David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars had the fifth of six days of rehearsals at London’s Rainbow Theatre on 17 August 1972.
The rehearsals were for their live shows at the venue on 19 and 20 August, plus an additional date on 30 August. On the 25th they also filmed the promo for ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’ there, directed by Mick Rock, who filmed and photographed parts of the shows.
It was David’s idea to put on a whole theatrical production for the show at the Rainbow Theatre on 19 August; a second show was added on 20 August when the first one sold out. We appeared on the poster as Ziggy Stardust and his band the Spiders – the first time, as far as I’m aware, that we were billed this way.
As I’ve mentioned, a major influence on Bowie as a performer was the mime artist Lindsay Kemp. Earlier in his career Bowie had joined Kemp’s mime classes and had actually toured with him as part of his show on several occasions. Now Bowie wanted to include Kemp and his troupe at the Rainbow and the pair of them would choreograph a show that embellished the music we were playing.
Spider From Mars: My Life With Bowie
The rehearsal dates were 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, and 18 August 1972. During this time Bowie and guitarist Mick Ronson split their time between the Rainbow and Trident Studios, where they co-produced Lou Reed’s Transformer album.
Also on this day...
- 1983: Live: Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix
- 1974: Recording: Young Americans
- 1969: Live: Three Tuns, Beckenham
- 1964: Live: Davie Jones and the Manish Boys, Astor Theatre, Deal
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.