David Bowie 1973-07-03 London ,Hammersmith Odeon ,Complete soundboard of the famous last Ziggy concert –
Sound Quality Rating
Robin Mayhew who was the sound mixer on the Ziggy Stardust tour has released his version of the famous last Ziggy concert. The recording is complete including Jeff Beck and is straight from the soundboard.
Recorded directly from the sound console. This recording was made on a portable cassette machine on the night of the show , transferred to reel to reel in 1976 and to CD in 2008 .The only studio engineering done onRobin Mayhew recording is the first part of Wendy Carlo’s March from Clockwork Orange because the orginal tape was slightly stretched (note:you can hear Ronno join in with a couple of shorts at the end) and the attenuation of a feedback howl during the opening song Hang on To Yourself
No one knew this would be the last show ever so no special recording arrangement was made by Robin Mayhew. In other words what you hear is just how it was with no mastering or modifications. This is what happened on stage that night and though the poor cassette is a little worn.
Robin Mayhew do hope you enjoy what was heard that momentous night in London in July 1973.
The 3rd Ziggy Stardust UK tour finishes at the Hammersmith Odeon Theatre, London. This concert comes to be known as the “Retirement Gig.” Jeff Beck attends as special guest. Before this gig Bowie had announced that he would take a short holiday when the tour was over, before recording at the Chateau in France and then planned to return to the US for another tour.
101. Introduction by Barry Bethal
102. Mick Garson’s medley
103. March from the Clockwork Orange (Beethoven’s Ode to Joy)
104. Hang On To Yourself
105. Ziggy Stardust
106. Watch That Man
107. Medley – Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud – All The Young Dudes – Pretty Things
108. Moonage Daydream
110. Space oddity
111. My Dead
201. Announcement and William Tell Overture
202. Cracked Acctor
204. Width Of A Circle – Band Introduction
205. let’s Spend The Night Together
206. Suffragette City (end and return)
207. White Light ,White Heat
208. The Jean Genie – Love Me Do (With Jeff Beck)
209. Round And Round
210. Farewell Speech – Rock And Roll Suicide
211. Pomp and Circumstance by Edward Elgar
Label: No label
Audio Source: Sound Board Robin Mayhew
Total running time: 1:49:40
Sound Quality : very good. Equals record or radio apart from a slight noise and some dullness.
Only Mick and Suzie (later Ronson) knew of Bowie decision to kill Ziggy persona that night. Robin Mayhew believe Suzie must have told stage manager Peter Hunsley at some point after the interval as he alerted Robin via the stage to mixer intercom giving Robin the news. It came as no real surprise to Robin and quitting while ahead seemed the perfect and logical way to end something which would soon have become repetitious
The concert is filmed by D.A Pennebaker and recorded by RCA Mobile with the intention of releasing a live double album in February 1974 provisionally tilted BOWIE-ING OUT. This eventually becomes the 1983 soundtrack album, film and video ZIGGY STARDUST – THE MOTION PICTURE minus the live performances of “Jean Genie/Love Me Do” and “Round and Round.” Just prior to the last encore number Bowie steps up to the mike and announces:
“Everybody…this has been one of the greatest tours of our lives. I would like to thank the band. I would like to thank our road crew. I would like to thank our lighting people. Of all of the shows on this tour, this particular show will remain with us the longest (cheers from the audience) because not only is it…not only is it the last show of the tour, but its the last show that we’ll ever do. Thank you”
Illustration by Mike Allred (Red Rocket 7 #4 November 1997)
This shocks Ziggy fans who scream “No!” Bowie then launches into “Rock n Roll Suicide” and at the finish of the song concludes:
“Thank-you very much. Bye-bye. We love you.”
Bowie’s announcement is also a major shock for The Spiders From Mars who were unaware that Bowie had also decided to retire them from ever touring again. Only Tony DeFries and Mick Rock were aware of the announcement. That night Bowie and a handful of friends hold a small party at the Inn On the Park..
First impression, I find great you put a lot of soul in it, it’s a very fine work : the cd artwork I find great with your own photographs from the tape, the console and the PA system.
I didn’t have any problem of any sort with it, it’s perfect in any way, thanks a lot !
At last… The famous Ziggy show, in its full entirety and in its original sound ! Greater than great, I must say !
It seems, listening to it now, that I’m listening to a completely different show from what I’ ve been used to over the last 30 years, from what I call the ‘now infamous original double-vinyl LP’ in 1983 to the last 30 years edition on cd.
I have many different versions of that show as any fan I presume, and I’ve never been satisfied with them (though I must admit the last version was by far the best, with Mick’s guitar more forefront).
I began to doubt whether I could listen to this show one day as it really was back then in 1973 !
I had never heard of the Mike Garson medley before, though I saw this afternoon that you already mentioned it in the interview you gave on the ‘Ziggy Stardust Companion’ site, I missed it though I had visited the site many times…
I personnaly find it great he played it as first part, and that David allowed him to play it. Quite amazing this was decided during the rehearsals !
Thank you for including it in the cds, it’s the first surprise of the package.
I was amazed listening at the ‘Wild-Eyed Boy’ medley with those flutes and saxophones more forefront. I loved the saxophones throughout the entire show as in
‘Suffragette City’ and ‘White Light White Heat’, some I had never paid attention on the official issue because of being lost under the backing vocals added parts…
I can understand some of the backing vocals needed to be reworken sometimes on studio but I always thought as many fans that it had been done too often when most of times it wasn’t needed.
I was moved to hear at last ‘Space Oddity’ and ‘My Death’ without the organ parts, the latter particularly moved me, it was so beautifuly sung…
I’m sure David should maybe have called the album ‘Ziggy Stardust-My Death’ instead of ‘The Motion Picture’ (strange title for such an emblematic show) , and we can understand now why David requested silence with so much insistance
before the song,as he was really to kill Ziggy minutes later !
The William Tell Overture as, indeed, overture for the second part is quite surprising and funny, not really announcing the rough guitar intro played by Mick Ronson, ouch !
During ‘Time’, I was quite surprised as I was used to all these backing vocals all through the song in the official, it feels now as it’s a completely different version we can hear, as if it was almost taken from another show !
I love this ‘White Light’ version without the added guitar parts : now we can hear in place some great and sometimes amazing saxophones ! Fantastic !!!
I wonder why the saxophones were often subdued or simply erased from the official mixes, I personnaly love them, and so especially in that song.
That version of ‘Jean Genie’ is, I think, the best live version David ever played (as far as I know) and it’s not easy to write that as he has always played great versions of that song since, in any tour !
I wonder why it has not been finally released in the 30th anniversary official… Total mystery…
As well as ‘Round And Round’ : listening to the entire show now shows that removing these two tracks from any future release of this show is now unthinkable, and I bet, with your cds now available,
that the forthcoming version (if there is indeed one, maybe for the 50 years !!!) will add these tracks…
All in all a great, great package you’re offering to us, Bowie fans, a long and long awaited gift which brings to us in real light how magical the Ziggy days were…
It also makes us understand now why all those fans we can see in the famous Dvd of that particular show were so moved by that character David had carefully and slowly built from the end of 1971 to that 3rd of July 1973.
Robin Mayhew is selling selfmade CDRs for £12 (UK) and £15 (International) at his website.
You can buy the 2 CDR-set from:
Thanks Robin Mayhew
Barnham, West Sussex
Please – if you ever visit You Tube have a listen to one of my songs which will be a bonus track on my forthcoming album Shallow and Deeper. The song is called Together (A Song for Isobel) sung by Charlotte Howard. If you are a parent or perhaps a grandparent you may enjoy the sentiment. Please spread the word. Simply search with my name in YouTube and you will find it.