David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust Honoured in London

Stardust hailed as "one of London's great fictional characters".

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

A black plaque was unveiled today in honour of David Bowie's infamous concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. The plaque is only the second to be erected in the name of a fictional character, with Sherlock Holmes being the first.

The plaque can now be found in Heddon Street, London on the building featured on the album's cover, which was photographed by Brian Ward in 1972. The album catapulted Bowie into worldwide success and was the beginning of just one of many musical incarnations the rock star embarked upon during his career, including The Thin White Duke and Aladdin Sane. 

Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp, a lifelong fan of Bowie, unveiled the plaque and offered a few words in celebration of the character, saying: "He was the ultimate messianic rock star and with him Bowie successfully blurred the lines not just between boys and girls, but between himself and his creation. Bowie was Ziggy come to save us and I bought him hook, eyeliner and haircut.

"It was a conceptual art piece he was trying to sell through popular culture – and it worked. Ziggy came out of a much darker impoverished London – it offered a great means of escape for an adolescent generation that was still in the shadow of the Second World War.

"I believe that Ziggy is one of London’s great fictional characters and stands alongside the likes of Dorian Gray and the Artful Dodger."

The album cover features Bowie standing outside of what was once Brian Ward's studio in a jumpsuit, guitar over his shoulder and his foot resting upon a dustbin. The lyrics "it was cold and it rained and I felt like an actor" in album track 'Five Years' are in reference to the photo shoot.

The album chronicled the success and demise of the fictional Ziggy Stardust, an alien lifeform beamed to Earth in order to inspire hope in humanity until eventually crumbling under the pressures of fame. It was inspired by the meltdown of singer Vince Taylor, who believed that he was a cross between a God and an alien.

It is also set for a remastered reissue on both CD and vinyl to celebrate its 40th anniversary in June. It will also include an audio DVD featuring previously unreleased mixes of some of the tracks.

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Photo Credit: MSN