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Ziggy Stardust - with peace & love

Updated on February 8, 2013

The Starman who presented us a message of hope - and told us not to blow it

Ziggy Stardust, with the Spiders from Mars, landed on the UK in 1972. They started to tour in 1973. Overnight Ziggy Stardust became a superstar.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is my favourite David Bowie album. It is one of those rare concept albums that the artists like Bowie, Mike Oldfield, The Who, Genesis and Pink Floyd were making during the 70's that you have to sit down and listen to, uninterrupted from the beginning to the end.

Welcome to the journey, Five Years starts now!

' .. all the fat-skinny people and all the tall-short people

All the nobody people and all the somebody people

I never thought I'd need so many people .. '

Ziggy Stardust

Five Years - Side 1 track 1

Soul Love - Side 1 track 2

Lady Stardust - Side 2 track 6

Star - Side 2 track 7

It Ain't Easy - Side 1 track 5

Lady Stardust - Side 2 track 6

Star - Side 2 track 7

Hang on to Yourself - Side 2 track 8

Ziggy Stardust - Side 2 track 9

William Burroughs interviews David Bowie

on Rolling Stone 28 February 1974


Burroughs: Could you explain this Ziggy Stardust image of yours? From what I can see it has to do with the world being on the eve of destruction within five years.

Bowie: The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it. Ziggy's adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, 'cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. 'All the young dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.

Burroughs: Where did this Ziggy idea come from, and this five-year idea? Of course, exhaustion of natural resources will not develop the end of the world. It will result in the collapse of civilisation. And it will cut down the populations by about three-quarters.

Bowie: Exactly. This does not cause the end of the world for Ziggy. The end comes when the infinites arrive. They really are a black hole, but I've made them people because it would be very hard to explain a black hole on stage.

Burroughs: Yes, a black hole on stage would be an incredible expense. And it would be a continuing Performance, first eating up Shaftesbury Avenue.

Bowie: Ziggy is advised in a dream by the infinites to write the coming of a Starman, so he writes 'Starman', which is the first news of hope that the people have heard. So they latch onto it immediately...The starmen that he is talking about are called the infinites, and they are black-hole jumpers. Ziggy has been talking about this amazing spaceman who will be coming down to save the earth. They arrive somewhere in Greenwich Village. They don't have a care in the world and are of no possible use to us. They just happened to stumble into our universe by black hole jumping. Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe. In the stage show, one of them resembles Brando, another one is a Black New Yorker. I even have one called Queenie, the Infinite Fox...Now Ziggy starts to believe in all this himself and thinks himself a prophet of the future starmen. He takes himself up to the incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his disciples. When the infinites arrive, they take bits of Ziggy to make them real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist in our world. And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song 'Rock 'n' roll suicide'. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible. It is a science fiction fantasy of today and this is what literally blew my head off when I read 'Nova Express,' which was written in 1961. Maybe we are the Rodgers and Hammerstein of the seventies, Bill!

Burroughs: Yes, I can believe that. The parallels are definitely there, and it sounds good.

'He took it all too far,

but boy could he play guitar'

David Bowie on Ziggy Stardust

Suffragette City - Side 2 track 10

Rock 'n' Roll Suicide - Side 2 track 11

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust - The Album

Ziggy Stardust - 30 years anniversary - the Motion Picture & the soundtrack

Ziggy Stardust livre d'Or - Ziggy Stardust Guestbook

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      the777group lm 7 years ago

      Ziggy played g-u-i-t-a-r (and later wrote cut-up lyrics a la Burroughs).