December 2017


Mick Ronson: 2017
Book Review By: Jimi LaLumia

I have never seen as much interest in all things "MainMan" since 1973 and 1974, when the MainMan organization set up shop in NYC, intent on selling David Bowie to America;along for the ride were stellar figures like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop,Wayne(Jayne) County, Cherry Vanilla, Leee Black Childers,Tony Zanetta, Angie Bowie, and Dana Gillespie, but front and center, right beside Bowie, was his guitarist/arranger/co star Mick Ronson, who recently seemed to be lost in the sands of time, until now, when a gorgeous new DVD detailing the life and times of the late Mr.Ronson, aptly titled Beside Bowie",has been released by MVD, just in time to fill many a Christmas stocking(fishnet).

The detailed history of Ronson's early days and initial meeing with David and Angie Bowie, right through the success of 'Ziggy Stardust' and Ronno's work with Lou Reed, Mott The Hoople, Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp, is stunning; the behind the scenes story of how Mick and The Spiders From Mars were screwed financially and career wise by MainMan is an eye opener. Mick's attempt at a solo career after his split with Bowie is also examined realistically, and the participation of his wife, Suzi Ronson, is priceless; she invented Bowie's iconic hair style, circa 1972, which insures her place in rockandroll history.

Serving as a companion to the Beside Bowie DVD is the re-issue of a paperback book,"The Definitive Biography; Mick Ronson;The Spider With Platinum Hair" by 'Weird & Gilly" (which, of course, are names of characters from the Ziggy Stardust album); the book covers some of the same territory as the DVD, but of course goes much deeper into every part of Ronno's life and career; while indulging myself in all this, I found out that the RCA solo Ronson albums were, in the past decade, released on DVDs with bonus tracks. "Slaughter On 10th Avenue" was re-issued by U.K. label Cherry Red, and the follow up LP, "Play Don't Worry" is also out on a UK imprint, unfortunately called Lemon Records; it is so sad that RCA Records let these properties go, as the time is right for proper expanded editions of these amazing artifacts from one of the most versatile talents to emerge from the 1970's;do your homework and enjoy the life and times of this iconic character this holiday season;...MainMan Forever!