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See David Bowie Defend Long-Haired Men In TV Interview At Age 17

"We don't see why other people should persecute us," the singer said.

01/11/2016 08:06 am ET | Updated Jan 11, 2016

David Bowie, who died Sunday aged 69, proved he was well ahead of his time in this early TV interview 52 years ago.

The boy then known as David Jones was just 17 when he appeared on the BBC's "Tonight" show as the spokesman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men in 1964, reports Dazed Digital.

Unearthed footage posted to YouTube shows him complaining about the treatment of men with lengthy locks, which would later become fashionable.

"I think we're all fairly tolerant," he tells host Cliff Michelmore in the interview. "But for the last two years, we've had comments like 'Darling!' and 'Can I carry your handbag?' thrown at us, and I think it just has to stop now."

"I think we all like long hair and we don't see why other people should persecute us because of it," he adds.

Bowie has collar-length hair in the clip, and Open Culture speculates that he created the society as a tongue-in-cheek move after a record producer asked him to cut his locks -- an early example of Bowie's knack for using his changing image to generate publicity for his music.

 

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