David Bowie & the Story of Ziggy Stardust

Synopsis: Both a visual flashback and a telling of the life and birth of the alter ego that was David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust.
Director(s): James Hale
Production: BBC Cymru Wales
60 min



rooms across the British Isles,

a strange alien creature was

beamed onto our television screens.

With bright red hair

and a multi-coloured space-suit,

his unearthly appearance

shocked the nation.

But for many teenagers

who experienced this

tele-visual visitation,

it would change their lives forever.

# Star man waiting in the sky

# He'd like to come and meet us

# But he thinks he'll blow our

minds... #

This messianic Martian was with us

only for a year but his impact would

be felt for generations to come.

# Cos he knows it's all worth

while... #

Music on Planet Earth

would never be the same again.

# All the children boogie... #

# Oh... #

Armed with laser-guided melodies

and lyrics from another dimension,

Ziggy Stardust heralded

a new era of rock music.

# I'm an alligator

# I'm a mama-papa coming for you... #

A time of outlandish fashion...

# People stare at the make-up

on his face... #

..outrageous sexuality...

# Wham bam, thank you, ma'am

# Suffragette city... #

..and good

old-fashioned, rock 'n' roll music.

# Jean Genie lives on his back

# Jean Genie loves

chimney stacks... #

So, what made this mysterious


one of the most influential

cultural icons of the 20th Century?

# Now Ziggy played guitar. #

This is

how Ziggy Stardust blew our minds.

# Well, Annie's pretty neat

# She always eats her meat

# Joe is awful strong

# Bet your life he's putting us on

# Oh Lordy, oh Lordy

# You know I need some loving... #

Ziggy Stardust set David Bowie

on course

to becoming one of the world's most

famous pop stars.

As the Queen Of The Glam Scene,

he always seemed a step

ahead of everyone else.

Where Ziggy walked, others followed,

whether that was his army

of screaming fans

or copycat artists

struggling to keep up.

David took it to another level. He

just wiped the floor with everybody.

It was game-changing.

When we first saw Bowie

as Ziggy Stardust,

he looked so complete and

so fully-formed.

It almost was as though he appeared

from a different planet.

It was extraordinary.

And at that time you didn't realise

that he'd been trying to be

successful for ten years.

'I'm just, by nature,

a very flighty person.

'I get turned on and off things,

all the time, very quickly.'

Born in 1947, David Robert Jones

spent his teenage years

trying to make it as a musician.

# Well, I got girl

that she's good to me... #

He went through a series of bands

playing R'n'B and Rock'n'Roll

before becoming a mod.

# London boy, oh, London boy... #

The belief was, that if you want to

do something bad enough,

and you put your mind to it,

you can. The trouble is,

he didn't just take one thing.

He took loads of things.

He wanted to be everything.

Aged 20, he changed his name from

Jones to Bowie

and released his first solo

album on Deram Records.

# Who's that hiding

# In the apple tree... #

It was a strange mix of music hall

and whimsical pop.

He even tried his hand

at a children's novelty record.

# Ha ha ha

# Hee hee hee

# I'm a laughing gnome

and you can't catch me

# Said the laughing gnome

I think he was trying on what can

I do, and what do people want,

and going through

the trial and error period.

And there was a lot of error,

you know, with the laughing gnome,

it's like, OK.

# And gave him a fag

# Have you got a light, boy?... #

The laughing gnome

is not a great record,

but it is indicative

of what he was doing at the time

because he was obsessed

with Anthony Newley.

# What kind of fool am I?... #

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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