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The Ziggy Stardust

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Garson, Mike: Talented American jazz pianist (from a tiny New York club called Poppıs Pub), Scientologist and music teacher who joined the Ziggy Stardust concert line-up on 22 September 1972. He was hired after a very short audition (playing ony four chords of a jazzed up version of "Changes" - which Bowie and Ronson liked) and had to learn all of the Ziggy Stardust songs virtually overnight from a cassette of the music he was handed. He played on the 1st and 2nd US Ziggy Stardust concert tours, the Japanese Tour and the 3rd UK Tour. His trademark jazz piano sound can best be heard on the song "Aladdin Sane." Although not technically a member of The Spiders from Mars (Bowie insisted that the Spiders From Mars consisted only of Ronson, Bolder and Woodmansey) if anyone deserved the mantle of the "4th Spider" it was Mike Garson. Bowie has stated that Mike was known as "Garson the Parson" while working with the Spiders and reportedly this aspect (Garson converted both Woody Woodmansey and Trevor Bolder to Scientology) led to some friction between Bowie and band members and may have contributed to the eventual split up.

"Well two of the band are Scientologists...Mike was a hard nut to deal with, a very strange cat.  I mean, he spent all his time trying to covert everybody - it was kind of difficult to work with him, you know?  And he converted Woody Woodmansey, the drummer. Mike got him.  He tried it on with me a bit until we had a bit of a fight about it.  He said "Oh well you'll never understand, you're a druggie." I said "Yeah that's it - drugs are keeping me away from Scientology." He was so po-faced.  Very serious guy" - Bowie (1992) discussing a question asking whether in Santa Monica in 1972 Mike Garson had converted the Spiders From Mars to Scientology.

"We used to call him Garson The Parson in the Spiders, poor love when he was into Scientology...That was the cornerstone of his life for a long time. He parted ways with that in the mid-80s and has subsequently become one of the leading jazz pianists in California, working a lot with Stanley Clarke. But it did cause us one or two problems. I was thinking about having him back in the band and the thing that really clinched it was hearing that he was no longer a Scientologist. He really has a gift. I wanted his particular, rather eccentric playing on a couple of tracks. One is called "Looking For Lester", the other "Bring Me The Disco King". He kind of plops those jewels in the track and they're quite, as I say, extraordinary, eccentric pieces of piano-playing." - Bowie (1991)

Mike Garson joined David Bowie once again for studio work on OUTSIDE (1996) and the OUTSIDE Tours, EARTHLING (1997) and 1997-1999 live concerts.

Gem: Tony DeFries and Lawrence Myers management organisation before DeFries formed MainMan.

George, Stuart (Stuey): A black Yorkshireman who became Bowie's bodyguard/minder and who rescued Bowie from over-exuberant fans and unsavory characters on a number of occasions during the Ziggy Stardust Tours. He was to be the first of three main bodyguards (along with Tony Frost and Anton Jones) employed to protect Bowie and project the image of star-minders. They did this by wearing karate-suits and Maoist-like arm bands titled "Bowie" and were well known for confiscating film from authorized photographers cameras.

Gillespie, Dana: Childhood friend of Bowie's who became a singer/actress and starred in the original production of Jesus Christ Superstar as Mary Magdalen. Bowie originally wrote "Andy Warhol" for her to perform and record. She was a vocal back up singer on "It Ain't Easy" but was uncredited on the Ziggy Stardust album until the EMI/Virgin CD release in 1999.

Glam-rock: A generic term for rock music which incorporated camp, make-up, glitter, outrageous costumes and androgyny. The music itself was a hard hitting rock with plenty of guitar and bass. Bowie was one of the two top exponents of Glam-rock in the 1970's - the other being Marc Bolan. Other exponents included early Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Sweet and Gary Glitter.

"Gotta Get A Job" (Brown): James Brown song covered by Bowie on the 1st UK Tour.

Graham, Nicky: Piano player for Bowie at the Rainbow Theatre concert on 19 August 1972 and two BBC radio sessions in 1972.

Gross, Edmund: The name Bowie signed when an elderly lady asked for his autograph in Dover, UK in May 1973.

Ground Control: Credited for the sound mixing at the Rainbow Theatre concert on 18 August 1972 and The 1980 Floor Show.

"Growin Up" (Bruce Springsteen): Springsteen song recorded by Bowie during the PIN-UPS (1973) studio sessions and a bonus track on the Rykodisc PIN-UPS (1973) CD. The song features Ron Wood on guitar.

Guess, Jason (aka as Jason Guest/Cross/Carter): Backing singer for The Astronettes.



---This page last modified: 12 Jan 2019---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)