“Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel two”
In the UK 42 years ago this evening, David Bowie was among the people to catch the television debut of an exciting young artist and his new band, Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, though they weren't yet billed as such.
Having recorded three tracks for the broadcast the previous day, Bowie and band had been readying themselves for the official start of the Ziggy Stardust tour at the Toby Jug on February 10th.
The show was The Old Grey Whistle Test and the songs recorded were Queen Bitch, Five Years and Oh! You Pretty Things.
Hunky Dory had been released less than two months earlier and the Ziggy Stardust album opener wouldn't be available to buy for a few months yet.
So of the songs recorded, Oh! You Pretty Things would probably have been the best advert for the tour, in that it was freshest in the public memory, having spent several weeks on the UK singles chart for Peter Noone the previous May and June, when it peaked at #14.
However, in their wisdom, the BBC didn't broadcast Oh! You Pretty Things for another ten years, probably considering the song a little too mainstream (due to the Noone connection) for the chin-strokingly serious OGWT.
All three tracks were eventually released officially on the Best Of Bowie DVD (including an alternate take of Oh! You Pretty Things) and they still look and sounds as fresh and exciting today as they ever did.
Scroll the images on this page and check out the footage here if you need a reminder of just how good this debut was.