The ZIGGY STARDUST Companion
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In 2002 (The 30th anniversary year of the release of the Ziggy Stardust album) David Bowie stated that he would be releasing new Ziggy Stardust material in a three-part project to include a stage-play, a film (with a soundtrack) and an internet component. There would also be released an exclusive Ziggy Stardust photobook by Mick Rock and possibly previously unseen Ziggy Stardust concert footage. Unfortunately, apart from the Mick Rock photobook (Moonage Daydream), this project never eventuated.
"I thought he was an interesting character....I'll develop him and his environment and his society. Ive got three years, but theres a lot of ground to cover."- Bowie (1999)
"At the time of Ziggy, there was so much more going on in my head than just the idea of a new synthetic rock star that I want to fully explore all the fragments that made up in my own mind the Ziggy world. And hopefully I'll be able to do quite a complex overview in 2002." - Bowie (2001)
"I won't be in it, let's make that clear. Not me, mate! I won't even be Ziggy's dad!"- Bowie (2001) commenting on the forthcoming stage-play
News about the Ziggy Stardust 2002 project first surfaced early in 1998 in response to questions about why Bowie refused to release his songs for the Velvet Goldmine film soundtrack.
"David Bowie has confirmed he is preparing his own film based on the '70s glam rock period. Dismissing the much-touted forthcoming Velvet Goldmine glam movie as "a trailer" for his project, Bowie has also revealed that he will rework some unreleased Ziggy Stardust-era material for the project. Bowie says he's been working on the idea for the last two years and says that's why he refused to allow any of his music to be used in Todd Haynes film." - Internet report (1998)
"My feeling about it was that [Velvet Goldmine] was based fairly substantially on Ziggy Stardust and as I intend to do my own version of that I'd rather not work with a competitive film." - David Bowie (1998)
"David Bowie told BBC Radio One's The Net that he is also re-working Ziggy material he wrote at the time but never finished for a double soundtrack album. He said the soundtrack would be a double disc set featuring music from the Ziggy era, including material recorded for but never used on the album. "What I've done is complemented the original soundtrack. It's quite exciting in a way, because what I've found is bits and pieces of songs that I obviously had written for the project but never finished off. It's as if I'll be complementing what's already there with other pieces that were started but not actually finished at the time, so they have an authenticity of the period about them. For me, I think it'll be an extraordinary thing to see what kind of animal it becomes eventually!" He added "it look as though it's going to have to be a double album. In terms of the original material he is working with: "It's just a question of finishing off what might be a 90 second or a 2 minute piece, taking it obviously the way it wanted to go and finishing it off and keeping the sound of the material in the period." - BBC Radio One's The Net (1998)
In 1998 there were also rumours that both Bowie and Rock were working together on a very exclusive and limited edition coffee-table type picture book on the Ziggy Stardust era. In a chat session Bowie and Mick Rock outlined plans for the release of Ziggy Stardust material in 2002 including concert footage.
David Bowie: Mick and I are doing something really great with all the Ziggy stuff. For 2002. Watch out for that one.
Question to Mick Rock: Will there be live-footage released that you filmed of David from 1972....anymore unseen live-footage ...Mick?
Mick Rock: Yes, there is a lot of unreleased footage. David and I are discussing synchronizing the release of this material with the new Ziggy push in 2002. - 1998 chat session on BOWIENET.
"I didn't get paid for the films, I just received expenses. David in his infinite wisdom, since he acquired control over his career, has actually given me back the rights to those videos. He's turned me onto a few sales, but I actually have a ton of all this footage, and David and I are talking about doing something for 2002 from the Ziggy period." - Mick Rock (2001) discussing both released and unreleased Ziggy Stardust material on video and film
"Ziggy 2002" print by David Bowie and Rex Ray. Limited to 2,002 signed copies only.
On Ebay (the online auction company) a Bowie-signed Ziggy 2002 print was offered for sale in 1999. Also in 1999 discussion of the 2002 project widened to include the theatre and internet - with Bowie also mentioning an undocumented Ziggy-era song (called "Blackhole Kids") that he will release in 2002.
"I'm going to include an old song called "Blackhole Kids," which is fabulous. I have no idea why it wasn't on the original [Ziggy Stardust] album. Maybe I forgot." - Bowie (1999)
"I've pulled out a good deal of scraps that were never used at the time. Some of them are only 30 seconds long, but I'm extending those. I thought, 'OK, is this crap and is that the reason why it never appeared on the first one or is it OK and should I try and do things with it?' So I've taken those six tracks and thrashed them out and made them into songs that will support the original. One's called the 'Black Hole Kids' which is fascinating." - Bowie (2001)
"Immodestly I'm trying to undertake something incredibly complex which is to recreate a "Ziggy" in terms of theatre, film and the internet - its a project for 2002. Its kind of a three parter - the three different mediums will act as an overview - a sum-up of this synthetic, artificial mythology of the late 20th century. Its pretty complicated because all three are completely different.... the theater piece will be more internal, more reflective of the immediate repercussions of Ziggy and his effect on the people around him...his close intimates, how he thinks and what his perception of the world really is....The film will be the audience's perception of Ziggy's life....an objective piece about how he's viewed and perceived by his audience. "Will I be in the film?" "No, I think my days of portraying him are over. We'll do a massive casting call for the lucky lad, but I'm going to remain on the other side of the camera.....The internet piece will be pure fun, with hypertext links so you can find out who his mum was, and things like that - a huge exploration of his background. It's sort of factground, and startlingly info-packed maps and photographs. - compilation of Bowie statements about Ziggy 2002 at the end of 1999.
In a self-interview in New York Times titled "Stardust Memories" David Bowie gave some clues of what the Ziggy 2002 movie could comprise. He titled the Ziggy 2002 movie "that "Rock Star musical thing" and reported that "it's exhausting" and that he had been taking in a lot of information [for the movie] recently such as expressionist movies; Dada; the Lindsay Kemp mime company, Jean Genet-inspired plays "The Maids" and "Salome"; the visit of the Living Theater from the US; the songs of the Velvet Underground; space invader comics; an exciting performance of Japanese Noh Theater and Little Richard.
Fan Marcus Reeves wrote to me about a conversation he had with Mick Rock at his "Raw Power: Iggy and the Stooges" book promotion in which Mick discusses his upcoming Ziggy 2002 photobook and also the exciting possibility of new Ziggy Stardust concert footage being released on DVD.
"Tonight I went to the "Raw Power" book signing at Helter Skelter in London and Mick Rock gave a few insights into what the future may hold for us acolytes! After a brief chat about the "Raw Power" book (which is fantastic), Mick, slurping away on a can of red-bull, mentioned that there were a number of other books featuring his work coming up, one "a glam book" and the other "the Ziggy 2002 project". This was, he said, due to the resurgence of interest in the glam era. He stated that part of his work on the Ziggy 2002 project would be a book of his photos which he "has been working on" with Bowie (as we already know); 2,500 copies of which will be co-signed by himself and David! He also mentioned "the possibility" of a DVD which would feature more of his footage from the Rainbow Theatre show, which he confirmed was of the actual performance and NOT a rehearsal. In the "new" footage, there is more of Bowie....." - Marcus Reeves (May 2000)
Mick Rock was interviewed in Record Collector magazine about his exclusive Ziggy 2002 photobook. He says that there are plans to release only 2,500 of these books on the fine art label GENESIS.... at £400-£500 each. See more here on Moonage Daydream - the forthcoming Ziggy 2002 photobook.
Ziggy Stardust 2002 Stageplay/Movie: Project cancelled?
July 2002's Rolling Stone magazine includes an interview with David Bowie which may well indicate that his well publicized plans above for a stage-play and movie in 2002 based on Ziggy Stardust may now not happen. What this means for the planned new soundtrack with unreleased Ziggy-era songs and the unreleased song "Blackhole Kids" is unknown.
"As far back as 1998, Bowie was heralding plans for a 30th anniversary multi-media celebration of TRAFOZSATSFM. He refused film producer Michael Stipe's request to use Ziggy-era songs in Todd Haynes' glam-flick Velvet Goldmine ostensibly because he had his own film, stage production and internet site on the drawing board. So what gives? "Yeah, I know, I'm running like fuck from that one" he replies with another belly laugh. "Can you imagine anything uglier than a nearly 60 year old Ziggy Stardust? I don't think so! We actually tried a few years ago to pull a movie together but at every turn it was like..." He stops and throws an anguished shape. "You know, every person has their own idea of what Ziggy is and what it represents. To kind of nail him down is almost doing him an injustice and I'm wondering more and more now, is it not just better to leave him as an idea rather than an actuality? "As an actuality I think it'll probably close all the doors that maybe a lot of people had opened for themselves and hopefully I helped open up, and gave their own imagination a run for their money. I wouldn't want to stymie all that by presenting some nerd in a red wig, having run through a really slack arsed movie script. As an idea, I think he works better"
---This page last modified: 18 Jan 2007---