ZIGGY STARDUST | YOU’RE JUST A GIRL… WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MAKEUP?

david bowie aladdin sane ziggy stardust

Brian Duffy photograph of David Bowie for the Aladdin Sane album cover, 1973. “Bowie’s sixth studio album marked the birth of the ‘schizophrenic’ character Aladdin Sane who was a development of the space-age Japanese-influenced Ziggy Stardust. To create the compelling album cover image, Bowie collaborated with photographer Brian Duffy and make-up artist Pierre Laroche. The result was one of the most recognizable images in popular culture– a ‘lightning flash’ design which has been reproduced in multiple forms world-wide.” via

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Look, there are those that revere Bowie as an ahead-of-his-time visionary who revolutionized Rock ‘n’ Roll. And there are those who see him very black & white, as a plodding opportunist who coldly studied what was happening around him (heavily borrowing from  true innovators at the time like Marc Bolan), and then expertly went about merchandising himself for mass commercial consumption. Both are fucking true. Bowie is an epic genius who learned through years of toil, trial, and error how to create a magical out-of-this-world persona and artistically sell it to us on a silver platter. No one has done it better in recent memory, and it’s unlikely that anyone in our lifetime will top him. Period. End of story.

There’s an incredible account by Glenn O’Brien in the recent issue of Out Magazine. Gay or straight, get over it, go buy it, and devour the entire spread on David Bowie. It is brilliant. You can read a chunk of it here after the jump. Now go– oh, you pretty things.

david bowie aladdin sane kansai yamamoto  masayoshi sukita 1973

“David Bowie (AKA Ziggy Stardust) wearing a sensational creation by Kansai Yamamoto. Born in Yokohama in 1944, the Japanese fashion designer was only 27 when he held his first international fashion show in London in 1971. The Japanese division of RCA records made MainMan aware of Yamamoto’s work and Bowie purchased the “woodlands animal costume” from Kansai’s London boutique– which he wore at the Rainbow Concert in August 1972 and which was later remade by Natasha Korniloff. Bowie subsequently viewed a video of a rock/fashion show that Kansai had staged in Japan the previous year and reportedly loved the costumes which were a combination of modern sci-fi and classical Kabuki theatre. Kansai and Bowie met in New York where he gifted Bowie two costumes during the 2nd US Tour. Kansai was then commissioned to create nine more costumes based on traditional Japanese Noh dramas for Bowie to pick up in Tokyo in April 1973. These were the flamboyant androgynous Ziggy Stardust costumes Bowie wore on the 3rd UK tour in 1973.” via The Ziggy Stardust Companion –photo by Masayoshi Sukita, the David Bowie archive

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David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust –photo by Mick Rock via

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PEACE ON EARTH | BING & BOWIE’S EPIC AND TIMELESS HOLIDAY CLASSIC DUET

“Peace on Earth” has long been one of my all-time favorite Holiday tunes. Even more so when I learned about the odd and magical pairing of David Bowie & Bing Crosby many years ago. It was an epic moment in music history that almost didn’t happen– in more ways than one.

Bing Crosby & David Bowie taping the TV special “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” back in 1977.

When the producers of Bing Crosby’s “Merrie Olde Christmas” TV special asked Bowie to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” with Bing in 1977, he flatly refused.

Ian Fraser, Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman left the set and found a piano in the studios’ basement. In about 75 minutes, they wrote “Peace on Earth,” an original tune, and worked out an arrangement that weaved together the two songs. Bowie and Crosby nailed the performance with less than an hour of rehearsal. Bowie liked it.

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1972 DAVID BOWIE IN TECHNICOLOR | CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

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When David Bowie burst onto the scene in the early ’70s in full Technicolor Ziggy Stardust Glitter Rocker Regalia– he forever changed the Rock ‘n’ Roll landscape, and revolutionized a new genre of pop star and multi media artist like no one before.  His influence was felt and reflected in music, culture, dress and attitude.  The doors of self-expression and exploration were thrown wide open– with musical and artistic avenues never before explored now becoming ripe, new territory for a young and hungry generation.

BBC considers David Bowie’s 1972 performance of Starman on Top of the Pops nothing short of…

An iconic moment. Broadcast on July 6th, 1972 but recorded the day before, this performance caused a bit of a stir up and down the country. It was the first time many had seen Bowie, and the sight of him camping it up in a multicoloured jumpsuit (with his arm curled limply around Mick Ronson’s shoulder) infuriated some and delighted others. Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen): “All my other mates at school would say, ‘Did you see that bloke on Top Of The Pops?’ He’s a right faggot, him!’ And I remember thinking, ‘You pillocks’…It made me feel cooler.”

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1974, New York — David Bowie performs as Ziggy Stardust on TV in a room at the Delmonico Hotel. — Image by © Henry Diltz/Corbis

1972 — David Bowie, as Ziggy Stardust, in concert in the US. — Image by © Neal Preston/Corbis

David Bowie & Mick Ronson.  Mick (in white on the Les Paul) was a major collaborator w/Bowie through 1973. — Image by © Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis

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