Rock’n’Roll Suicide

Watch Mr Bowie's greatest creation take his curtain call

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Those who claim to have been at Bowie’s “farewell to Ziggy” at Hammersmith Odeon on July 3, 1973 could fill an Olympic stadium. Those who weren’t can now dream they were via DA Pennebaker’s film, finally available on DVD. The stage is gloomily lit. There’s no special effects. There are only brief backstage glimpses of Bowie having his make-up applied. It’s a point-and-shoot record of a now-legendary night. Drawing mostly on songs from Ziggy and Aladdin Sane, Bowie’s sense of melodrama is palpable. Apart from Mick Ronson, The Spiders are almost invisible, but Pennebaker realised the rows of writhing Ziggy lookalikes in the crowd were a far more important element of the sexually-charged drama.

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