With his new Blackstar album out this Friday, it’s worth looking back on the incredible span of David Bowie’s career. Even before he was making a name for himself as a musician, Bowie was kicking up dust as a founding member of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.

The 17-year-old appeared on the BBC to speak out against the injustices he’s faced as a long-haired man. “I think we’re all fairly tolerant,” says the young Bowie, “but for the last two years we’ve had comments like ‘darling’ thrown at us. We don’t see why other people should persecute us because of it.”

Bowie still had the hair eight years later, when he made his musical TV debut with “Space Oddity.” Check that out below, and hear what he’s doing all these years later on “Lazarus.”