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About the book
  • Published: 3 December 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786090638
  • Imprint: Windmill Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $30.00

When Ziggy Played Guitar

David Bowie, The Man Who Changed The World

GQ Editor Dylan Jones' classic account of David Bowie's legendary appearance as Ziggy Stardust on Top of the Pops in 1972.

6 JULY, 1972
David Bowie appears on Top of the Pops for a third time.

His quiff is big, bold, and the colour of fire. His make-up is lavish. His jumpsuit is a wild burst of colourful patterns, like a fluorescent fish skin. He carries a brand-new blue acoustic guitar. There's excitement, mixed with incredulity. And then he begins to play.

It's a moment that will change the world of music forever.

This is Ziggy Stardust, what would become Bowie's most famous persona. It's an instant seismic shift in the zeitgeist. This one performance embeds Ziggy Stardust into the nation's consciousness, and music will never be the same again.

In When Ziggy Played Guitar, Dylan Jones looks back at one of the most influential moments in pop history,the birth of an icon, and the myriad unexpected ways that David Bowie reshaped pop culture.

  • Pub date: 3 December 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786090638
  • Imprint: Windmill Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $30.00

About the Author

Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones is the multi-award winning editor of GQ magazine.He has been an editor at i-D magazine, The Face, Arena, the Observer and the Sunday Times. He is a Trustee of the Hay Festival, a board member of the Norman Mailer Foundation and was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to publishing. He has written twenty books including the critically aclaimed When Ziggy Played Guitar and From the Ground Up, U2's celebration of their record-breaking 360° tour.

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Praise for When Ziggy Played Guitar

“His blow-by-blow account of the performance is breathless in its fan-boy enthusiasm and much of the rest of When Ziggy Played Guitar is rooted in its personal impressions. “The by-product of Ziggy’s success was the validation of identity, our identity”, Jones writes, and it’s hard not to be moved by his hero worship.”

New Statesman

“Jones is a wonderfully fluent writer, with a terrific knack for atmospheric phrasemaking, period detail and juicy factoids.”

Daily Telegraph

“Dylan Jones’s account of David Bowie’s rise to superstardom. We’ll eat up anything about the greatest pop star who ever walked this planet.”

The Herald Magazine

“Unlike previous Bowie biographies, Jones’ book says less about Bowie and more about the time, reading often, and in a very entertaining way, like a culturally-aware history textbook. For every mention of the miners’ strike or Bloody Sunday there’s a full page devoted to The Velvet Underground or A Clockwork Orange – and these pages are needed to help fully explain how Bowie put together this character who proclaimed "let all the children boogie".”


“Meticulously researched by GQ editor Dylan Jones…this 214-page tome enlists the help of people like Bono, Neil Tennant, Siouxsie Sioux and ahem, Tony Blackburn to put those 240 glorious seconds into cultural context.”

Hot Press Magazine

“A personal view of one of the most influential moments in pop history.”

Choice magazine

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