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  The Ziggy Stardust

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Taylor, Vince: Eccentric American singer whom Bowie states he largely based the character of Ziggy Stardust on.

"This Boy" (Lennon/McCartney): Beatles song covered by Bowie at the Aylesbury Friars concert on 18 July 1972.

"Time" (Bowie): Song on ALADDIN SANE (1973) which was banned by the BBC due to its explicit reference to masturbation (...falls wanking to the floor...) It was performed on the 2nd US Tour, the Japanese Tour and the 3rd UK Tour. The offending phrase was edited out of the sole ABC TV screening of the ZIGGY STARDUST - THE MOTION PICTURE in October 1974 but was reintroduced for its 1983 release. A live version of this song from The 1980 Floor Show on 18-20 August 1973 is included on RARESTONEBOWIE (1995) and is notable for the (forced?) lyric change (...falls swanking to the floor...)

To Be Played At Maximum Volume: Wording and good advice on the back cover of THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972). Trivia: Slade's similar advice was "Play It Loud"

Thomas a Becket (established 1787): A three-story building where Bowie and the prototype Spiders From Mars rehearsed in a single room. The rehearsal room itself was on the top floor, above a boxing gymnasium, with a pub on the ground floor.  In later years Bowie would credit this building and Haddon Hall as the two main places where Ziggy Stardust was born.

TRANSFORMER (1972): Lou Reed album produced by Bowie who also provided backing vocals/sax throughout the album - with Mick Ronson on guitar. Tracks: Vicious / Andy's Chest / Perfect Day / Hangin' Round / Walk on the Wild-side / Make Up / Satellite of Love / Wagon Wheel / New York Telephone Conversation / I'm So Free / Goodnight (RCA LSP.4807 - 8 December 1972).

Trident Studios: Recording studio in Soho, London where songs for the album THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972) were recorded between 9 September 1971 and 19 January 1972. Bowie also recorded part of THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD, HUNKY DORY (1971) and most of ALADDIN SANE (1973) at Trident Studios with in-house producer Ken Scott. In this period it was a sixteen-track studio with a state-of-art reputation and along with Advision and Olympic one of the top three recording studios in London. In July 1968 it was the first studio in London to boast a functioning eight-track recording machine. The Beatles used Trident to record "Hey Jude" and in the early 1970s - Elton John, Supertramp, T.Rex and Queen were regulars there. It eventually closed in 1984, and the building was split into separate floors. Of the actual studio where Ziggy Stardust was recorded, the four walls remain but not much else. It is now used by an audio-video production company specialising in dance records. On the entire wall on the landing, halfway up, is a massive print of David Bowie, as photographed on the set of The Man Who Fell To Earth.

QUEEN interview by David Thomas in MoJo magazine (August 1999).

ROGER TAYLOR: "A lot of people were saying they were interested, but nobody was actually signing anything. We were turned down by EMI. Then we signed to Trident Productions, a very happening studio at the time. The Beatles were in there, George Harrison. Bowie did 'Ziggy' and 'Hunky Dory' there, loads of stuff. In fact Freddie and I saw the first Ziggy gig at Friar's Aylesbury. We drove down in my Mini. We loved it. I'd seen him there about three weeks before in the long hair and the dress. Suddenly you saw this spiky head coming on stage. You thought, wha-a-at??? They looked like spacemen."

In a recent internet interview, Bowie was asked if he had been influenced by Queen, to which he replied, "I doubt it, since Freddie asked me to produce his first album." "Certainly not!" Taylor exclaims. "But David was producing Lou at the time. We were taking the down-time. Literally, they'd be coming up the stairs and we'd be going down the stairs. David probably remembers it slightly differently, but I doubt he was being 100 per cent serious. Knowing David, very little he says is!"

Trident licensed Queen to EMI, but for eighteen months, with the album in the can, nothing seemed to happen. May remembers "going on the number 9 bus up to town every day with Freddie to pummel the company into doing something, because we felt that the album had gone cold. David Bowie had risen from Aylesbury to heaven. Groups like Nazareth were all over the radio and we couldn't get our foot in the door." By then, too, they were beginning to develop a distinctive visual image, due in large part to their meeting with the photographer Mick Rock. He had been working with David Bowie, then making 'Pin-Ups' at the Chateau d'Herouville, when Ken Scott suggested he go to meet this new band that had a management contract with Trident: Queen.

At that point, Rock, a 24-year-old Cambridge graduate, was a bigger player in the business than Queen. The four band-members were hugely impressed by his work with Bowie and the fact that he had shot the covers for both Lou Reed's 'Transformer' and the Stooges' 'Raw Power'. As for Rock. "The first thing that struck me was how confident they were. No one knew who they were - I didn't have a clue what their music was like - but they had a sense of their own destiny. They were obviously very intelligent, too, but I'd been spoiled working with David Bowie and Lou Reed, because they were both extremely bright."



---This page last modified: 12 Jan 2019---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)