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David Bowie’s “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired men” (1964 Colourised)

August 7th, 2021 | by admin

17 year old David Jones (Bowie) was interviewed on BBC Tonight programme by Cliff Michelmore as the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men!

The interview, by Cliff Michelmore, sees Bowie “protesting” about the treatment that he and other post-Beatles, long-haired men received on the streets of England.

The publicity generated by the interview extended to an interview in the London Evening News with Jones.

‘It’s really for the protection of pop musicians and those who wear their hair long,’ explained the founder and president, David Jones, of Plaistow Grove, Bromley. ‘Anyone who has the courage to wear their hair down to his shoulders has to go through hell. It’s time we were united and stood up for our curls.’ David is in the process of enrolling members. ‘Everybody makes jokes about you on a bus, and if you go past navvies digging in the road, it’s murder!’

Bowie was flanked by the other equally hirsuite members of his band, the Manish Boys.  “We can march in protest” said one Manish Boy.  “Sort of like, ban the bomb all over again, you know!” “Baldermaston” deadpanned Bowie in response.

Behind the “society” was Bowie’s then-manager, Les Conn.

When the Manish Boys were due to appear on another BBC Show, Gadzooks! Its All Happening, to perform their single “I Pity The Fool,” the show’s producer Barry Langford asked for the band to cut their hair before the show. Handed this golden publicity opportunity on a plate, Conn organised a protest of fans with pro-long-hair placards outside the BBC, and created the society.

In the event, Bowie and his band were allowed to retain their long hair on the condition that if an audience member complained, the band’s fee would go to charity.

No complaints were received.

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