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 Key People involved in Ziggy Stardust

Backstage on tour with David Bowie (1972)

Mike Garson

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.

Mike Garson (second from right) — while on tour with David Bowie in 1973 — poses in front of the tour bus with the Spiders from Mars: Trevor Bolder (second from left, in black), Woody Woodmansy (fourth from left, crouching) and Mick Ronson (far right, waving).

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.

Where is he now?

Mike Garson joined David Bowie once again for studio work on OUTSIDE (1996), the OUTSIDE Tours, EARTHLING (1997) and 1997-1999 live concerts including the 2003-04 "A Reality Tour," Bowie's first world tour in 20 years. In November 2006, Mike accompanied Bowie and Alicia Keys during a unique performance of "Changes" at an AIDS benefit in New York City which ended up being Bowie's final public U.S. performance.


Mike Garson

---This page last modified: 12 Dec 2018---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)