The image of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust is etched eternally in the minds and hearts of millions of people around the world. The story of how that hair came to be is less familiar, but it’s equally as captivating.
Suzi Ronson took to the stage in April 2016 to talk about how she came to go on tour with Bowie and his band, a whirlwind story that recently aired on The Moth Radio Hour. It all started with a simple haircut.
While working as a hairstylist at a local salon in her staid London neighborhood, Ronson met Mrs. Jones, an older woman who came in for a weekly Thursday afternoon shampoo and set and often spoke about her son “David,” an artist who “sings in a band.”
That “David,” of course, turned out to be David Bowie, who had just released “Space Oddity.” A series of events landed Ronson in Bowie’s home to give his wife Angie Bowie a last-minute holiday cut. Ronson said Bowie, who had long blonde hair at the time, showed her an image of a female model in a magazine and asked her if she could cut his hair short and dye it red.
Ronson said she wasn’t sure she’d be able to pull off the look, though she told Bowie it was no problem. Unfortunately, the result was initially not the stiff, perfectly coiffed look we’re all familiar with.
Ronson said Bowie’s hair just flopped over to one side, to the dismay of them both. Explaining that the stylists had “no product in those days,” she ended up trying an anti-dandruff treatment she had previously used on women at her salon that “set hair like stone.” Results achieved, she charged the Bowies two pounds for both haircuts and left.
You’ll want to hear the rest of this exciting story in the video above. Ronson’s tale is also featured in the upcoming book The Moth Presents: All These Wonders - True Stories About Facing The Unknown.
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