Great covers 11. David Bowie: 'Ziggy Stardust...'
Friday 17 May 1996
11. David Bowie: 'Ziggy Stardust...'
Once the Beatles stepped off that zebra crossing in the Abbey Road sunshine in 1969, the clouds rolled in, the VW went for its MOT and the capital closed up for the winter. No longer swinging, not yet calling, by 1972 London was as good as dead. So Bowie posed in the rain up a poky turning off Regent Street for the album that was to be a clarion call to a sleeping town. Bathed in the phosphorescence of Heddon Street, W1, part-framed by the near-side of a (probably different) VW Beetle, Brian Ward's tinted photograph re-mythologised both city and artist.
Bowie perches incongruously on an undercliff of refuse, a reptile in a turquoise jumpsuit and stacks. Overshadowing him is an imposing structure occupied by a firm of furriers called, in just about the biggest writing on the cover, K West. Less conspicuous are nameplates for a couple of dress manufacturers in the same building. I like to think he picked up a little off-the-peg number after the shoot: like London, Bowie is at his best when dressing up. And like Bowie, London needs both glam and gloom. Its zebra crossings need to glisten after dark to get any sense of it as a place. That night in Heddon Street, David Bowie was certainly in the right place at the right time.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia after ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Skrillex and Diplo's 24-hour DJ set shut down by police after 18 hours
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
Oscars 2015: Get a sneak peek inside this year's outrageous $125,000 goodie bags
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'