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Ziggy Stardust Concert

Salisbury City Hall
14th June 1973

by Dave Mulley (August 2000)

This concert was to be my first one ever but it so nearly didn’t happen. My elder brother had been to the Earls Court show and had managed to also get 8 tickets for him and his friends for the show at Salisbury City Hall on June 14th.   I pleaded with him for a ticket but typically as an 18 year old he didn’t want his 14 year old brother tagging along with him and his friends. As luck would have it two of his friends decided not to go and due to pressure from my mum he relented and let me have the two spare tickets. My mum kindly paid the grand sum of 2.50p for the ticket and my mate bought the other one.

When the day arrived we caught the bus from Swindon to Salisbury and arrived at the venue at about midday. The venue held approx. 1,000 so we wanted to make sure of a good place. We were actually the first ones there.

We had both dressed for the occasion. Me wearing a lilac(!) jacket with shoulder pads and large Oxford bag trousers and my hair in the Ziggy style and colour, while my mate was in black trousers and white shirt with blond hair similar to Mick Ronson's.

Outside the venue there were people selling all sorts of merchandise. I bought a programme but later found out it was an unofficial one – a red cover with the Aladdin Sane picture and a few lines of text inside. By about 4 o’clock others started to arrive. As I was looking through the door at the entrance I spotted Bowie in the Foyer. He was wearing a purple suit. I excitedly told my friend that I had just seen Bowie but he didn’t believe me. It wasn’t until a few months later that the photos appeared showing him off stage in this suit during the tour and proved that I must have seen him.

The doors finally opened at about 6 o’clock. We rushed in and found that the venue was half seating and half standing. Because we were young and the majority of the fans were in their late teens/early twenties we decide to sit in the seats. We sat right next door to the mixing desk central stage.

At about 7.30pm someone came on stage and started talking to the audience. Something along the lines of ‘Good evening Salisbury, David will be on stage in 5 minutes’. After probably 10 minutes or so - what I later found out was the theme to A Clockwork Orange started to play. The atmosphere was now getting exciting and the lights started to dim. As the climax of the intro was nearing the only light now was a strobe light which was lighting up all of the lightning flashes on the stage.

A huge cheer went up as a figure made its way onto the stage, this was Woody who then went to his drum kit. He sat there motionless with both drumsticks held vertically on the drum skins.The rest of the band took up their places and Mick and Trevor stood with their backs to the audience. As the intro came to the end Bowie took his position in the middle of the stage with his back also to the audience. As soon as Hang on to Yourself started Bowie, Mick and Trevor turned to face the audience in a blaze of spotlights.

Bowie was wearing the same outfit that he started with at the show at Hammersmith Odeon later in the tour. The show was fantastic and the costume changes were coming thick and fast. The costumes worn were (not necessarily in the correct order) – The opening black costume with silver braiding, the multi coloured one with the polo neck and separate legs and arms, the coloured one with one arm and one leg with huge bangles, the stripey suit with large padded shoulders, the white cloak with Japanese writing on it, the red woodland creature leotard, the white dress with white boots and the see through black shirt with black trousers.

I’m not sure if I can remember all of the songs but I’ll give it a go. Again it’s not necessarily in the correct order.

Hang on to Yourself
Watch that Man
Wild Eyed Boy
All the Young Dudes
Oh! You Pretty Things
Moonage Daydream
Space Oddity
Jean Genie/Love Me Do
Width of a Circle
Lets Spend the Night Together
Suffragette City
Round and Round
Rock and Roll Suicide

I’m not too sure but I think Cracked Actor and Panic in Detroit may have been played as well. (If anyone has a tape of this show I would love to hear from you).

There was an interval in the show so we went to the foyer to look at the merchandise. Unfortunately the official programmes had sold out so the only thing I could buy was a huge Aladdin Sane poster. I gave this to my brother to look after and my mate and I decided to go to the front of the stage even though it looked to be a bit of a crush.

We stood at the edge of the stage on the left hand side as you looked at it. During one song Bowie sat on top of the speaker stack about 5 feet above us. At a certain point in the song he stood up with his arms outstretched and jumped back down on to the stage. Unfortunately he seemed to hurt his ankle when he landed and was limping for the rest of the show.

When he came on for the encore he spoke to the audience for the first time. He sat on a chair and said ‘I think I’ve hurt my ankle so I’ll sit down for this one’. He then started singing Round and Round. Before we knew it the show had finished and the theatre lights came up.

This was my introduction to Bowie and have been and still am an avid fan, going to as many UK shows as I can afford as well as some European ones. 

---This page last modified: 24 Dec 2018---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)