Listen To David Bowie’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’ From ‘Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture’
The live version of Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide from David Bowie’s legendary show at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973 is now available on YouTube – and you can check it out below.
The track also features on the newly-released soundtrack album for Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars – The Motion Picture 50th Anniversary, which is also now available. Filmed by the renowned D.A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop, Bob Dylan – Don’t Look Back, Depeche Mode 101), the film captures the momentous show where Bowie effectively retired his iconic alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, and his band, The Spiders From Mars, in front of 5000 stunned fans. For this new release, the film has been fully digitally restored in a process overseen by D.A. Pennebaker’s son, Frazer, with remastered audio.
The show featured Bowie’s famous speech just before the final encore, Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide, where he revealed that he was retiring the Ziggy Stardust persona.
He said, “Everybody, this has been one of the greatest tours of our life. We really – first, I’d like to thank the band. I’d like to thank our road crew. And I’d like to thank our lighting people. Of all the shows on this tour, this particular show will remain with us the longest, because not only is it the last show of the tour, but it’s the last show that we’ll ever do. Thank you.”
The shocking announcement came as a surprise to all in attendance – including members of his band.
Photographer Mick Rock was given a couple of days’ advance warning, enabling him to prepare to capture history in the making, even if he wasn’t entirely clear on Bowie’s intentions. “I wasn’t quite sure whether he meant he wasn’t going to perform live ever again,” Rock told Uncut magazine 30 years later, “or whether he just meant as that persona.”
The film and its soundtrack have been newly remastered with the medley of The Jean Genie/Love Me Do and Round And Round featuring the late legendary Jeff Beck reinstated – the latter track making its very first appearance anywhere. Both performances were newly mixed by long-time Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti.