It can feel a bit trivial when you call David Bowie ‘an artist’, the truth is he was far more than that. He transcended fashion, music, and culture to create something entirely singular, he created his own life and made it art. So on his birthday, the day when we celebrate the life and times of David Bowie we take a look back at the beginning of it all.
The footage below shows the first TV performance (though he had made another TV appearance in 1964 but more on that at a later date) of Bowie’s enigmatic and now seminal song ‘Space Oddity’ which had reached number 5 in the UK charts that year.
The clip sees a young Bowie performing at the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in the autumn of 1969. The live performance is candid and authentic it shows Bowie at the start of something incredible. He would later come off stage to accept the Special Merit Award for Originality. Just a few short years before he would storm the world with his persona Ziggy Stardust and inspire thousands.
Though Bowie had just released his eponymous LP to a varying degree of success he shows no signs of the transition that would catapult him into the stratosphere. Only one year later Bowie would go on to share The Man Who Sold The World, his first with the Spiders from Mars, and create his own niche, his own fanbase and sow the seeds of his legacy.
Although below you can see that clip, he also had lip-synched the same song on a Swiss TV show Hits A Go Go earlier that year, which you can also see below.