In 1974, David Bowie was interviewed with mentor William Burroughs. He spoke revealingly about the sci-fi concept behind Ziggy Stardust or atleast, the stage show that never eventuated.
By using a cut and paste technique, I have taken that interview and spliced it with certain lyrics of the Ziggy album to formulate how the songs may be applied to his ideas at the time. I have also incorporated an unreleased outake that Bowie is working on for the (supposed) forthcoming Ziggy 2002. Everything below is straight from Bowie's mouth or hand. Nothing I've written, only ordered. But it may be a nice starting point for discussion.
Pushing through the market square, so many mother's sighing
The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources.
there were five years left to cry in.....news guy wept and told us, Earth was really dying
Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted.
I saw telephones, opera house, favorite melodies, I saw boys and toys, electric irons and TVs
The older people have lost all touch with reality
A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest and a queer threw up at the site of that
and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything.
Didn't know what time it was, the lights were low
Ziggy is advised in a dream by the infinites to write the coming of a starman, so he writes 'Starman', which is the first news of hope that the people have heard. So they latch onto it immediately.
I had to phone someone so I picked on you
Hey that's far out so you heard him too.
Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel 2
The starmen that he is talking about are called the infinites, and they are black-hole jumpers. Ziggy has been talking about this amazing spaceman who will be coming down to save the earth.
Look out your window I have seen his light
If we can sparkle, he may land tonight
....Now Ziggy starts to believe in all this himself and thinks himself a prophet of the future starmen.
making love with his ego, ziggy sucked up into his mind
He takes himself up to the incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his disciples.
became a special man, then we were ziggy's band
Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There's no electricity to play it.
When the kids had killed the man, I had to break up the band.
ALL THE YOUNG DUDES
Ziggy's adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, 'cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news.
Well television man is crazy, saying we're all juvenile, deliquent wrecks. Oh man I don't need a TV when I got TREX.
'All the young dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.
BLACK HOLE KIDS (Unreleased Song)
The end comes when the infinites arrive. They really are a black hole, but I've made them people because it would be very hard to explain a black hole on stage.
They arrive somewhere in Greenwich Village. They don't have a care in the world and are of no possible use to us. They just happened to stumble into our universe by black-hole jumping. Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe. In the stage show, one of them resembles Brando, another one is a Black New Yorker. I even have one called Queenie, the Infinite Fox.
ROCK N ROLL SUICIDE
When the infinites arrive, they take bits of Ziggy to make themselves real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist in our world. And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song 'Rock 'n' roll suicide'. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible. It is a science fiction fantasy of today and this is what literally blew my head off when I read 'Nova Express,' which was written in 1961.
I am what I play!