I recently witnessed the biggest David Bowie fan I know count down his top 100 favorite songs. These were private posts, meant solely for his Facebook family and friends. Something really cool happened over those 100 days.
I’d like to share that countdown with you. Read along, embark upon Niall Colgan’s personal journey while he narrates some of the most intimate aspects of his life with his undying passion for the art of David Bowie. The vid below is a short intro, scroll directly beneath to read the countdown.
Number 92: Ziggy Stardust
Came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan…..
I was sent to Dublin for part of the summer in 1981. I still don’t know whether it’s because my mother was ill or just sick of me, but I spent time being shuttled between relatives. My 2 cousins and I shared the same age, but they just seemed to know so much more about the latest music and fashion trends! David had the largest collection of mostly hard rock I’d ever seen. We’d spend hours playing records in his attic bedroom. David was responsible for introducing my 11 year old mind to Purple and Sabbath, Lizzy and AC/DC. My cousin John’s collection was much smaller but his mates would always drop in with their own lps. They’d talk about all the latest music to each other, even swap albums. The conversations we had over those spin sessions first introduced me to Gary Numan,The Human League, Joy Division, Kraftwerk…..
I loved the entire experience of hearing new music, but Ziggy Stardust and Scary Monsters hit me like a fucking express train . WHAT THE FUCK WAS THIS??????? This music literally transported me into another stratosphere, that had never happened to me before!! Who was David Bowie??? Who was Ziggy Stardust?? I couldn’t get enough!!! I didn’t only want to be like him, I wanted to BE him!!! This music provided me with a sense of belonging and purpose, it provided a glorious path to some of the best discoveries of my life.
Ziggy Stardust is a character so far removed from David Jones that it still doesn’t quite make sense. These facets of him existed on opposite ends of the universe, with David Bowie stuck somewhere in the middle. Mr. Bowie certainly must have experienced a massive personality crisis. Who was he? What was he becoming? Just a few years later he would morph into another, entirely different character. He understood what it was to have split personalities, from personal experience. His brother Terry suffered from schizophrenia, which kept him keenly aware of how fragile the mind could be. Was this trinity of personalities becoming a cross too heavy to bear? David Jones was rapidly becoming an arrogant rock God, a super human character from which his adoring public always demanded more. Finally, David Jones had found his way out, but the experience left David Bowie having to deal with heights he could never hope to match, or surpass. Was he losing himself? How could he follow up Ziggy?
He had to kill him. Ziggy had to die.
On July 3rd 1973, at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, Bowie left the stage as Ziggy Stardust for the last time. It was time to shed the flashy, otherworldly arrogance of a character that no human being could ever live up to.
Number 93: Ziggy Stardust
Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly
And the spiders from Mars. He played it left hand
But made it too far
Became the special man, then we were Ziggy’s band
Now Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan, he could lick ’em by smiling
He could leave ’em to hang
‘Came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan
So where were the spiders, while the fly tried to break our balls
With just the beer light to guide us
So we bitched about his fans and should we crush his sweet hands?
Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were voodoo
The kid was just crass, he was the nazz
With God given ass
He took it all too far but boy could he play guitar
Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band
Ziggy played guitar