David Bowie’s landmark album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars was released 49 years ago today (June 16.) Since its release, the album’s legend has managed to grow year by year, especially since Bowie’s unexpected passing in 2016.
However, the only thing potentially greater than the album itself is the grandeur and wonder that was the Ziggy Stardust persona.
Bowie had unleashed Ziggy Stardust on the world just four months before the album’s release, so it was just as shocking when he announced at his July 3, 1973 gig at the Hammersmith Odeon in London that it was “the last show we’ll ever do.” This meant the retiring of the Ziggy persona after a mere 17 months.
There’s perhaps no better way of grasping the mania around the Ziggy album than by viewing the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars concert film, which chronicles the aforementioned July 3, 1973 show. As incredible as the album was on a turntable, the live show was simply unworldly, and there was no better way for Ziggy to leave the stage than with Ziggy album closer “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.”
In honor of the album’s anniversary, here’s the final Ziggy performance of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide.” Thank you, David, for letting us know we’re not alone and helping us with the pain for all these years.