Friday, April 08, 2016

Ziggy Stardust came from Isleworth

A treasure turned up on BBC Radio 4 Extra the other day: Ziggy Stardust came from Isleworth.

It tells the story of Vince Taylor, a British rocker from that lost period before the Beatles.

As the iPlayer blurb says:
Ziggy Stardust was a rock and roll fantasy. But David Bowie's fictional rockstar, around whom his 1972 album, stage show, and film were built, was inspired by a real performer, Vince Taylor, born in Isleworth, Middlesex. 
This programme uncovers the truth about a singer whose wild lifestyle ultimately destroyed him, but in so doing he gave rise to a myth that transcended glam-rock and science fiction. 
His record "Brand New Cadillac" remains to this day a British rock 'n' roll classic, covered later by The Clash.
And Bowie is interviewed in it:
Vince Taylor underwent a kind of public breakdown at his next gig, where he started claiming he was a divine being. David Bowie bumped into him in London and later said: 
"Vince Taylor was the inspiration for Ziggy...He always stayed in my mind as an example of what can happen in rock n roll. I'm not sure if I held him up as an idol or as something not to become. There was something very tempting about him going completely off the edge."

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