footage was shot, just a few days before David’s 26th birthday. A whole year of slogging around the UK and US, from commuter-belt pubs to the grandeur of Carnegie Hall, had fine-tuned the Spiders into a powerful and tight outfit. Even taking into account the weird timing mistake towards the end of this clip, this is properly good rocking stuff – with giant balls.

 

In coming weeks or months it’s hoped everybody will get a chance to enjoy this classic and historical clip on their own TVs – but it’s entirely deserving that such a grand rediscovery should get its 21st century premiere on a screen as big and bright (and loud) as the one offered by the National Film Theatre.

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Thanks for that Andy, much appreciated. I'll leave you all with a few more pix for your viewing pleasure.

Below is proof that fisheye wasn't the only effect the BBC favoured at the time...here's a bit of solarisation that has been applied here and there throughout the film too...

 

The gorgeous Ronno in full flight below, with the equally delicious Daniella Parmar dancing in the audience. Daniella was a close friend of David's at the time and he describes her and Freddie Burretti in the Moonage Daydream book as "the formidable fashion duo from London".

 

Below, as Mick Ronson goes into the solo, David walks to the back of the stage and treats the young ladies in the audience to a couple of close quarter pelvic thrusts!

 

As Andy observed in his report there was a single silver glove dangling from the microphone cable...but as you can just make out from the image below, David was wearing the other one on his maracas hand.

 

Sadly, and despite Mike Garson's recollections, it seems he didn't take part in the taping after all. There is actually no trace of anybody on keyboard.

As I said previously, stay tuned for details of the first TV broadcast of this footage. There was a suggestion (not by us) that it was due for a first screening on TOTP2 in a couple of weeks, but that isn't to be and it actually looks like the previously mentioned Tales Of Televison Centre documentary due for Spring next year will show a clip but will also be showing the complete footage as a Red Button feature.

Thanks to all the Bowie fans I met afterwards last night, including the chaps from missing-episodes.com, where you can read more impressions from last night from half way down page 14.

And of course many thaks to John Henshall and his Ninja-like bodyguard, Matt...it was fun to chat with you all and I hope we can do something like this again before another 38 years are up.

Finally, BBC Oxford has a piece they've just posted about John Henshall and last night's screening which you can read here. It looks like they've lifted a still from our previous item which they mention has John in shot...except some bright spark has cropped him out!

blog image: 
    12 December 2011
    Last Night At The NFT Plus More Exclusive TOPT Stills

     

    Last night they loved you...

    One of the highlights of the year for Bowie fans has to be last night's screening of the 'lost' Jean Genie footage at the BFI's NFT1 screen on London's Southbank.

    The clip was shown twice due to the obvious popularity of it and it was clear thet the majority of the audience was there for this footage alone.

    I've been babbling on about this performance ever since I found an exclusive colour still back in July. (07.04.2011 NEWS: THE QUEST FOR A COLOUR SHOT OF THE JEAN GENIE ON TOTP & 11.28.2011 NEWS: THE JEAN GENIE ON TOTP FROM RUMOUR TO REALITY & 12.02.2011 NEWS: BFI SHOWING FULL JEAN GENIE TOTP PERFORMANCE AT NFT & 12.06.2011 NEWS: HOW A FISHEYE DEFEATED THE BBC'S TOTP TAPE WIPERS)

     

    While the image was clearly an actual photographic still as opposed to a grab from the footage itself, it did give rise to new hope that the footage might still exist.

    Those of you that have been following this will know that John Henshall has had a broadcast quality copy of the footage for the past 38 years and last night was the first public airing of it since January 4th, 1973.

    Anyway, one of the friends who accompanied me to the NFT has kindly sent in his impressions of the recording. And so, without further ado, over to Andy Barding and a load more exclusive stills...

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

    What a Christmas for David Bowie fans!

    Sunday night's much-anticipated first screening of the newly-rediscovered clip of Bowie, Ronson, Woodmansey and Bolder performing The Jean Genie on BBC TV's Top of the Pops saw a packed National Film Theatre struck agog at the majesty of Ziggy in action: in pristine, full-colour TV quality.

     

    David, with deep-red hair, shaved brows and bafflingly wide trousers, looked every inch the epitome of what we recall as ‘glam’. But while the likes of Sweet, Gary Glitter and Slade were stomping and pouting their way into teenage hearts and pop charts on a manifesto of colour and outrage alone, this extraordinary footage shows an integrity that was massively lacking in the rest of that early-70s field.

    As a token nod to space-age weirdness, David has just one painted nail, one dangly earring, and what looks like one silk glove dangled over the BBC micstand. But, for the most part, he and the Spiders have their image and music in fine harmony – and are rocking very hard indeed.

     

    Much is forever being made about the classic, often-repeated ‘Starman’ performance from the previous year. But, if anything, this newly-rediscovered footage is an even better testimony to the sheer power of Ziggy and the Spiders. A faint smile creeps over the singer’s face between shrieking, bang-on vocals, an occasional maraca shuffle and loads of bluesy harmonica-riffery (including a nod to ‘Love Me Do’), but it’s obvious that he and the band have some serious news to lay down in TV land: and Ronno’s spectacularly dissonant solo towards the end of the footage sends a battery of icy chills down the spine.

    It’s clear David and the Spiders were at their peak when this video footage was shot, just a few days before David’s 26th birthday. A whole year of slogging around the UK and US, from commuter-belt pubs to the grandeur of Carnegie Hall, had fine-tuned the Spiders into a powerful and tight outfit. Even taking into account the weird timing mistake towards the end of this clip, this is properly good rocking stuff – with giant balls.

     

    In coming weeks or months it’s hoped everybody will get a chance to enjoy this classic and historical clip on their own TVs – but it’s entirely deserving that such a grand rediscovery should get its 21st century premiere on a screen as big and bright (and loud) as the one offered by the National Film Theatre.

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

    Thanks for that Andy, much appreciated. I'll leave you all with a few more pix for your viewing pleasure.

    Below is proof that fisheye wasn't the only effect the BBC favoured at the time...here's a bit of solarisation that has been applied here and there throughout the film too...

     

    The gorgeous Ronno in full flight below, with the equally delicious Daniella Parmar dancing in the audience. Daniella was a close friend of David's at the time and he describes her and Freddie Burretti in the Moonage Daydream book as "the formidable fashion duo from London".

     

    Below, as Mick Ronson goes into the solo, David walks to the back of the stage and treats the young ladies in the audience to a couple of close quarter pelvic thrusts!

     

    As Andy observed in his report there was a single silver glove dangling from the microphone cable...but as you can just make out from the image below, David was wearing the other one on his maracas hand.

     

    Sadly, and despite Mike Garson's recollections, it seems he didn't take part in the taping after all. There is actually no trace of anybody on keyboard.

    As I said previously, stay tuned for details of the first TV broadcast of this footage. There was a suggestion (not by us) that it was due for a first screening on TOTP2 in a couple of weeks, but that isn't to be and it actually looks like the previously mentioned Tales Of Televison Centre documentary due for Spring next year will show a clip but will also be showing the complete footage as a Red Button feature.

    Thanks to all the Bowie fans I met afterwards last night, including the chaps from missing-episodes.com, where you can read more impressions from last night from half way down page 14.

    And of course many thaks to John Henshall and his Ninja-like bodyguard, Matt...it was fun to chat with you all and I hope we can do something like this again before another 38 years are up.

    Finally, BBC Oxford has a piece they've just posted about John Henshall and last night's screening which you can read here. It looks like they've lifted a still from our previous item which they mention has John in shot...except some bright spark has cropped him out!