The ZIGGY STARDUST Companion

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This interesting interview was conducted between David Bowie and an American interviewer in February 1972 - source unkown but probably for US FM radio. It discusses the forthcoming Ziggy Stardust album, its conceptual basis, songs which were originally considered for the album but later dropped and other period out-takes. A lead in part also follows this interview and may have been made later as part of another radio broadcast about David Bowie. In the lead-in the interviewer has a strong Manchester accent.

Interviewer: Could you explain a little more in-depth about the album that's coming out ... Ziggy?

Bowie: I'll try very hard...its a little difficult but it originally started as a concept album, but it kind of got broken up because I found other songs I wanted to put in the album which wouldn't have fitted into the story of Ziggy...so at the moment its a little fractured and a little fragmented...I'm just lighting a cigarette...so anyway what you have there on that album when it does finally come out is a story which doesn't really take place...its just a few little scenes from the life of a band called Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars...who could feasibly be the last band on Earth - it could be within the last five years of Earth...I'm not at all sure..Because I wrote it in such a way that I just dropped the numbers into the album in any order that they cropped up. It depends in which state you listen to it in. The times that I've listened to it - I've had a number of meanings out of the album...but I always do. Once I've written an album - my interpretations of the numbers in that album are totally different afterwards than the time that I wrote them and I find that I learn a lot from my own albums about me.

Interviewer: ...What do you plan to do...I'd like to ask you about some stuff you have recorded already....Did you not just do a version of "Amsterdam" - a Jacques Brel song?

Bowie: (surprised) Aaah...yeah

Interviewer: And a new version of "Holy Holy"?

Bowie: (laughing) Wait! Where do you get your information from?

Interviewer: ...a kind of a friend ... kind of the source of it...and there's another version of "Round & Round?" Has that been dropped off Ziggy?

Bowie: (laughing) Jesus!!....You know about all of the things that are in the can!

Interviewer: Are there any more?

Bowie: (laughing) Maybe...maybe not!

Interviewer: ...I see....was "Round and Round" - is that on Ziggy Stardust or was it dropped?

Bowie: It was dropped quite honestly...Why was it dropped? Its hard to say.....

Interviewer: ...because it would possibly spoil the concept of Ziggy?

Bowie: No ....not too much - "Round & Round" would have been the perfect kind of number that Ziggy would have done on stage. I think probably what happened...is that it was a jam. We jammed "Round & Round" for old times sake in the studio and the enthusiasm of the jam probably waned after we heard the track a few times and we replaced it with a thing called "Starman."

Interviewer: That's going to be the single isn't it?

Bowie: Yeah...they are putting that out as a single. I don't think it's any great loss really... I think..I certainly haven't destroyed any of those tracks...I've kept them all. I think that maybe that we could put them out as a budget album or something at a later date...the stuff that never really got used. Because there are quite a few...there's a thing called "Bombers" which is kind of a skit on Neil Young....

Interviewer: Oh really?

Bowie: Its quite funny...

Interviewer: Is it a single...or an album?

Bowie: Oh no just one song. Now what else do we have...Do you want to know some titles...things in the can we have never released? There's a thing called "He's A Goldmine" (laughing) "He's a Goldmine" is lovely.

Interviewer: Is it a Neil Young thing too?

Bowie: No...that's very David Bowie (laughing)...Its a lovely tune...But probably the lyrics are a little bit too provocative. I think they'll keep that out for a bit....what else is there?  Can't remember...

Lead-In (Probably recorded after above interview)

Tape starts, Interviewer talks about Bowie's album M.W.S.T.W and Hunky Dory.

Bowie: Changes is probably inevitable because it's the first track on the album.

Tape Cuts Off

Interviewer: How's 'Z' (zee) you call him 'Z' right?

Bowie: Well he's asleep at the moment 'erm ... I guess he'll be getting up tomorrow ... well maybe Friday (laughs) - he sleeps a lot (laughs)

Interviewer: I read that your song Kooks …

Bowie (Interupts): He’s only a baby – he’s very young

Interviewer: Really? I read that your song Kooks, your song Kooks from the Hunky Dory album that you wrote for him … I also wondered … you said that it embarrassed you now – is that true?

Bowie: ‘errr (pause) yeah

Interviewer: yeah?

Bowie: I’ll tell you why … cause he’s older now (pause) and I’d hate him to think that I felt like (pause) that … then (laughs) … I’ll write another one for him soon … I think … but I’ll judge it for like four years … I’ll write about him again when he’s four years old … so it gives me three years to (?? word inaudible) … I’m not really embarrassed … I probably just said that … I don’t believe anything I say (laughs) …

Space Oddity Fades In …

Interviewer Comments: In 1971 Decca released "The World Of David Bowie" which contained ten tracks that appeared on the first Deram album, plus four tracks that hadn’t been released before. One of them "The London Boys" is notable in that it is an early (?? Word unaudible) of "The Bewlay Brothers".

Back to Interview

Bowie: From the Hunky Dory album I like … ‘erm I like Bewlay Brothers very much …

Interviewer (Interupts): That’s a monster song

Bowie: only because it’s so personal … I’m sure it doesn’t mean a thing to anybody else and I’m sorry if I inflicted myself upon people with that track

Interviewer: Well is it a direct progression from "The London Boys"?

Bowie: Yes it was (laughs)

Interviewer: A sequel … by someone kind of … (word unaudible) maybe?

Bowie: You know more about me than I care to know (laughs)

The London Boys Fades In …

Interviewer Comments: Then in summer 72 came Ziggy. Where Bowie’s obsession with science fiction concepts especially the (inaudible word) race … is given free (inaudible word). We are presenting a picture of a dying race in five years … meet the starman, told to hang on to ourselves and paradoxically freak out in a moonage daydream. Meet Ziggy himself and the (inaudible word) is more than suicide.

---This page last modified: 14 Jul 2002---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)