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Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars


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Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Deep into his androgynous science-fiction–based stage persona, Ziggy Stardust, on July 3, 1973 David Bowie stunned the crowd at London’s Hammersmith Odeon with the announcement that the show would be the last he’d ever do. It turned out, of course, that it was only Ziggy who was retiring, and Bowie played on till his death earlier this year. This D. A. Pennebaker (Dont Look Back, Monterey Pop, The War Room) classic captures that historic concert, including “All the Young Dudes,” “Space Oddity,” and much more, ending, perhaps aptly, with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.” WFUV Program Director Rita Houston, just named #4 in Billboard’s Top 25 Rock Radio programmers hosts this remembrance of David Bowie.

The result miraculously resurrects a seminal moment in rock history, elevating Ziggy Stardust into the landmark cultural event it always should have been.
Bowie knew how to play his audience, and the documentary shows him as a fiercely concentrated performance artist on and offstage, who micromanaged everything from his makeup palette to the length of his kimono sleeves.
An excellent example of its genre, with Pennebaker capturing the excitement of what was a very special, emotion-charged occasion.

This film is part of the Sounds of Summer: New Music Documentaries series.

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