|David Bowie 1972 California|
|Elvis Presley and Mary Kathleen Selph at the |
corner of South Parkway and Elvis Presley Blvd
Ziggy & Elvis
David Bowie and Elvis Presley have many similarities and Presley also served as inspiration for some aspects of the Ziggy Stardust phenomenon:
1) They share the same birthday - January 8th (1935 for Elvis and 1947 for Bowie).
2) Bowie says that he first discovered the power of music when he saw his cousin get up and dance to Elvis's "Hound Dog."
3) Both Elvis and Bowie experimented and got into trouble with their hair styles at high school (Elvis appearing in a Mohawk and Bowie cutting his hair very short before this was fashionable).
4) Bowie and Elvis were both on the same record label - RCA.
5) Bowie was a big fan of Elvis. At short notice he crossed the Atlantic on a plane to attend an Elvis concert in New York in June 1972 even though he had a strong fear of flying at the time and would travel by other means whenever possible.
"[Elvis] was a major hero of mine. And I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something. I came over for a long weekend. I remember coming straight from the airport and walking into Madison Square Garden very late. I was wearing all my clobber from the Ziggy period and had great seats near the front. The whole place just turned to look at me and I felt like a right idiot. I had brilliant red hair, some huge padded space suit and those red boots with big black soles. I wished I'd gone for something quiet, because I must have registered with him. He was well into his set." - Bowie (1996)
6) Bowie's manager - Tony DeFries - was a big fan of Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker and would quote from Parker's book to anyone who would listen.
7) Bowie says that he largely based the character of Ziggy Stardust on the eccentric American rocker Vince Taylor who moved to France and worked as an Elvis impersonator. Known as the "French Presley" he appeared on stage one night in white robes and said that he was Jesus Christ. End of career.
8) Bowie had clothes designer and friend Freddi Burretti copy Elvis's on-stage white jump-suit for Bowie's own use at Ziggy Stardust concerts. Bowie typically would change into it before his trademark finale - "Rock n Roll Suicide."
9) Tony DeFries used the announcement "David Bowie has left the building" as was done for Elvis Presley concerts.
10) The lighting-bolt motif Bowie wore for the ALADDIN SANE album cover was partly inspired by a ring that Elvis wore - which had a lightning bolt emblem along with the letters TCB (Taking Care of The Business).
11) The reissued single "Space Oddity" (see below) was released in Thailand in December 1972 accompanied by Elvis Presley's "Fool" as the B-side (RCA 003).
12) Elvis showed some interest in recording Bowie's song "Golden Years" but died before this could happen.
All this great info taken from the great 5years.com website.