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David Bowie Honoured with Three Blue Plaques

David Bowie blue plaque at Trident Studios, Soho. Image courtesy of the BBC

David Bowie’s sudden death (to the public anyway) back at the beginning of 2016 was all so terribly sad. It marked the passing of a truly beloved and mold-breaking musician as he lost his battle with liver cancer at the age of 69. It also seemed to ignite a year of cherished celebrities passing away.

Of course, Bowie will always live on through his music and cultural influence, and he’ll also live on in the form of three new blue plaques which were recently unveiled in the UK. The plaques went up as part of BBC Music Day, which saw 47 being installed in total across the country. The three honouring Bowie went up in Maidstone, Hull, and Trident Studios in St Anne’s Court in Soho.

David Bowie Performing as Ziggy Stardust at Newcastle City Hall in 1973. © Ian Dickson

The latter of which is where Bowie recorded some of his most iconic tracks, including “Space Oddity” which was recorded 48 years ago this month. Bowie also recorded the albums Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Billy Bragg, was in Soho for the unveiling, along with artist and friend of the singer George Underwood, who designed and consulted on some of Bowie’s album covers.

Terry Pastor designed and hand coloured the album artwork for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. © Terry Pastor

“David Bowie was the greatest of the London boys that came out of the '60s.” Bragg said. “In 1971 he turned into something strange and curious – Ziggy Stardust. It’s great to commemorate this spot with a blue plaque, so that everyone who loves these records can gaze up in wonder at Trident Studios.”

While Underwood added, “I remember going in and out of Trident Studios when David was recording, as he often liked company in the studio. Knowing David he would be pleased about the plaque, but he would also make a witty remark about it! I’m sure he’d be very chuffed.”

David in Ziggy makeup in 1973 taken at Hammersmith Odeon before the last show of the tour. © Geoff MacCormack

The Maidstone plaque was unveiled at another important location for David Bowie, the Royal Star Hotel Ballroom, which is now called the Royal Star Arcade. It was a spot that Bowie played on a regular basis in 1964 and 1965 with Maidstone band The Manish Boys.

The blue plaque in Hull was unveiled at the Paragon station, to honour the Spiders from Mars, Bowie’s famous backing band and collaborators, who come from the city.

Newcastle City Hall, June 1973, Ian Dickson eludes security to take this photograph of David Bowie performing as the legendary Ziggy Stardust. © Ian Dickson

Spiders from Mars drummer Mick “Woody” Woodmansey, unveiled it in what is the 2017 City of Culture. “I'm so proud to be unveiling this plaque in Hull Paragon Station awarded to The Spiders from Mars.” Woodmansey said. “The only downside is that Mick and Trevor [his bandmates Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder] couldn’t be standing here with me. We set off from Paragon Station on lots of trips. I first met Mick here in 1968, I think it was. We hit it off, we formed a band, and then luckily, or Bowie was smart enough, to pick three lads from Hull to help him create what's become one of his most iconic periods of music.”

David Bowie and Mick Ronson eating lunch on a train to Aberdeen in 1973, heading for the first gig of Bowie's final Ziggy tour. © Mick Rock

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer these iconic David Bowie images along with many more as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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