Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ziggy: Made in South London

David Bowie's origins in the suburbs of South London have been well-documented, but until recently I hadn't appreciated the specific role of Beckenham as the incubator of his legendary Ziggy Stardust look/persona.

According to 'Moonage Daydream - The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust', it was while living at Haddon Hall, a decaying gothic mansion at 42 Southend Road, Beckhenham, that Bowie and friends put the finishing touches to Ziggy.

Bowie had the ground floor of the now-demolished house from 1969 to 1973, painting the ceilings silver and holding parties in the garden. The Ziggy outfits were stitched together at Haddon Hall under the direction of clothes designer Freddie Burrett (known as Burretti), and the songs that became The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars were rehearsed in an impromptu studio created under the stairs, as well as at the Thomas a Becket pub in the Old Kent Road.

The haircut was done by Suzi Fussey, who worked opposite the Three Tuns in Beckenham in the Evelyn Paget (now Gigante) hair salon - although she apparently copied the design from a magazine. The famous red and black platform boots were made by Stan Miller of Greenaway and Sons in Penge.

More on the Beckenham connection here.

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