ZIGGY STARDUST arrived on Planet Earth in 1972 and made his entrance to the world from the steps of number 23 Heddon Street, just off Regent Street in London.
A pop legend was born and the scene immortalised on the cover of the rock album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
The Ziggy Stardust character and concept was created by David Bowie and the album released on 6th June 1972. This whole episode of Bowie’s career is immersed in myth and legend, including why Heddon Street was chosen as the location for the album cover. One suggestion is that the decision might have been influenced by Mick Ronson, the Hull-born song writer who worked with Bowie.
But whatever the reason, this gives Hedon a permanent link with Rock History!
Heddon Street in London was built on land that formed part of the estate of William Pulteney, the 1st Earl of Bath. Pulteney had been an MP representing Hedon from 1705 to 1734.
Heddon Street was named after Hedon. Heddon is one of the spellings of the town common at the time; as is Heydon. Pulteney was also Baron Pulteney of Heydon.
History is served by a rich mix of ingredients. If the wealthy William Pulteney hadn’t bought his parliamentary seat of Hedon; and if his agents hadn’t bought property and built houses in the area of Regent Street – then Ziggy’s first step into the world might have been from somewhere else!
But no! Hedon has its status in legend!
The Crown Estate are the current landlords of Heddon Street, and in March 2012 they installed a black plaque at 23 Heddon Street to commemorate the place where the album’s cover was actually taken. This is the first time that the Crown Estate have installed a plaque dedicated to a fictional character – history indeed!
Thanks to John Dennis for inspiring this historical tale!