David Bowie, then 29, was arrested early in the morning of March 21, 1976, in his three room suite at the Americana Rochester Hotel in Rochester, New York, by vice squad detectives and a New York state police investigator. Bowie was arrested with three other people, including James Osterberg, Jr., better known as Iggy Pop. Police confiscated half a pound of marijuana—enough for a felony charge with a fifteen year prison sentence. The four arrestees were held in the Monroe County Jail for several hours before being freed after posting $2,000 bail each.
Bowie’s mugshot was not taken the night of his arrest, but rather on the morning of March 25th, when Bowie returned to Rochester to plead innocent to the felony charge at Rochester City Court. The rather dapper attire is exemplary of Bowie’s “Thin White Duke” persona. Both of Bowie’s associates—Iggy Pop and his bodyguard—also plead not guilty to the charges. A number of fans turned out for the arraignment, but were largely disappointed when Bowie and his companions were quickly ushered into the courtroom. After the arraignment, Bowie granted a five minute interview with local journalists at his local attorney’s office.
This mugshot, found in the rubbish from a police officer’s estate sale in November 2007, was auctioned off for a sum in excess of $2500.