Mick Ronson might be considered the #1 Spider from Mars. He certainly will go down in history as one of David Bowie’s chief collaborators and one of the people most responsible for the glam sound.
Ronson worked on several of the core albums of Bowie’s early period, including most obviously The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars as well as The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, and Aladdin Sane. He played on All the Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople and Transformer by Lou Reed, on which he was also a producer. In 1974 Ronson released his first solo album, Slaughter on 10th Avenue on which appeared the Elvis cover “Love Me Tender” and “Growing Up and I’m Fine,” co-written by Bowie.
“All the Young Dudes,” “Perfect Day,” and “Walk on the Wild Side” are just a few of the legendary songs Ronson was significantly involved with. He also worked with Bob Dylan and Morrissey. Sadly, Ronson passed away of liver cancer on April 29, 1993, at the age of 46.
Beside Bowie: The Story of Mick Ronson is a new documentary produced by Emperor Media Production in association with Cardinal Releasing Ltd. It was directed by Jon Brewer, who has also produced movies on B.B. King and Nat King Cole. Today it popped up unceremoniously on Vimeo.
The movie features interviews with Angie Bowie, Lou Reed, Tony Visconti, Ian Hunter, Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols, Roger Taylor of Queen, and Joe Elliott of Def Leppard. Bowie’s comments are uniformly delivered in voiceover.
As David Bowie once said, “As a rock duo, I thought we were every bit as good as Mick and Keith, or Axl and Slash. Ziggy and Mick were the personification of that rock and roll dualism.” Watch Beside Bowie before it gets pulled.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Deconstructing ‘Suffragette City’: Hear David Bowie and Mick Ronson in the Studio 1972