TheCompanion

Home Index FAQ Encyclopaedia Timeline Songs Gallery E-mail

Email me

webmaster:  Mike Harvey
currently resides:  Wellington, New Zealand
first memories of dB:  "Space Oddity", "The Man Who Sold The World" and "The Laughing Gnome" on local radio
first encounter:  November 1987 at Western Springs, Auckland, New Zealand
last encounter:  Personal meeting backstage 13th August 2002 at Irvine, California, USA
first bowie LP:  ChangesOneBowie (1976)
first bowie CD:  Low (1976)
first bowie book: David Bowie - An Illustrated Record (1979)
first pilgrimage to Heddon Street, London: February 1998
favourite bowie albums:  Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs, Low, Station to Station, Scary Monsters
favourite Ziggy Stardust songs:  "5 Years", "Moonage Daydream", "Ziggy Stardust" & "Rock N Roll Suicide"
how long has this website existed:  Since 14 June 1996
objective:  To comprehensively document and celebrate the Ziggy Stardust period.

Q. Tell me about this site's history - how long have you been doing this and why?

The Ziggy Stardust Companion has been online since June 1996.  I've been a very keen David Bowie fan since my early twenties (I was born in 1960) and when I first went onto the internet in 1995 I was fascinated with the medium and potential that the web offered to someone who wanted to do something creative regarding web sites. I decided to specialise on the Ziggy Stardust period. No-one else had done that back then or concentrated on doing a website for just one album so I thought it was an interesting thing to do.

I decided on the Ziggy Stardust era because it was David Bowie's most successful period and an interesting phase of his career and of course that was when he released his much heralded rock masterpiece: "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars" (1972) which is one of my all-time favourite rock albums. My website is TOTALLY devoted to this album and collects all the information about the songs, time, people, events and more.

I really enjoy the specialisation because the Ziggy Stardust phase/period is finite. To compensate, I try and make my site as authoritative and comprehensive as possible to cater for both the casual and hardcore David Bowie fan.

The Ziggy Stardust Companion website first started as a very small homepage.  I still have the original floppy disk of my site as it existed back in June 1996 - when it was only a few hundred kilobytes in size! In 1998 I purchased my own domain name (5years.com) and my own web space as it was getting too big to maintain as a simple homepage. I was the first Bowie fan website with its own Bowie-related dot.com domain name.

Q. Were you around for Ziggy Stardust?

No - I was not living in the UK then as I am a New Zealander by birth. But if a time machine is ever invented that will definitely be the period and country to which I'll definitely journey back to!

I was 12 and 13 years old during the Ziggy Stardust period and not really conscious of his Ziggy-era music to a great extent either as NZ radio was only focussed on very Top 20 mainstream music and my older siblings musical tastes were in the Beatles, Stones, Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin field. I can though recall hearing and enjoying "Space Oddity", "The Man Who Sold The World", "The Jean Genie" and "The Laughing Gnome" in my childhood and early teens.

It was only when I was at University that I really discovered David Bowie in depth. Back then and today he stands out for me as a true musical genius - someone who can/could change his style at will and still be the master of and leader in that style. I am also in total awe at the intelligence of his music which sounds as fresh today as it did when it was first released. As an artist he is also someone who I believe "gave" his all in every performance.

My first Bowie album was the 1976 compilation LP called "ChangesOneBowie" that a nurse sold to me while I was living in a staff quarters at a New Zealand psychiatric institution. At that time I was at University and training to be a clinical psychologist. It was quite an experience listening to the song "All The Madmen" while living only 400 metres away from NZ's highest maximum security building for the criminally insane! (with electric fences, barb wire etc). One of my memories from that time was a young patient who also loved Bowie's music and who would listen to "Space Oddity" on a 45rpm and try and get the hand claps just right.

Q. What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to you that's related to your site?

Nothing too crazy. I have had a number of Bowie celebrities contribute to the site - notably ex-wife Angie Bowie who has done two popular email interviews with me, and also Ken Scott - the famous producer/engineer for David Bowie, The Beatles, Queen, Supertramp etc. I'm always seeking interviews and contributions from those who were connected with the era and people. I traveled to the UK and Europe in Feb/March 1998 and met a number of Bowie fans there and even completed my pilgrimage to Heddon Street, London - the site of the Ziggy Stardust album cover - which is sort of the Holy Grail of Bowie landmarks.

Q Have you been in the press before? - If so, where and when?

This website has been favourably reviewed in a number of web magazines over the years and is mentioned in a number of rock books. I've also been approached over the years by print journalists and I've been very happy to contribute and comment regarding information about Ziggy Stardust.

Q. Have you ever met David Bowie?

Yes - I was very lucky to meet him in person backstage after his concert at Irvine Ampitheater in California, USA on the 13th August 2002 having been a consultant for the Ziggy Stardust 30th Anniversary website.  Before that I had only seen him perform once live - in 1987 at Western Springs, Auckland, New Zealand for The Glass Spider Tour. I had hoped to see him perform at Gisborne, New Zealand in 2000 for the first rock concert of the millenium but sadly that concert did not eventuate. In February 2004 I saw him again for the last time in Wellington for his Reality Tour.

---This page last modified: 08 Jan 2019---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)