Why did Bowie create Ziggy Stardust? An insight into the greatest alter ego pop music has ever seen

“If it’s wearing a pink hat and a red nose, and it plays a guitar upside down, I will go and look at it. I love to see people being dangerous.”

That’s how an interview between celebrated music journalist Joe Smith and David Bowie on April 17, 1988, began, and with it, an unprecedented insight into the creation of the greatest alter ego the pop world has ever seen emerged.Ziggy Stardust

Why did Bowie create Ziggy Stardust? Watch an interview between David Bowie and Joe Smith – an insight into the creation of the greatest alter ego pop music has ever seen.

At the onset of 1972, David Bowie was struggling to cast off his label as a one-hit-wonder. By the close of the year, he was a star. In a matter of months, Bowie had transitioned from a politely accepted pop periphery to a sweeping cultural phenomenon under a new guise – Ziggy Stardust.

The video below from Blank on Blank, wonderfully animates a conversation between Smith and Bowie in 1988, where the latter recounts – with some retrospect – the creation of Ziggy.

“I never really felt like a rock singer or rock star or whatever,” Bowie tells Smith. “I always felt a little out of my element, which is a ridiculously highfalutin way of looking at it. Now, from my standpoint, when I look back, I realise that from ‘72 through to about ‘76, I was the ultimate rock star. I couldn’t have been more rock star.

As per usual Bowie is articulate and insightful, never vein nor conceited. It’s a great interview, brought to life by the illustrations of animator Patrick Smith. Long live Ziggy Stardust!

Check it all out below:

While you’re here, check out our piece celebrating The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars