When David Bowie Launched His U.S. ‘Ziggy Stardust’ Tour
David Bowie brought Ziggy Stardust to the Cleveland Music Hall on Sept. 22, 1972 for the opening night of the U.S. leg of his tour. His album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars had been released three months earlier; this was America's first-ever glimpse of the budding superstar.
Accompanying Bowie were the Spiders From Mars: guitarist Mick Ronson, bass player Trevor Bolder and drummer Mick "Woody" Woodmansey. Mike Garson also joined the U.S. tour as keyboardist, the fourth person to fill the role since April.
"He sailed over; he won't fly, his wife said," Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Jane Scott said, shortly before her death in 2011. "Orange-haired Bowie, one of the most important figures of '70s rock, seemed a little awkward at an earlier press conference, but after his smash show, he eluded his security guards and was eager to talk about coming shows. We reporters sensed that a star was born that night."
Scott was spot-on with her assessment. A sold-out performance at New York's Carnegie Hall six days later turned the nation's heads and led to the tour being extended for another two months.
But as much as Ziggy was loved, Bowie was ready to move on by the next year – possibly due to a rift over money with the Spiders. In July 1973, on the last night of the tour, Bowie told the crowd at the Hammersmith Odeon: "Of all the shows on the tour this particular show will remain with us the longest, because not only is it the last show of the tour, it’s the last show we’ll ever do.”