Having mentioned Kraftwerk in a post last week, I felt I shouldn’t really let the 40th anniversary of the release of “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars” pass without comment.
I first heard the album while waiting in a hairdressers, off the Kings Road, in 1972. I knew about Bowie because my elder sister Laura was a fan. I also remember seeing his name in lights above the Gaumont State Cinema in Kilburn. He played there June 13th 1973.
A few weeks later Laura felt ill on the night of another Bowie gig, the last of his UK tour. She’d had a ticket, but gave it to me instead. It was my first ever rock concert. It was also, famously, the historical night that Bowie killed off Ziggy Stardust and then sang “Rock N Roll Suicide”. I was standing about three rows from the front, to the left of the stage. I was 12 and I’d never seen anything like it. I was mesmerised, transfixed and heartbroken that my first gig had turned out to be his last. I was hooked.
It’s not my favourite Bowie album. That honour might go to Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, Low or Station To Station. But Lady Stardust is certainly one of my favourite Bowie songs… In particular I love the beautiful and poignant lines “the boy in the bright blue jeans jumped up on the stage – Lady Stardust sang his songs of darkness and disgrace”.
Happy anniversary Ziggy.