Mick Ronson, David Bowie’s early guitarist in an outtake from the 1996 documentary “Hang On To Yourself,”describing being blindsided by Bowie who decided to come out as gay at the height of their popularity in a 1972 interview in Melody Maker.

A candid Ronson reveals the adverse way Bowie’s public admission affected him and his family back in north England, including the family car being doused with paint.


mick ronson

Excerpt from original Melody Maker Magazine Jan, 22, 1972: David uses words like “varda” and “super” quite a lot. He’s gay, he says. Mmmmmmmm. A few months back, when he played Hampstedt’s Country Club, a small greasy club in north London which has seen all sorts of exciting occasions, about half the gay population of the city turned up to see him in his massive floppy velvet hat, which he twirled around at the end of each number. According to Stuart Lyon, the club’s manager, a little gay brother sat right up close to the stage throughout the whole evening, absolutely spellbound with admiration. As it happens, David doesn’t have much time for Gay Liberation, however. That’s a particular movement he doesn’t want to lead. He despises all these tribal qualifications. Flower Power he enjoyed, but it’s individuality that he’s really trying to preserve. The paradox is that he still has what he describes as “a good relationship” with his wife. And his baby son, Zowie. He supposes he’s what people call bisexual. h/t melodymaker

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Ronson famously played guitar on “Space Oddity,” as well on many other major Bowie hits off albums, The Man Who Sold the World, 1970, Hunky Dory, 1971,
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 1972,
Aladdin Sane, 1973 and Pin Ups, 1973.

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