Live Santa Monica '72

1994 Version:

  1. Intro [0.15]

  2. Hang On To Yourself [2.47]

  3. Ziggy Stardust [3.24]

  4. Changes [3.32]

  5. The Supermen [2.57]

  6. Life On Mars? [3.28]

  7. Five Years [5.21]

  8. Space Oddity [5.22]

  9. Andy Warhol [3.58]

  10. My Death [5.56]

  11. The Width Of A Circle [10.39]

  12. Queen Bitch [3.01]

  13. Moonage Daydream [4.38]

  14. John, I'm Only Dancing [3.36]

  15. Waiting For The Man [6.01]

  16. The Jean Genie [4.02]

  17. Suffragette City [4.25]

  18. Rock 'n' Roll Suicide [3.17]

2008 Version:

  1. Introduction [0.13]

  2. Hang On To Yourself [2.46]

  3. Ziggy Stardust [3.23]

  4. Changes [3.27]

  5. The Supermen [2.55]

  6. Life On Mars? [3.28]

  7. Five Years [4.32]

  8. Space Oddity [5.05]

  9. Andy Warhol [3.50]

  10. My Death [5.51]

  11. The Width Of A Circle [10.44]

  12. Queen Bitch [3.00]

  13. Moonage Daydream [4.53]

  14. John, I'm Only Dancing [3.16]

  15. Waiting For The Man [5.45]

  16. The Jean Genie [4.00]

  17. Suffragetter City [4.12]

  18. Rock 'n' Roll Suicide [3.01]

Live Santa Monica '72

Released:

  • Trident Music International/Golden Years GY002 - April 1994

  • Intermusic APH 102804 - 1995

  • EMI 07243 583221 2 5 - June 2008

  • Parlophone DB69737 - June 2016 (LP)

Personnel:

  • David Bowie: Vocals, Guitar

  • Mick Ronson: Guitar

  • Trevor Bolder: Bass

  • Mick Woodmansey: Drums

  • Mike Garson: Piano

Recorded:

  • Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica

Recorded on October 20th 1972 during Bowie's first US tour, this Ziggy Stardust gig was originally broadcast on American FM radio. It was a favourite among bootleg collectors for many years before it received a semi-official and short-lived release from the MainMan stable in 1994, followed by a proper Bowie-sanctioned reissue by EMI in 2008. Many consider Santa Monica '72 to have the edge on Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture; certainly, despite its inferior sound quality, it's a very valuable record of an earlier phase in the Ziggy Stardust era. The playing is tighter and more R&B-styled than the later gig, with the lush excesses of both Mick Ronson's guitar and Mike Garson's piano not yet fully indulged. There's an early rendition of "The Jean Genie" (whose video was shot only eight days later), and there are plenty of songs later dropped from the repertoire. "I can tell that I'm totally into being Ziggy by this stage of our touring," David wrote in the liner notes of the 2008 reissue. "It's no longer an act; I am him. This would be around the tenth American show for us and you can hear that we are all pretty high on ourselves. We train-wreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn't know that pianist Mike Garson was on stage with us but overall I really treasure this bootleg. Mick Ronson is at his blistering best."

 

Also of note is the delightful packaging of both releases. The 1994 edition includes a replica ticket for the Santa Monica concert and a plethora of material from the MainMan archives: rare photos, backstage passes, equipment invoices, RCA telegrams and even payslips for the band, which reveal the disparity between the wages (none of them large) doled out to Bowie, Ronson, Bolder and Woodmansey. (By contrast, a short-lived 1995 European repackage arrived in a desperately ugly sleeve under the clumsy title Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars "Live".)

 

In 2008 the long-deleted MainMan CD was superseded by EMI's official remastering, now subtly retitled Live Santa Monica '72. The packaging was once again beautiful, this time duplicating the Scotch tape labels of the original radio recording alongside George Underwood's 1972 artwork for a live album that never materialised, together with card facsimiles of RCA publicity photos and a review of the Santa Monica gig from The Los Angeles Times. The sound quality is punchier than the 1994 release, but some heavily applied compression means it isn't necessarily an overall improvement, and it's a pity that some of the banter between songs has been excised from this version: for those who grew up with the bootleg, David's drawling introduction to "The Jean Genie" and his camp Andy Warhol impersonation, not to mention the unruffled radio announcer signing off at the end, are part and parcel of the recording's charm.

 

After a few months, the deluxe boxed packaging of the EMI version was replaced by a standard CD jewel case. In 2015 Parlophone reissued the same master in the Five Years (1969-1973) box set, marking the album's vinyl debut; a standalone release followed some months later.