David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars concert movie to be rereleased for 50th anniversary

Ziggy Plays Guitar
Ziggy Plays Guitar / Express/GettyImages

David Bowie played a concert fifty years ago that made him a legend. A 4K remaster of the concert film will be released to mark the anniversary.

Few concerts have had as much cultural impact as the David Bowie shows at London’s Hammersmith Odeon documented by D.A Pennebaker in 1973, which became the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars film. Near the show's end, Bowie announced, "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." Those words instantly became the stuff of urban legend for their ambiguity; was Bowie retiring from music altogether? 

As Bowie progressed onto the next phase in his chameleonic career, the meaning of his words became apparent. He was killing off the Ziggy Stardust character. But the period of uncertainty, plus the provocativeness of committing symbolic suicide on stage, made the show live on in infamy. 

It was another ten years before Pennebaker’s concert film was released into cinemas, making the moment Bowie became a legend into more than just a memory for the lucky few there that night. The film, and its soundtrack, a live album confusingly titled Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, were released in 1983 and are a thrilling document of Bowie on top form as Ziggy Stardust. 

Now to mark the 50th anniversary of that fateful concert, a 4K remaster of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is being rereleased into cinemas.

The remaster will premiere at the same venue where it all began. The Hammersmith Odeon, now known as the Eventim Appolo Hammersmith, will host the premiere on July 3rd and a panel discussion with some of his collaborators. Simultaneous screenings of the movie and the panel will also occur elsewhere in the U.K. and in Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and Australia. 

The remastered edition will also feature a couple of songs that were cut from the original edit. The late legendary guitarist Jeff Beck made an appearance at the show, accompanying Bowie on "The Jean Genie," plus covers of The Beatles’ "Love Me Do," and Chuck Berry’s "Round And Round." The songs were cut from the movie at Beck’s request, and there are conflicting accounts as to why. 

Additional screenings have also been scheduled in Canada, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary throughout July, in the US, Latin America, Asia, France, Spain, Belgium, and Scandinavia to be announced. See Davidbowie.com for ticketing information, and check out a trailer below. 

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