Music on planet Earth would never be the same again.
May 30, 2013 9:02 PM   Subscribe

"40 years ago, in millions of living room across the British Isles, a strange alien creature was beamed on to our television screens. With bright red hair and multicolored spacesuit, his unearthly appearance shocked the nation. But for many teenagers who experienced this televisual visitation, he would change their lives forever." Jarvis Cocker narrates the BBC Four documentary, David Bowie -- The Story of Ziggy Stardust.
posted by Room 641-A (18 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent docco. I saw it last year and found it very educational.
posted by Mezentian at 9:14 PM on May 30, 2013

This is one of my favorite albums.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:31 PM on May 30, 2013

I was listening to Bowie at the Beeb tonight on the way home from work, with him doing a bunch of Ziggy-era material, and it's astonishing how fresh and sexy and sharp it all still sounds, even now. Bless you, Leper Messiah. BLESS.
posted by scody at 9:34 PM on May 30, 2013 [7 favorites]

It's one of the few perfect albums out there. Not a duff track on it.
posted by maudlin at 9:34 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Awesome. Can't wait to watch.
posted by hot_monster at 9:42 PM on May 30, 2013

Well I was going to get a reasonable amount of sleep tonight. One hour of Bowie later...
posted by jason_steakums at 11:46 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

David Bowie’s Face is Hidden 7 Times In “Labyrinth”. Hope it's not a derail but... It's also Buzzfeed.
posted by Mezentian at 11:52 PM on May 30, 2013

Hey y'all...we've been thinking of doing a Bowie tribute challenge over at MeFiMu.... Ziggy's on the shortlist.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:25 AM on May 31, 2013

I would not be who am I without Ziggy. Thanks for posting this.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:32 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Truly, the man who fell to Earth.
posted by MysteriousMan at 3:10 AM on May 31, 2013

That was pretty entertaining. Bowie really was a force of nature in the seventies.
posted by Decani at 3:31 AM on May 31, 2013

Five years, that's all we've... *checks calendar* waaaaaaiiiiiiit....
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:51 AM on May 31, 2013

Oh, and since I don't think it's been mentioned on the blue yet: RIP to Trevor Bolder, who recently joined his fellow Spider, Mick Ronson, back on Mars.

True story: When we lived in London in 1976-77, our next-door neighbor had the most terrifyingly massive sideburns I had ever seen. He actually scared me a little (I was 7), despite my parents' assurances that he just looked that way because he was in a rock band, and in fact was a very friendly, nice man. I always remained a little skeptical of him, but I did become friends with his son, who was just a year younger than me. Years later, back in the states, I saw the theatrical release of Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture and had a sudden sense of recognition. At home, I headed straight for the box of memorabilia my parents had kept from that year in London, and I found it: a glossy promo photo of Uriah Heep. The uber-whiskered man himself had signed it: "Best wishes, Trevor Bolder."
posted by scody at 10:32 AM on May 31, 2013 [6 favorites]

Trevor Bolder really did have the world's most magnificent sideburns. It sounds like he was a lovely man, too. Thanks, scody.

(I've just started reading a Bowie bio and have been promised some assholery, but watching this documentary was my first exposure to the shabby way he treated the Spiders.)
posted by maudlin at 11:09 AM on May 31, 2013

Finally got to watch the whole show. Very worthwhile and well done; yes, you should watch it.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:51 PM on May 31, 2013

(I've just started reading a Bowie bio and have been promised some assholery, but watching this documentary was my first exposure to the shabby way he treated the Spiders.)

I think the thing that surprised me the most was the audio clip they used from a Bowie interview, which sounded like it was done years after the fact, where he still only offered up a "sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind" when talking about that. Ouch.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:12 PM on May 31, 2013

Now those of us outside the UK just have to access BBC2's recent documentary Five Years, if only for this footage:
A lot of the archive footage was familiar, but there were also some splendidly unexpected highlights, like a sequence of Bowie filmed at Andy Warhol’s Factory, which rather vividly suggested that Bowie’s talent for mime isn’t perhaps all it’s cracked up to be in which he pretended to unspool his own entrails and pluck out his heart, a performance that was doubtless accompanied by much sniggering from Andy's crowd.
There's one hour left here on iPlayer for those who are in the UK (or who nhave the roght proxies set up.) However, anyone should be able to see this neat little selection of extra clips.
posted by maudlin at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2013

All the Young Dudes: Why Glam Rock Matters, Mark Dery, Boing Boing (May 31, 2013)
posted by ob1quixote at 2:29 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

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