The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust; the extraterrestrial savior
Ziggy Stardust was born downtown, specifically an area called Bohemian Village. It was a loud, gritty part of town where young artists without much money and unconventional lifestyles and beliefs lived and worked. If there was an unruly protest or a major drug bust, chances are it took place in Bohemian Village. Stardust was created when a sixteen year old Baker went into a Bohemian Village rock club for the first time. Zachary lived outside of Bohemian Village in an area of town populated by people living just above the poverty line and he usually stayed there, burning shit and drinking cheap beer with other underprivileged youth.
One day Zachary had spent another day loitering around a comic store with some sci-fi comics and magazines of various genres under his jacket instead of going to school. He didn't like school and made no secret that he was frequently absent from the classroom. So, when his mother asked him what he did at school he promptly told the truth. His mom yelled at her son for not taking advantage of his education to better himself and for stealing crap for no apparent reason. Zachary got fed up and began yelling back. When he was yelled at to leave the building he was happy to oblige. He was mad and needed to blow of steam. He wanted to do something stupid and dangerous. Something new. So he ran with no direction in mind to see what he could do and ended up in Bohemian Village.
Zachary had walked down the street and heard a loud dirty sound. It was the sound of rushed guitars, thumps made by slamming on drum kits and shouted lyrics from a singer with a phenomenal knack for projection. It was perfectly orchestrated chaos and it sounded beautiful. Zachary had traced the noise to a dark brick building that was labeled ‘Rock the Boat Club.’ He entered after dodging laughing young men and women with needles stuck in their arms and beer tainting their breath.
It was certainly interesting place. All sorts of people were jumping, dancing, pushing, and shoving each other. Some were sitting down, eating or drinking. Some were putting their faces to tables to snort or lick powders. Clouds of smoke came from behind a green door. All sorts of couples- heterosexual, homosexual, interracial, polygamous- were kissing, hugging, and squeezing in the booths and on a spare space which was considered a dancing area. Some people wore clothes with an political message, like a Thompson ' Election 1256- The Time is Now' campaign shirt with detailed penis' drawn all over Thompson's one admirable face, or a red shirt emblazoned with 'I'm a Daily Worker- where's my pay?' and the communist hammer-and-sickle sign. Some wore no shirts at all (a fact which the boy wasn't going to complain about). Some had painted lighting bolts onto their faces. Zachary had seen an enthusiastic young man with torn camouflage pants, military buzz cut, lipstick, a glittery white halter top, hot pink combat boots, and a military services pendant which was dented outward intentionally. The man caught his attention because he wasn't a bad looking man and in his dress had simultaneously mocked gender roles and the military in a clever way.
But what really caught his attention was the band. On a raised podium- it could barely be called a stage- the group had been performing. The all-male group was mostly adorned only with long dirty hair and torn jeans. The guitarist went rampant on the the stage, running up and down and occasionally going off the stage to get into his audiences faces. At one point he spat a cigarette into a man's face and polished off some drinks. The drummer banged on the skin with an inhuman passion, almost as if he was pouring his soul into the instrument. The bassist seemed to focus only on the four strings that he moved with extreme dexterity. His face was hidden under his messy black hair so you couldn't tell much about him. Zachary had taken pleasure in his shirt though. It was black and read "democracy- communism- fascism- nazism- capitalism- dictatorship- religion PICK YOUR POISON." The vocalist jumped and ran in a more articulate way then the guitarist without leaving the stage but still had given an amazing animal like quality to his performance.
Zachary had joined in on a crowd of people who were raising their fists, acting aggressive, and shouting by the stage. It was a chaotic scene but it made him feel at ease. This was where his live would truly begin and end; among the discontent youth who struggled to find an outlet for their art. He had tasted the blood of rock 'n roll and had a thirst for more.
He was brought of out of his thoughts by tug on his sleeve. It was drag-military boy.
"Wanna drink on me?" The young man had asked.
After being seated on a bar stool the two had drunk, conversed, and flirted. Zachary had learned that the man's name was Rudi, a young war veteran. He didn't burn his draft card, served grudgingly, had sex with another solider, and was discharged because of that. While Rudi was talking with an old acquaintance Zachary had looked at the posters along the wall on the opposite side of the bar. One that had caught his eye was a poster of a man with a red haircut, makeup, and an eccentric costume. It bore a resemblance to some outfits he had seen in science fiction magazine pictures. It was blue, seemed tight, had a large collar, and had a general surreal quality about it. The poster was labeled 'Ziggy Stardust.'
Ziggy Stardust. The named ringed bells in his head, not from familiarity but from a connection he had to it. It was beautiful. It was marvelous. It was his name, so he adopted it. It was his name when he moved in with Rudi and started a band, playing a guitar that bore a striking resemblance to a guitar that once had been displayed in a music store but had disappeared the day he acquired it.
From then on Zachary Backer was a name scarcely used, even by it's technical owner. Baker was a no good punk with no future. Ziggy Stardust was a king. He was the symbol of music, drugs, anarchy, rebellion and sex. He was the spirit that guided the staving artists who lived off of his songs. He was the God of Bohemian Village.