The ZIGGY STARDUST Companion
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At the end of his first Ziggy Stardust Tour of the US, David Bowie and The Spiders From Mars arrived in New York where an RCA press conference and reception party was held in Studio C sometime between 3-10 December 1972.
"Press conferences have always been at the heart of the non-event. The star of this one led his group, the Spiders From Mars out onto the conference table, introduced them and added "And I am David Bowie" and the conference could now begin as soon as somebody could come up with a question. There was a bit of silence, then New York Daily News pop critic Lillian Roxon broke the ice. "Mr Bowie. What brand hair colour do you use? Is it a dye or a rinse?"
When asked what feelings he had gotten about Americans from his first tour, which took him coast-to-coast via surface transportation, he answered "America is the loneliest place in the world. I found a general insecurity and need for warmth. There are very few people who actually consider themselves Americans. It's very sad."
David announced that his second American tour would begin at Radio City Music Hall on St Valentine's Day, and that an album to feature a number of songs that he wrote while touring America ("Penetration," "Death Trip," "Raw Power," "Shake A Pill") is already in production." - Rolling Stone (December 1972)
Note: The Rolling Stone reporter made a mistake as those last songs listed were actually from "Raw Power" - the forthcoming Iggy Pop album.
Christopher Stanford's account of this press conference in his Bowie biography "Loving The Alien" (1996) is less rosy. Note the different claims about the first question asked!
"Most of the mixed responses to Bowie were on show at a reception hosted by RCA before he boarded the RHMS Ellinis in New York. The label had promised the "ticker-tape party of the year". Yet the few journalists making their way to RCA's Studio C were offered only a glass of cider and a Ziggy Stardust poster (for which they were charged $5) before Bowie, resplendent in tight jeans rolled up to the knee with silver lame stockings and a paisley quilted jacket with lapels the size of wings, walked in with DeFries. The first question was "What made you start writing queer songs?" A heated argument then took place as to whether or not gays were "accepted" fully in America. (They were, according to Bowie.) At the end of the debate a respected rock writer told Bowie he was "full of crap" and directed a question to DeFries. "We heard that RCA underwrote this tour," the critic said. "How much did they do that?" A few surprised gasps and a shuffling of feet made it difficult to hear DeFries mumbled answer. But it sounded to some that he said that, strictly speaking, they were all advances. Bowie then left the room looking ashen-faced and close to tears." - pg. 98
---This page last modified: 14 Jul 2002---