The July 3rd, 1973 historic concert of the 'leper Messiah'. This was to be David Bowie's last concert with the the Ziggy persona and the Spiders from Mars. A great medley of 'Wild Eyed Boy ... See full summary »
The July 3rd, 1973 historic concert of the 'leper Messiah'. This was to be David Bowie's last concert with the the Ziggy persona and the Spiders from Mars. A great medley of 'Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud'/'All The Young Dudes'/'Oh! You Pretty Things', a Lou Reed cover, and a Rolling Stones cover are but some of the highlights. Written by
Jeff Beck guested on guitar in two songs and was supposed to have been in the film, but asked not to appear in it because he felt his solos and his appearance, looking more like a '60s blues rocker than Bowie and the Spiders' theatrical outfits didn't quite fit the movie. See more »
More than an antique curio item, "Ziggy" is both entertaining and strangely revealing
Bowie is clearly enjoying himself here, although today he claims to find this record of the Spiders final show unwatchable. The costuming IS spectacularly dated and Ziggy's antics do more to camp up a storm than forewarn of an imminent apocalypse. Aside from the music though, there is more going on here than silly, decadent posturing. Backstage musings by Bowie are suggestive of why he is not merely a relic from a past era: there is inherent tension between the public persona and the demand to discover the "real" Bowie. Rock music has since split into 2 positions along these lines: for the most part, the English traditions of camp and irony have served as a distancing device from the demands of an "authentic" self which can impose on others in an intrusive way- Jewel's folk music/"Knight Without Armor" is merely the latest manifestation of the latter tendency (also, despite the hatred of hippies, Nirvana ironically shared their "no hang ups" philosophy in their "Come As You Are" period). Ziggy was, at the time, the most extreme movement away from the "authenticity" of Woodstock Nation in which there was nothing separating the performer and the audience...been an "alien being" also guaranteed a spectacular show for record buyers who may otherwise have had little interest in live music given the high fidelity improvements in recording technology and home sound systems which were starting to become available. It is the irresolvable tension between these two tendencies toward camp/authentic which helps generate the excitement of the audience captured in this film, and which can still inspire interest and enjoyment today.
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