To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Ziggy Stardust The Crown Estate place a commemorative plaque in Heddon Street, London W1
In March 2012, The Crown Estate will unveil a commemorative plaque to David Bowie’s iconic creation, Ziggy Stardust, marking the 40thanniversary of his album, ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars’. The plaque will be unveiled on Heddon Street, just off Regent Street, London, W1, where the photograph on the front cover of the album was taken – a fact little known until now.
Part of The Crown Estate’s ongoing vision for the development of Regent Street and surrounding areas, Heddon Street today is completely different from that of 1972, when the album cover was created. Now one of Regent Street’s main Food Quarters, it has been transformed into a pedestrianised courtyard ideal for al fresco dining with restaurants including Momo, Aubaine, Below Zero, The Ice Bar, Strada, Piccolino’s, Strawberry Moons and The Living Room.
Back in 1972, the Bowie album depicts ‘Ziggy’ outside on a cold wet January night with his foot resting on a step outside 23 Heddon Street. The late Brian Ward, had rented a space upstairs in the building as a makeshift photographic studio, and had already shot 17 pictures when he persuaded Bowie to step outside onto Heddon Street. The other band members thought it too cold and declined to join him for the picture. Wearing the green jumpsuit that he later wore on the BBC 2 TV show ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’, Bowie posed for the photograph. The images were shot using Royal –X – Pan black and white film and then lovingly hand coloured by artist Terry Pastor. In the finished image, Ziggy’s jumpsuit is coloured blue.
“It was cold and it rained and I felt like an actor “ Bowie recollected , “we did the photographs outside on a rainy night and then upstairs in the studio we did the Clockwork Orange look-a-likes that became the inner album sleeve.”
The iconic image cover catapulted David Bowie to international stardom, creating an army of pop stars with spikey hair and edgy alter egos, a trend which later evolved into the glam rock movement for which Ziggy was the poster boy. This plaque pays homage to an enduring iconic creation of British Pop, meaning fans from all over the world can visit the place where the dynamic character of Ziggy was immortalised on camera.
The album was produced by Ken Scott who went on to work with Elton John, George Harrison , Supertramp and many more. The Spiders were Mick Ronson who sadly died of liver cancer in 1993 aged 46 , Trevor Bolder on bass, Mick Woodmansey on drums , all accompanying David Bowie on guitar with Dana Gillespie on backing vocals.NOTES TO EDITORS
The album was released on 6 June 1972 and as we say, the rest is history, and what a history over those 40 years. Spawning countless copy cat bands and pop stars images.
Bowies’ creation of Ziggy has been attributed to influencing contemporary musicians from Spandau Ballet, Boy George, Suede, Gary Numan, Goldfrapp, Florence and The Machine and Le Roux.
Heddon Street has become a pilgrimage for Ziggy fans worldwide and now that this historic location is to be commemorated with a Crown Estate plaque to Ziggy celebrating the importance of a small street just off Regent Street in London’s West End.
“Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly,
and the spiders from Mars. He played it left hand
But made it too far
Became the special man, then we were Ziggy's band”
Lyrics written by David Bowie /Copyright EMI Music Publishing, CHRYSALIS MUSIC GROUP/TINTORETTO MUSIC
Heddon Street is one of Regent Street’s Food Quarters, it was pedestrianised in 2009 and now is home to 9 restaurants and bars. ; Momo, Mo Tea Room, The Living Room, Aubaine, Piccolino’s, Strawberry Moons, Below Zero and the Ice Bar, and London’s first boutique vegetarian restaurant tibits and recently opened Strada.
Heddon Street is now a tranquil oasis with beautiful terraces adorned with palms and olive trees and is one of Regent Street’s two food quarters which was re-opened in 2009 by Cllr Robert Davis, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council, who said: “The West End is changing for the better, and the transformation of Heddon Street from deserted back alley to thriving al fresco hot-spot is testament to that. “
“The Crown Estate’s commitment and support has been vital to our own plans and vision to ensure West End is truly world class in 2012 when the eyes of the world will be upon us.”
Part of Regent Street’s £750 million investment and regeneration programme, the Heddon Street improvements have delivered a place for people to eat, drink and relax in a traffic free, attractive environment, at the heart of the West End.
For further information please contact Susie Howard at Sister
T: 44 (0)20 7287 9601
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