Watch David Bowie’s ‘80s-As-Hell Performance At The First VMAs

Nobody could take a jacket off more seductively.

When the MTV Video Music Awards began back in 1984, David Bowie was in a weird spot. He dressed in big jackets and kept his hair blondish and thin, which actually made him look comparatively normal — and for Bowie, normal was weird.

He was also making pretty normal-sounding music, at least for the ’80s. The first-ever VMAs aired on Sept. 14, 1984, two weeks after the release of Bowie’s 16th album, Tonight, and featured a pre-recorded performance of Bowie’s single, “Blue Jean.” And as the clip below demonstrates, it’s everything you knew he always was: dripping with charisma, grinning, acting equal parts matador and cocktail-club singer.

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