Saturday, 23 June 2012

'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' - David Bowie (1972)

"You’re not alone,
Gimme your hands.
You’re wonderful,
Gimme your hands."

Happy 40th, Ziggy! My memories on the release of this seminal album? Well, I was just a year old, so everything’s a bit hazy. And I wasn’t even in my home country. I was about as far away as you could posibly be, in Australia.

In those days, you were actively encouraged to emigrate to Oz on a ten pound ticket. So my Dad found a job in Sydney and hopped on a plane a few months after I was born to set up our new home. My mum and I followed by ship. A three-month journey that called at every port on the way. The one photo of me on our travels is from a ‘Beautiful Baby’ competition they ran onboard (I'll scan it in if I find it again). I won, apparently. (I suspect there were very few babies on this long haul expedition.) Pushy mums, eh?

By the time we arrived, my Dad was already disillusioned with his new job and home. So I blew out the candles on my first birthday cake (all my presents from home were stolen in the overseas post) and plans were hatched to return to Blighty. My Dad then flew off again. And I think you can guess how my Mum and I journeyed back.   

Of course, I have no true recollection of any of these events. Even though it feels like I have some memories from the world’s shortest antipodean migration, I know those are just afterimages from our family ciné films. I sometimes wonder about the person I’d be now if we’d stayed. As a sun-dodging aquaphobic, I can only assume I’d be very different indeed. Would the Goth in me have blossomed in all that heat? We’ll never know.

Grab your best jumpsuit and you can recreate this pose
 in London's Heddon St (just off Regent St).
Spotify linky:

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