Brain Pickings

The Story of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust Character


The curious rise, rise, and retirement of one of pop culture’s greatest cults.

From the BBC comes the fascinating story of David Bowie’s flamboyant Ziggy Stardust character — the iconic musician’s androgynous glam-rock alter ego, which went on to become one of the twentieth century’s biggest pop culture cults. The documentary is based on D. A. Pennebaker’s 1983 concert film Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which captured Bowie’s original surprising announcement retiring the celebrated persona at London’s Hammersmith Odeon Theater ten years prior.

Complement with Bowie’s 75 must-read books, his answers to the famous Proust Questionnaire, his narration of the pioneering Soviet children’s symphony “Peter and the Wolf,” and his gorgeous isolated vocal track for “Ziggy Stardust.”

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