Category: midnight special

Stevie Nicks with Fleetwood Mac on NBC’s The M…

Stevie Nicks with Fleetwood Mac on NBC’s The Midnight Special, aired

April 8, 1976 

Todd izz Godd: Todd Rundgren on The Midnight S…

Todd izz Godd: Todd Rundgren on The Midnight Special, aired December 7, 1973, by Lynn Goldsmith, via mouchegallery

To answer a question posed on a previous post from this series, yes, Todd is playing the guitar known as “The Fool”, previously owned by Eric Clapton and others, and yes, that’s Todd’s own face in the crest in the center of his feather breastplate.

Todd Rundgren on NBC’s The Midnight Special, a…

Todd Rundgren on NBC’s The Midnight Special, aired December 7, 1973, by Lynn Goldsmith. Pretty damn glam.

iris-wallpaper: soundsof71: glamrock-lizardma…

iris-wallpaper:

soundsof71:

glamrock-lizardman:

soundsof71:

David Bowie during “The Jean Genie” for The 1980 Floor Show, 1973 (his US TV debut), by Mick Rock. The costume originally had a third hand (guess where) that NBC network officials insisted be removed.

That information about the third hand is so important to me

Then you need to see this recent fan re-edit of the original performance by YouTuber Mister Sussex. It’s one of the filthiest things you’ve ever seen. I was 13 when this aired, and it fried my brain for life. LOL It was after midnight (the show was The Midnight Special, which aired from 11:30PM Friday to 1AM Saturday in my time zone), and I was the only one awake in the house. Having snuck out of bed to watch, I was now practically wetting myself with some combination of panic, lust, and sheer joy. LOL 

An absolutely lascivious vocal (plus, check that leer into the audience right after “Loves to be loved…”, around 2:20), regularly spreading his legs so we can see his…uhm, leotard LOL, one of Mick Ronson’s most ripping solos (and unlike the UK “Starman” video from 1972, it’s Mick doing the reaching for David this time) – and David aggressively rubbing his penis on the microphone before thrusting it in Mick’s face while they sing practically cheek to cheek! Plus a TRIO of saxophones backing them up!

Again, this was Bowie’s US TV debut. Nobody knew from Ziggy (which was a flop when it was first released), but Aladdin Sane was a hit and Pin Ups was newly in the shops, so we had SOME idea of how crazy this broadcast was gonna get….but it turns out that no, no, we had not the least fucking idea how crazy this was going to get.

I could write a whole book about this broadcast, and I hope somebody does someday. I could certainly write a whole book about how it impacted me. I mean, all the pictures of it we post on tumblr are one thing. But crank this the fuck up, imagine that it’s the first time you’re seeing anything of Bowie besides a couple of album covers, and be amazed.

@soundsof71 – it was the first time my parents let me stay up past the time they went to bed. My older brother had been able to stay up to watch the Midnight Special, and he was now driving and allowed to stay out as late as he wanted. I changed into pj’s and settled down in nest of blankets and crocheted granny-square afghans to spend me first Grown Up night.

A vision in blue spandex stepped into the stage. His hair was orange and stood straight up on top. Lipstick! Was that lipstick – on man? One arm was bare – the skin shone as white and luminous as an opal. Flames climbed his torso, appliqued gold and red on blue. One bare leg was painted to look like flames.

And then he opened his mouth.

And sang

The sound was raw and urgent and ragged and longing and sweet and aching and raw and … utterly otherworldly. I felt an ache, a longing I’d never felt before. I wanted … but I didn’t even know what it was that I ached for. My breath caught in my throat as the vision of androgynous beauty sang, costume changes with each song. My chest hurt more and more as the hour wore on. My toes curled inside my rainbow-stripped socks. I eventually lay my head down on my crossed arms, dazed and exhausted and troubled.

And then it was over. The National Anthem played – I’d stayed up past midnight for the first time in my life…

the night I became a woman. Thanks to David Bowie.

David Bowie, “Space Oddity” from 1973′s The 19…

David Bowie, “Space Oddity” from 1973′s The 1980 Floor Show, recorded for his American TV debut on The Midnight Special, by Mick Rock

Stevie Nicks with Fleetwood Mac on NBC’s The M…

Stevie Nicks with Fleetwood Mac on NBC’s The Midnight Special, aired

April 8, 1976 

Todd Rundgren ( plus the guitar known as The …

Todd Rundgren (

plus the guitar known as The Fool, with Kevin Ellman on drums) on NBC’s Midnight Special, December 7, 1973, by Lynn Goldsmith, via forestdweller

David Bowie for The 1980 Floor Show, his US TV…

David Bowie for The 1980 Floor Show, his US TV debut, aired November 1973. He wore this outfit during the song “Everything’s Alright”.

soundsof71: vintagesoul1975: soundsof71: Todd…

soundsof71:

vintagesoul1975:

soundsof71:

Todd Rundgren on NBC’s The Midnight Special, aired December 7, 1973. (By Lynn Goldsmith? I haven’t found a definitive credit for this, but she’d taken others than night.)

OMG. this guitar looks so similar to the one Eric Clapton had in the late 60s. Its beautiful man

It is indeed that very guitar!!! It even has a name, “The Fool”, for the Dutch art collective that painted it. (They did a TON of highly influential psychedelic work in the 60s, including for The Beatles. Details here.) The guitar even has its own Wikipedia page

Here’s what Todd had to say about it in a 2016 Guitar World interview:

I have the feeling that Eric had given that guitar up, because it went through a number of hands before I got it. I think he gave it to George Harrison, and I’d heard that Paul Kossoff from Free owned it, too. I got it from Jackie Lomax, who was signed to Apple. This was when I was up in Woodstock working with the Band.

The guitar was in horrible shape at the time. The paint job was all flaked off because they never put a sealer on it. It didn’t have the original tailpiece, the neck was a mess at one point, the headstock snapped off. I did a lot of work on it. I played it for decades, and I owned it until the mid-Nineties. I owed the IRS a lot of money, so I auctioned it off. But I did get to play it onstage with Ringo—with Jack Bruce, we did “Sunshine of Your Love,” which I thought was appropriate.

I saw him play it in concert in 1982, by the way, and I smiled the whole time. What a magical sound it had! Not that Todd hasn’t made plenty of magical sounds since selling it too of course. 🙂

David Bowie, ad for his first US TV appearance…

David Bowie, ad for his first US TV appearance, November 16, 1973, via davidbowie.com. (Fantastic Justin de Villeneuve photo of Bowie and Twiggy from the Pin Ups sessions.)