The ZIGGY STARDUST Companion

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Ziggy Stardust Trivia
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What's in a name?

Belfast pop punks Rudi took their name from the lyric line "Rudi stayed at home to starve" from David Bowie's song "Star", while Def Leppard frontsman Joe Elliot once had a cat called Ziggy Stardust and two goldfish called Weird and Gilly, which of course were the stage names for Trevor Bolder and Woody Woodmansey.

Were you named after Ziggy Stardust or know of someone who was?  If so drop me a line with the full story!  I've been written to recently by two women - one named Ziggy because while on the way to the hospital her father heard the song on the radio and another earlier who was named Dory - after Hunky Dory! If I get enough of these interesting stories, I'll put them together on this site - so do let me know.

Hotel Ziggy

Feel like getting away from it all? Well, Bowie fans could once check into the one and only ZIGGY STARDUST hotel in Thailand. The address was BO PHUT BEACH, KO SAMUI, SURAT THANI, 84140, THAILAND.  I wonder if Mr Bowie had ever been there? Latest news is that this hotel is now closed but if you are a tourist you can still wander through the deserted hotel site.

Table-tennis & A nice cold pint

Even Rock Gods do ordinary things every now and again.  Here are photos of Ziggy Stardust playing table-tennis and having a nice cool pint with the lads.  The costume for the former suggests the table-tennis photograph was taken during the 1973 UK Aladdin Sane Tour Programme photo-shoot.  The second photo was taken during a break during the filming of the 1980 Floor Show.

Aladdin Sane Tour Programme photo-shoot (1973)

The 1980 Floor Show (1973)

Spot The Difference Competition

Spot the Difference competitions used to be all the rage in the 1970's. This is from Mirabelle magazine and depicts the manly Ziggy Stardust as Tarzan rescuing Jane in the jungle! The caption reads:

Ziggy leaves The Spiders behind as he zaps through the jungle growth...can he get Jane to safety?!!

Ziggy in wax

Ziggy Stardust exhibit at the Rock n Roll wax museum, London.

Ziggy Stardust exhibit at ?

Ziggy & Elvis

David Bowie and Elvis Presley have many similarities and Presley also served as inspiration for some aspects of the Ziggy Stardust phenomenon:

1) They share the same birthday - January 8th (1935 for Elvis and 1947 for Bowie).

2) Bowie says that he first discovered the power of music when he saw his cousin get up and dance to Elvis's "Hound Dog."

3) Both Elvis and Bowie experimented and got into trouble with their hair styles at high school (Elvis appearing in a Mohawk and Bowie cutting his hair very short before this was fashionable).

4) Bowie and Elvis were both on the same record label - RCA.

5) Bowie was a big fan of Elvis. At short notice he crossed the Atlantic on a plane to attend an Elvis concert in New York in June 1972 even though he had a strong fear of flying at the time and would travel by other means whenever possible.

"[Elvis] was a major hero of mine. And I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something. I came over for a long weekend. I remember coming straight from the airport and walking into Madison Square Garden very late. I was wearing all my clobber from the Ziggy period and had great seats near the front. The whole place just turned to look at me and I felt like a right idiot. I had brilliant red hair, some huge padded space suit and those red boots with big black soles. I wished I'd gone for something quiet, because I must have registered with him. He was well into his set." - Bowie (1996)

6) Bowie's manager - Tony DeFries - was a big fan of Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker and would quote from Parker's book to anyone who would listen.

7) Bowie says that he largely based the character of Ziggy Stardust on the eccentric American rocker Vince Taylor who moved to France and worked as an Elvis impersonator. Known as the "French Presley" he appeared on stage one night in white robes and said that he was Jesus Christ. End of career.

8) Bowie had clothes designer and friend Freddi Burretti copy Elvis's on-stage white jump-suit for Bowie's own use at Ziggy Stardust concerts. Bowie typically would change into it before his trademark finale - "Rock n Roll Suicide."

9) Tony DeFries used the announcement "David Bowie has left the building" as was done for Elvis Presley concerts.

10) The lighting-bolt motif Bowie wore for the ALADDIN SANE album cover was partly inspired by a ring that Elvis wore - which had a lightning bolt emblem along with the letters TCB (Taking Care of The Business).

11) The reissued single "Space Oddity" (see below) was released in Thailand in December 1972 accompanied by Elvis Presley's "Fool" as the B-side (RCA 003).

12) Elvis showed some interest in recording Bowie's song "Golden Years" but died before this could happen.

The Hidden Bonus Track on the RarestOneBowie CD

The Limited Edition RARESTONEBOWIE (1995) was the first CD to include a "hidden" bonus track. Nowhere on the CD sleeve or liner notes is there mention of this bonus track. The track itself is 53 seconds of the original 1973 American RCA radio advertisement for PINUPS (1973). The advertisement is located just before Track 1 and can be accessed by playing Track 1 and then using the CD Rewind function to move before Track 1 (i.e. rewind to minus 53 seconds). Here is the advert in its full 53 second glory (the breaks being snippets of PINUPS (1973) songs):

"Bowie's new album is out... He calls it PINUPS... PINUPS means favourites and these are Bowie's favourite songs...It's the kind of music your parents will never let you play loud enough...Bowie is a MainMan artiste available on RCA records and tapes world-wide."

---This page last modified: 22 Feb 2004---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)