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28 December 1972
"The Jean Genie"

Radio/TV/Film/Video Index

Recorded & Broadcast: Likely to be 28 December 1972

A number of fans have written to say that they recalled seeing a live TV performance on BBC's Top of The Pops of "The Jean Genie" in late 1972.  

"The Jean Genie" performed live on Top of The Pops

This is pretty exciting news because, to date, this TV performance has been undocumented and has not appeared before in any form - bootleg or official. The above colourised picture taken from pg. 60 of Dave Thompson's Moonage Daydream book has the caption "David and Mick Ronson perform[ing] "The Starman" on BBC 1's Top of The Pops". Just visible in the lower right corner is a BBC camera.  However, this can't possibly be true because the costumes shown are different to those worn on that famous show.  Also Bowie is shown with a later hairstyle and shaved eyebrows (which he did in October 1972). Finally the TOTP background more closely resembles that used in December 1972.  And with the visual evidence of the event, one fan even has an audio tape recording to prove it. It was broadcast on either the 21st December 1972, the 28th December 1972 or 4th January 1973 - with the 28th being the most likely date:

"Mike. At long last, confirmation that "The Jean Genie" performed in 1972 exists. I have a recording of this performance in my possession. Ronson's solo is brilliant. Its a very dry mix, lots of harmonica and Ronno's unique guitar sound and style of solo. The only problem is I've lost the last four or five seconds of the song right at the end. It originally finished with Ziggy shouting "Whey!" The sound quality is not brilliant, but it is listenable. Comparable to maybe the quality of the "Va Va Va Vroom" bootleg. Could you let other Ziggy fans know that it did happen. I thought it was just me! It was a long time ago, but this is as accurate as I can be. It would have probably been performed on Top of the Pops on the last Thursday of 1972. That would be December 28th...The situation was thus. I was away at a Xmas party and asked my cousin to record the song for me. This he did with a typical tape cassette recorder of the time. He dangled the cheap mike in front of the television speaker, and luckily for me, I loved it, and hence kept it. Years later I taped the recording onto another tape losing some quality and maybe the last 4 seconds of the song, which ended with the Love Me Do style harmonica, finishing with Bowie giving a "Whey!" to end the song. I still have this second generation copy which is ok. I have written to the BBC to see if they could help, but I guess they were not that bothered, and I had the standard reply, which was that they did not have any record of such an event. But reading in between the lines, I guess they didn't put too much effort into it either. All Ziggy fans deserve to hear it." - Mervyn

---This page last modified: 31 Oct 2002---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)