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David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust TV debut – Can technicians restore it?

. 3 July 1
973: David Bowie gives his last concert as Ziggy Stardust at Hammersmith Odeon, London. The concert later became known as Retirement Gig. (Photo by Express / Express / Getty Images)
Photo: Getty

In June 1972, David Bowie debuted as Ziggy Stardust on the British television program Lift Off with Ayshea The technician accidentally did that wiped out only known footage of the performance, rather than converting it to digital. The show's audio is available online, but a video archive of the iconic moment seemed to be lost over time. On Tuesday, however, it turned out that a fan had recorded Bowie's appearance on a home video recorder. And if we're lucky, it might even appear in a BBC documentary next month.

The home video recorder was a forerunner of the VHS, although the latter had eventually prevailed to be cheaper, easier, and able to store more content. The material from the June 1972 Ziggy performance has just been uncovered, and it remains to be seen if it will be visible until the next documentary documentary next month, or even at all.

The band has been mined over the years and is currently "baked". The restoration is expected to continue until shortly before the broadcast of the documentary, reports the BBC. Ribbons from the early 1970's are at risk for a so-called sticky-shed syndrome, in which the tape of the tape is worn but may be recoverable, according to the University of Illinois Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP). Baking is routinely used to solve this problem, where a tape is baked at a low temperature (from 130 ° F to 140 ° F) for one to eight hours or longer, depending on the tape size. Although this is not a permanent solution, the tape may only last a few months before it can absorb moisture.

The original tapes of the television program were sent by Granada Television to a technician for digitization. Of the 144, "a handful" had an "X" to indicate that they could be safely deleted because they were duplicates after the Telegraph. The technician believed that those marked with an "X" were the ones to be converted to digital, and instead deleted all remaining bands, including Bowie's first Ziggy debut.

Ayshea Brough, the presenter of Lift Off with Ayshea told Record Collector that she had not figured out the size of the issue until 2014's Granada's 50th anniversary, when the producer informed them about the deleted tapes , "He wiped years of my life and my performances and the performances of everyone else," Brough said. "It's a terrible thing."

Record Collector also asked Brough if she thought there were any more copies of the tapes. "I hope so," she said. "I have to access social media and speak the word. A lot of people have recorded different shows, adding that they never recorded them because of their busy schedules. "I think there has to be a band out there somewhere with this David Bowie performance."


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