A Big Year for Ziggy
On Wednesday 28 March 2012, The Crown Estate unveiled a commemorative plaque to David Bowie’s iconic creation, Ziggy Stardust, marking the 40th anniversary of his album, ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars’. Firmly in place now at 23 Heddon Street, the plaque is in the exact same spot that the photograph on the album cover was taken in 1972.
The image is of ‘Ziggy’ on a chilly January evening, his foot resting on a step outside 23 Heddon Street. “It was cold and it rained and I felt like an actor” Bowie recollected, “we did the photographs outside on a rainy night and then upstairs in the studio we did the Clockwork Orange look-a-likes that became the inner album sleeve.”
This image has since become iconic. Bowie rocketed to international stardom with his Ziggy Stardust character and inspired a trend that later evolved into the glam rock movement. Not bad for an album sleeve.
Unveiling the plaque, Gary Kemp of band Spandau Ballet said: “Ziggy was the ultimate messianic rock star, and with him David Bowie successfully blurred the lines not just between boys and girls, but himself and his creation. Bowie was Ziggy come to save us – and I bought him hook, eyeliner and haircut. It seems right that it should be the job of a fan boy and I am very honoured”.
Much to many people's surprise, Bowie has this year released a new single – Where Are We Now – as part of his new album, The Next Day which launched this March alongside the David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum. With Bowie-mania taking grip, this may be the perfect time to pay the Ziggy Stardust plaque on Heddon Street a visit...