“Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and dismay”
The first time I listened to “Lady Stardust”, an image was portrayed in my mind: a flamboyant creature that expresses femininity and attracts everybody´s eyes. In the beginning I thought it was about Ziggy because the androgynous style he developed. But why Bowie should have composed two songs that talk about the same subject? And if in the course of TRAFOZSATSFM it is built the climax to the moment when Ziggy´s energy explodes, why Bowie presents him in a song previously?
The thing is that, without contradicting my speculations, “Lady Stardust” is a predecessor to Ziggy Stardust, probably the person who he took some features to model his own freaky glittering character.
I think that the make-up on his face and the long black hair only can point us to a specific (glam) rocker: Marc Bolan. It is not stranger that Bolan appears in a Bowie song knowing that T.Rex was named in “All the Young Dudes” and he was a very big influence to David who was concerned about every opinion he had about his music. Maybe at a first place, it was not supposed to be a song dedicated to Marc as you can see in the original lyrics it says “his long blond hair” which doesn´t fit with Bolan´s anatomy. Or maybe Bowie tried to expose a generic type of a Glam rocker. But it is sure that that hypnotized feeling when young people saw Marc and T.Rex on stage is well described in the song (maybe someone who was young in the 70 can tell me if I am wrong or not). The song is mined by American expressions that Bowie had read in the letter of a fan according with in that moment his manager Kenneth Pitt. He was so fascinated with these slangs that he used them in his daily basis. Another example of how American culture took all his attention.
In August 1972 in the Rainbow theatre when Bowie played the song lived with the Spiders, a picture of Bolan was reflected in the back of the stage. This repeats every time they played the song in the tour.