In pictures: David Bowie, Woody Woodmansey and the legacy of Ziggy Stardust
As Bowie's drummer from the Ziggy days heads to Leamington to celebrate the great man's music, here are some striking images from the era - and a few treats besides.
By Peter Ormerod
Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 3:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:43 pm
Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey on stage with Bowie.
Holy Holy, who also feature long-time Bowie producer Tony Visconti on bass, play at the Assembly on Saturday February 23. It's a chance to relive four years of sound and vision that helped shape popular culture. Visit leamingtonassembly.com to book.
Woody Woodmansey came from Hull. His idols were heavy rock drummers - but he adapted swiftly to Bowie's more flamboyant sartorial demands. Picture: Mick Rock
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Holy Holy play songs dating from between 1969 and 1973 - dating from Space Oddity through to the Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane albums.
Woody formed Holy Holy with Tony Visconti. The two had played on Bowie's 1970 album The Man Who Sold The World - which Bowie never toured.
The band were formed with Bowie's blessing - and phoned Bowie from the stage when they performed in New York on his 69th birthday.
Woodmansey's drumming can be heard many of Bowie's most popular songs - he appears on tracks including Changes, Life on Mars?, Starman and The Jean Genie.
"I've found that fans are not stupid," says Woody. "They really do know if you mean it. They know if you're playing by numbers. And we definitely mean it."
Success didn't come overnight for Bowie. Here he is at the BBC with his band The Manish Boys in 1965. They failed to make it big - and sustained success came only when he began working the band that would become The Spiders from Mars.
A pre-Ziggy Bowie pictured with Dana Gillespie in 1971 - the year Hunky Dory was released. It was the second of his albums on which Woodmansey played.
Mick Ronson with Bowie. Woodmansey was hired by Bowie on Ronson's recommendation - the two had played together in Hull band The Rats.
David Bowie's wife Angie is often credited with helping create the Ziggy Stardust image. Picture: Getty
When asked what would surprise people the most about Bowie, Woodmansey said: "He had a very down-to-earth sense of humour - he was very normal."
Woodmansey's last gig with Bowie took place on July 3 1973 at the Hammersmith Odeon. Towards the end, Bowie told the crowd: "Not only is this the last show of the tour, it's the last show we'll ever do." Picture: Getty
After retiring Ziggy, Bowie went on to create another striking character - the suave yet sinister Thin White Duke. Picture: Getty
David Bowie's son Duncan - originally known to many as Zowie - was born during the period he worked with Woody. Duncan is now a Bafta-winning film director. Picture: Getty
The influence of the Ziggy years lives on in countless artists, including Lady Gaga. Picture: Getty
The 2016 Brit Awards paid tribute to Bowie following his death in January that year. Picture: Getty
Bowie last toured in 2004. Having played to millions of fans around the world, Bowie had to curtail the tour after suffering heart problems. Picture: Getty
The Victoria and Albert Museum staged the blockbuster exhibition David Bowie Is in 2013. It has since toured venues across the world - with the Ziggy years celebrated in suitably colourful fashion. Picture: Getty
One of Bowie's most enduring images was the basis for this mural, painted in Brixton as a tribute after his death. It was inspired by the cover of Aladdin Sane, the last album on which Woodmansey played - showing the lasting legacy of a remarkable era. Picture: Getty