July 5, 2022

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Fifty years after the landing of Ziggy Stardust, the character who jumped David Bowie |  Music

Fifty years after the landing of Ziggy Stardust, the character who jumped David Bowie | Music

Bowie spent a decade trying to finally quit. He belonged to the generation of 1960s London, where the competition was so great that two big hits (“Space Oddity” in 1969 and “Changes” two years later) didn’t allow him to stand out.

“Everything he has tried since the beginning of his career has failed,” Jerome Solini, one of the world’s experts on the singer, who died in January 2016, told AFP.

He only had one card left to play, at a time when disco music, sexual mysteries, and flashy costumes were beginning to emerge.

The movie “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” (“The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”) was Bowie’s way of unraveling this amazing decadence that fell into the vulnerable hippie.

The album was released on June 16, 1972. “Ziggy Stardust” mixed Iggy Pop’s Dirty Garage rock, Lou Reed (Boy met and helped both artists) and the pantomime and theater courses he took in London.

Thin to the point of anorexia, Bowie appeared in make-up to the ears, dyed hair, extravagant clothes and chunky-soled shoes.

Born Ziggy, a genderless alien (or all at once), a character who was also a secret homage to ancestors such as veteran rocker Vince Taylor, who was believed to be an extraterrestrial deity, or the legendary stardust cowboy, the precursor singer of psychobilly.

“We didn’t want anything to do with the ’60s,” Bowie recalls years later. “We have decided that we are at the beginning of the twenty-first century,” he said.

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“It was a marketing coup, his most beautiful creation (…) that allowed him to become more than just an open secret among fans of rock music,” explains Solini.

The album contains songs such as “Ziggy Stardust”, “Starman” or “Suffragette City” itself.

And his concerts caused even more sensation, as he changed his clothes several times and provocatively interpreted his role as a foreigner, in danger of being booed, as at first.

In July 1972 he was a guest on the BBC television program “Top of the Pops”. This was followed by a successful tour in the United States.

As quickly as he appeared, that alien had disappeared from the face of the earth.

During a concert in London in July 1973, Bowie announced that Ziggy was no longer around.

“With the help of some chemicals, it became very easy to distinguish between reality and the creature that created it,” Bowie admitted.

He’s managed to reach rock stardom, and now he just has to keep proving his worth, which he has made more than that.

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