Bowie’s drummer says Ziggy Stardust shows how committed an artist should be
The avid Bowie drummer has said an upcoming film, documenting the late singer’s final appearance as his acclaimed personality, Ziggy Stardust, will show new musicians “how committed an artist should be and how they should pay attention to detail.”
The pioneering musician, who died of liver cancer in 2016, said goodbye to his most notable alter ego on July 3, 1973 in front of a crowd of 5,000 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.
For the 50th time to the day, July 3rd, Bowie fans will have the opportunity to relive that moment when the venue, now called the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, hosts the world premiere of the newly restored version of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars : The true movie.
Michael “Woody” Woodmansey, drummer for The Spiders from Mars on the closing show, was among those attending the launch of the project at the London venue on Tuesday.
Reflecting on Bowie’s legacy, Woodmansey told the PA news agency: “He seemed to know the basics of art – what matters, what doesn’t matter, what matters – so his presentation was impeccable.”
“He was able to grab attention and add all these other things to the song – it was okay – and he just had such an impact.”
“I think it’s important for audiences to see where a lot of the current stuff and influences are coming from, and also for new artists to see how committed an artist should be and how they should pay attention to details.”
He added that during the famous Hammersmith concert, it felt like “everyone was on fire” as he recalled the evening.
“We had everything under control, it felt good, we had fun, the audience was great,” he said.
“Bowie was in particularly good form and didn’t do anything wrong. Not that he ever did, but I noticed that night – it could just have been because it was the last two shows as everyone was trying extra hard and the audience just wouldn’t shut up, what you want – one encore after the other.”
Geoff MacCormack, another former member of Bowie’s band, said it was “extraordinary” for the singer to retire Ziggy Stardust at the height of his role.
“Later on, when I was involved with other shows with David, you could see that he would take an idea and carry it through for a season or two and then, either out of boredom or creativity or both, move on to something else,” he added added.
“I think he taught other people how to use the stage, not just as a rock ‘n’ roll set, but as a theatrical light and with movement in a way that hadn’t been done before.
“I think he helped people be braver instead of just standing there as a band and looking at their shoes.”
Academy Award-winning filmmaker DA Pennebaker was behind the original concert film, which was first released in 1979 and documented Bowie surprisingly announcing that the Hammersmith performance would be his last as Ziggy Stardust.
The film includes footage of Bowie and The Spiders From Mars behind and on stage, as well as an appearance by Sir Ringo Starr.
The digital restoration was overseen by the director’s son, Frazer Pennebaker, and features improved audio and visual quality.
It also includes the previously unreleased full set and appearance by the late Jeff Beck, edited from the original version.
Ahead of the film’s July 3rd screening, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith will host a red carpet premiere and stage talk featuring Bowie staff and contemporary musicians to discuss the show’s legacy and the impact of the Ziggy Stardust personality on the music world.
The film will also be shown in more than 1,000 cinemas worldwide in July.
Tickets for the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith date go on sale May 16th, worldwide movie tickets go on sale May 18th.
https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/music/david-bowie-hammersmith-fans-oscar-tickets-b1081547.html Bowie’s drummer says Ziggy Stardust shows how committed an artist should be