David Bowie The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars…

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David Bowie  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars…
(1972) RCA Victor label. Purchased new (reissue) in 1979 from Gillette’s Records.  This is the first Bowie album I purchased.  I would play it mostly after school when my folks weren’t home.  I would play it quietly if they were home– even though the album very clearly states TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME. 

In 1977 my family was invited to audition for the game show The Family Feud.  Our “family” was my mom, her Great Aunt Thelma, Aunt Thelma’s daughters Charlene and Anna, and myself.  We drove in to Hollywood (something we NEVER DID).  We were in our 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.  We passed by a billboard advertising the Bowie release “Heroes” and it had images of all of Bowie’s incarnations–  including Ziggy Stardust.  Before I knew it, I blurted out “Oh look, Bowie, how cool”.  Anna, who was probably 18 or 19 at the time made a comment about how she missed Ziggy since Bowie had dropped that persona.  The resulting silence was deafening.  Anna might as well announced Satan as her lord.  And I knew what was coming.  The tirade that followed from my mom on the sickness that was Bowie went on way too long.  I remember trying to make myself invisible in the backseat and avoided looking at Mom’s eyes in the rearview mirror.  Family feud indeed.

SIDE 1.

  1. Five Years  (4:42)
  2. Soul Love  (3:34)
  3. Moonage Daydream  (4:40)
  4. Starman  (4:10)
  5. It Ain’t Easy  (2:58)

SIDE 2.

  1. Lady Stardust  (3:22)
  2. Star  (2:47)
  3. Hang On To Yourself  (2:40)
  4. Ziggy Stardust  (3:13)
  5. Suffragette City  (3:25)
  6. Rock “n” Roll Suicide  (2:58)

1977 was the same year of the Bing Crosby David Bowie performance of “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth”.  We ALWAYS watched the Bing Crosby Christmas Special.  I remember being secretly so righteous inside about Bowie being on this show.  “Look Mom, David Bowie is going to be on with Bing Crosby.”  Surely somehow this would convince her that Bowie was not an evil force in the world.  She almost turned off the set.  When they performed, I kept looking at her to gauge her reaction.  Her conclusion was something like, “Well I guess he wasn’t so weird.  But I still don’t like him– and neither should YOU.”  Ahhhh wham bam thank you Ma’am.

The musicians are: David Bowie-guitar, sax, and vocals.  Mick Ronson-guitar, piano, and vocals. Trevor Bolder- bass.  Mick Woodmansey– drums.  The theatricality of this album is perfect.  You can use your mind’s eye and see the Broadway play in each track.  The story of the misunderstood outcast with a heart the size of the universe.  Open, experimental, willing to question the norm, create, love, share discoveries with the world, togetherness, unafraid.  These are messages teenagers will always champion.  They are messages of hope and understanding.

YOU’RE NOT ALONE.    YOU’RE WONDERFUL.   GIMME YOUR HANDS.

 

David Bowie The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars…

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