Ziggy Stardust Tour
|Tour by David Bowie|
Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust Tour
|Associated album||Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars & Aladdin Sane|
|Start date||29 January 1972|
|End date||3 July 1973|
|No. of shows||191 (196 scheduled)|
|David Bowie concert chronology|
The Ziggy Stardust Tour was a concert tour by David Bowie during 1972–73, to promote the studio albums Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Aladdin Sane. Bowie was accompanied by his backing group, the Spiders from Mars and integrated choreography, costumes and make-up into the live shows to make them a wider entertainment package. The tour generated significant press coverage, drawing positive reviews and launching Bowie to stardom.
The tour covered the UK, the US and Japan. It moved from small pub and club gigs at the beginning, to highly publicised sold-out shows at the end. At the tour's last gig at the Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973, Bowie shocked fans by announcing that it was the last show he would do with the Spiders from Mars.
The tour lasted a year and a half and included three legs in the UK, two in the US and one in Japan.
The first show was on 29 January 1972 at the Borough Assembly Hall, Aylesbury and featured Bowie with his backing group the Spiders from Mars - guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Mick Woodmansey. Audio engineer Robin Mayhew had started working on the PA and sound equipment since the end of the previous year, and was the principal sound engineer for the entire tour.
Unlike typical rock concerts at the time, the shows featured a theatrical element with a rough storyline, and several make-up and costume changes. Bowie wanted the shows to be entertainment and to be outrageous, which the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had been at one time, and collaborated with mime artist Lindsay Kemp with the on-stage choreography. Looking for a change of image, Bowie asked local hairdresser Suzi Fussey to cut his long blonde hair, later dying it red. Some group members were unsure about the stage clothes Bowie asked them to wear, but quickly changed their minds after they realised the attention it gave them with female fans.
The second gig was at the Toby Jug, Tolworth on 10 February, where Bowie unveiled his "Ziggy Stardust" persona for the first time in front of an audience of around 60. Early shows had a similar attendance, but this increased as the tour progressed. The 20 April show at the Manchester Free Trade Hall was only attended by a few hundred people, but at the end of the gig, Bowie was carried out into the audience by fans. At the 17 June show at Oxford Town Hall, Bowie simulated fellatio on Ronson's guitar. The scene was photographed by Mick Rock and was published on the front cover of Melody Maker, greatly raising Bowie's profile in the UK. The 15 July show at the Friars Aylesbury included several US music journalists in the audience, including Dave Marsh and Lillian Roxon. Bowie's management spent $25,000 to fly them, along with US representatives of their record label RCA Records, to preview his live work before starting a major US tour that autumn.
After several months on the road, Bowie took a break to revisit and re-rehearse the live show, to include greater theatrics and costume changes. Rehearsals took place at the Stratford Royal Theatre. The first concert after this was at the Rainbow Theatre on 19 August, where Bowie was simply billed as "Ziggy Stardust". A second show was added for the following day after the first one sold out. Pianist Nicky Graham was added to the band line-up for these shows.
The first leg of the US opened in September 1972. Bowie travelled to the US by boat as he did not like flying. Bowie and the Spiders from Mars played their first US show in the Cleveland Music Hall on 22 September. It was also pianist Mike Garson's debut gig. Six days later, Bowie played a sold-out show at Carnegie Hall. The concerts drew rave reviews from the press and led to the tour being extended for a further two months. A concert on 20 October at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was broadcast on radio, and heavily bootlegged before finally being released in 1994. The press coverage of the tour turned Bowie into a star in the US and he was featured on the front cover of Rolling Stone.
The year ended with a short UK leg, which carried over into the start of 1973. Bowie played two shows at the Rainbow just before Christmas, and asked the audience to bring toys along to the concert that could be redistributed to children. The mid-show acoustic set that had been part of all the gigs until then was discarded, and Bowie with the Spiders played just an electric set.
At the start of 1973, Bowie called his friend Geoffrey MacCormick, saying he wanted to expand the musical line-up on stage, and asked if he could be a backing vocalist and travel with him. Another friend, John Hutchinson was recruited as an additional rhythm guitarist; the pair had previously collaborated on the demo of "Space Oddity".
The second US leg began in early 1973 with a sell-out show at the Radio City Music Hall, New York on 14 February, which saw fans queuing at 2:30pm for an evening show. Bowie's costumes were designed by Kansai Yamamoto. During the end of set, he collapsed and had to be assisted. The tour subsequently moved to Japan. Bowie then travelled by ferry across the Sea of Japan to Vladivostock, and travelled on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow in order to get back to Britain. During this time, the Spiders from Mars noticed they were still on the same wages when they had started playing with Bowie despite multiple sold-out shows. They re-negotiated their fees with Bowie's manager Tony Defries, but this caused a rift in the band.
The final leg of the tour covered the UK and began on 12 May 1973 with a concert at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in front of an audience of 18,000. Police forced the show to stop for 15 minutes while they battled with fans trying to storm the stage. Mick and Bianca Jagger attended the show. The concert was fraught with technical difficulties and an inadequate PA system, leading to disgruntled fans.
The last gig was at the Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July and was filmed by D. A. Pennebaker. Woodmansey recalled the gig was one of the best the band had played, because it was close to their London base and almost the end of an exhausting tour. Towards the end of the show, Bowie announced "not only is it the last show of the tour, but it's the last show that we'll ever do". Ronson had been told in advance by Bowie that the Spiders from Mars would split, but the announcement took Bolder and Woodmansey by surprise.
- The Spiders from Mars
- Other musicians
- Matthew Fisher – piano (20 Apr 1972 – 27 May 1972)
- Robin Lumley – piano (2 Jun 1972 – 15 Jul 1972)
- Nicky Graham – piano (1 Aug 1972 – 7 Sep 1972)
- Mike Garson – piano, keyboards (22 September 1972 – end of tour)
- Other musicians on the 1973 legs
- John Hutchinson – rhythm guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar
- Geoffrey A. MacCormack – backing vocals, percussion
- Ken Fordham – saxophone
- Brian Wilshaw – saxophone, flute
|29 January 1972||Aylesbury||England||Borough Assembly Hall|
|10 February 1972||London||Tolworth, Toby Jug|
|11 February 1972||Wycombe||Wycombe Town Hall|
|12 February 1972||London||Imperial College London|
|14 February 1972||Brighton||Brighton Dome|
|18 February 1972||Sheffield||University Rag|
|23 February 1972||Chichester||Chichester College|
|24 February 1972||London||Wallington, Public Hall|
|25 February 1972||Eltham, Avery Hill College|
|26 February 1972||Sutton Coldfield||Belfry Hotel|
|Glasgow||Scotland||Glasgow City Halls|
|29 February 1972||Sunderland||England||Locarno Ballroom|
|1 March 1972||Bristol||Bristol University|
|4 March 1972||Portsmouth||South Parade Pier, Southsea|
|7 March 1972||Yeovil||Yeovil College|
|11 March 1972||Southampton||Southampton Guildhall|
|14 March 1972||Bournemouth||Chelsea Village|
|18 March 1972||Birmingham||Birmingham Town Hall|
|24 March 1972||Newcastle upon Tyne||Mayfair Ballroom|
|Gravesend||New Lord's Club|
|20 April 1972||Harlow||The Playhouse|
|21 April 1972||Manchester||Free Trade Hall|
|29 April 1972||High Wycombe||Wycombe Town Hall|
|30 April 1972||Plymouth||Plymouth Guildhall|
|3 May 1972||Aberystwyth||Wales||Aberystwyth University|
|6 May 1972||London||England||Kingston Polytechnic|
|7 May 1972||Hemel Hempstead||Pavilion|
|11 May 1972||Worthing||Worthing Assembly Hall|
|12 May 1972||London||Polytechnic of Central London|
|13 May 1972||Slough||Slough Technical College|
|16 May 1972||London||Unknown venue|
|19 May 1972||Oxford||Oxford Polytechnic|
|20 May 1972|
|25 May 1972||Bournemouth||Chelsea Village|
|27 May 1972||Epsom||Ebbisham|
|2 June 1972||Newcastle upon Tyne||Newcastle City Hall|
|3 June 1972||Liverpool||Liverpool Stadium|
|4 June 1972||Preston||Preston Public Hall|
|6 June 1972||Bradford||St George's Hall|
|7 June 1972||Sheffield||Sheffield City Hall|
|8 June 1972||Middlesbrough||Town Hall|
|13 June 1972||Bristol||Colston Hall|
|16 June 1972||Torquay||Torquay Town Hall|
|17 June 1972||Oxford||Oxford Town Hall|
|19 June 1972||Southampton||Southampton Guildhall|
|21 June 1972||Dunstable||Dunstable Civic Hall|
|24 June 1972||Guildford||Guildford Civic Hall|
|25 June 1972||Croydon||Greyhound|
|High Wycombe||Royal Grammar School|
|1 July 1972||Weston-super-Mare||Winter Gardens Pavilion|
|2 July 1972||Torquay||Rainbow Pavilion|
|8 July 1972||London||Royal Festival Hall|
|14 July 1972||King's Cross Cinema|
|15 July 1972||Aylesbury||Friar´s Club|
|19 August 1972||London||Rainbow Theatre|
|20 August 1972|
|27 August 1972||Bristol||Locarno Electric Village|
|30 August 1972||London||Rainbow Theatre|
|31 August 1972||Boscombe||Royal Ballroom|
|1 September 1972||Doncaster||Top Rank Suite|
|2 September 1972||Manchester||Hard Rock|
|3 September 1972|
|4 September 1972||Liverpool||Top Rank Suite|
|5 September 1972||Sunderland||Top Rank Suite|
|6 September 1972||Sheffield||Top Rank Suite|
|7 September 1972||Hanley||Top Rank Suite|
|22 September 1972||Cleveland||United States||Cleveland Music Hall|
|24 September 1972||Memphis||Ellis Auditorium|
|28 September 1972||New York City||Carnegie Hall|
|1 October 1972||Boston||Boston Music Hall1|
|7 October 1972||Chicago||Auditorium Theatre|
|8 October 1972||Detroit||Fisher Theater|
|10 October 1972||St. Louis||Kiel Auditorium|
|11 October 1972|
|15 October 1972||Kansas City||Memorial Hall|
|20 October 1972||Santa Monica||Santa Monica Civic Auditorium2|
|21 October 1972|
|27 October 1972||San Francisco||Winterland Ballroom|
|28 October 1972|
|31 October 1972||Seattle||Paramount Theatre|
|1 November 1972|
|4 November 1972||Phoenix||Celebrity Theatre|
|5 November 1972|
|11 November 1972||Dallas||Majestic Theater|
|12 November 1972||Houston||Houston Music Hall|
|14 November 1972||New Orleans||Loyola University|
|17 November 1972||Dania||Pirates World|
|20 November 1972||Nashville||Nashville Municipal Auditorium|
|22 November 1972||New Orleans||The Warehouse|
|25 November 1972||Cleveland||Public Auditorium3|
|26 November 1972|
|28 November 1972||Pittsburgh||Stanley Theatre|
|30 November 1972||Upper Darby||Tower Theater|
|1 December 1972|
|2 December 1972|
|23 December 1972||London||England||Rainbow Theatre|
|24 December 1972|
|28 December 1972||Manchester||Hard Rock|
|29 December 1972|
|5 January 1973||Glasgow||Scotland||Green's Playhouse|
|6 January 1973||Edinburgh||Empire Theatre|
|7 January 1973||Newcastle upon Tyne||England||Newcastle City Hall|
|9 January 1973||Preston||Guild Hall|
|14 February 1973||New York City||United States||Radio City Music Hall|
|15 February 1973|
|16 February 1973||Upper Darby||Tower Theater|
|17 February 1973|
|18 February 1973|
|19 February 1973|
|23 February 1973||Nashville||War Memorial Auditorium|
|26 February 1973
|1 March 1973||Detroit||Detroit Masonic Temple|
|2 March 1973|
|10 March 1973||Long Beach||Long Beach Arena|
|12 March 1973||West Hollywood||Hollywood Palladium|
|8 April 1973||Tokyo||Japan||Shinjuku Koseinenkin Kaikan|
|10 April 1973|
|11 April 1973|
|12 April 1973||Nagoya||Kokaido|
|14 April 1973||Hiroshima||Yubin Chokin Kaikan|
|16 April 1973||Kobe||Kobe Kokusai Kaikan|
|17 April 1973||Osaka||Koseinenkin Kaikan|
|18 April 1973||Tokyo||Shibuya Kokaido|
|20 April 1973|
|12 May 1973||London||England||Earl's Court|
|16 May 1973||Aberdeen||Scotland||Aberdeen Music Hall|
|17 May 1973||Dundee||Caird Hall|
|18 May 1973
|19 May 1973||Edinburgh||Empire Theatre|
|21 May 1973
|22 May 1973||Romford||Odeon Theatre|
|23 May 1973||Brighton||Brighton Dome|
|24 May 1973||Lewisham||Lewisham Odeon|
|25 May 1973||Bournemouth||Bournemouth Winter Gardens|
|27 May 1973
|Guildford||Guildford Civic Hall|
|28 May 1973||Wolverhampton||Wolverhampton Civic Hall|
|29 May 1973||Hanley||Victoria Hall|
|30 May 1973||Oxford||New Theatre Oxford|
|31 May 1973||Blackburn||King George's Hall|
|1 June 1973||Bradford||St George's Hall|
|Leeds||University of Leeds|
|3 June 1973||Coventry||New Theatre Coventry|
|4 June 1973||Worcester||Gaumont Theatre|
|6 June 1973
|Sheffield||Sheffield City Hall|
|7 June 1973
|Manchester||Free Trade Hall|
|8 June 1973
|Newcastle upon Tyne||Newcastle City Hall|
|9 June 1973||Preston||Preston Guild Hall|
|10 June 1973
|Liverpool||Liverpool Empire Theatre|
|11 June 1973||Leicester||De Montfort Hall|
|12 June 1973
|13 June 1973||Kilburn||Gaumont Theatre|
|14 June 1973||Salisbury||Salisbury City Hall|
|15 June 1973
|16 June 1973
|Torquay||Torquay Town Hall|
|18 June 1973
|19 June 1973||Southampton||Southampton Guildhall|
|21 June 1973
|Birmingham||Birmingham Town Hall|
|22 June 1973|
|23 June 1973||Boston||Gliderdrome|
|24 June 1973
|25 June 1973
|Oxford||New Theatre Oxford|
|26 June 1973|
|27 June 1973||Doncaster||Top Rank Suite|
|28 June 1973||Bridlington||Spa Ballroom|
|29 June 1973||Leeds||Rolarena|
|30 June 1973
|Newcastle upon Tyne||Newcastle City Hall|
|2 July 1973||London||Hammersmith Odeon4|
|3 July 1973|
- ^Note 1 See Aladdin Sane 30th Anniversary 2CD Edition
- ^Note 2 See Aladdin Sane 30th Anniversary 2CD Edition and Live Santa Monica '72
- ^Note 3 See Aladdin Sane 30th Anniversary 2CD Edition)
- ^Note 4 See Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture – 30th Anniversary 2CD Special Edition)
Bowie varied his setlist throughout the tour. A setlist from the tour would include any of the following songs:
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- Leigh 2016, p. 131.
- Kent, Nick (19 May 1973). "Aladdin Distress". New Musical Express.
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