New Mick Ronson Book Celebrates David Bowie’s Guitarist Genius


He was 12 at the time and our weekly dose of Top Of The Pops music came to a halt on July 6, 1972 when, during Starman David Bowie’s performance, already playing straight in front of the camera and in flamboyantly glamorous make-up, he put his arms around his guitarist in the middle of the song to pull him towards the microphone.

On guitar, Mick Ronson and Garry recalled how they knew each other, as Mick was the guy who cut the grass locally for the Hull council.

It wasn’t just a musical moment, it was national exposure in the Ziggy Stardust era. Together with BBC producer Rupert Creed, Garry has released The Mick Ronson Story (McNidder & Grace, £14.99).

Gary Burnett with the new Mick Ronson book

A multimedia stage show was the initial project with storytelling and live music called Turn And Face The Strange and they sold their run in association with Hull Truck Theatre.

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Ronson’s legacy cannot be underestimated. Bowie wanted to work with him as soon as they met, and they collaborated on The Man Who Sold The World and Hunky Dory albums before Spiders From Mars reunited for The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust.

Midge Ure saw the tour at Greens Playhouse Glasgow, in January 1973, when her own band Salvation were doing covers at places like Clouds in Edinburgh and Templehall Community Centre.

When he formed Rich Kids in 1978, it was Mick Ronson he wanted as a producer, and their first album was born.

Ronno would arrange, produce and perform on a number of projects including with Ian Hunter in Mott The Hoople but also Morrissey in Your Arsenal in March 1992. The book explores the musician’s life as the production of Lou Reed’s Transformer album with Bowie, joining Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue Tour or working with Meat Loaf on Dead Ringer or John Cougar Mellencamp on Jack & Diane.

Early life in Hull too with his band The Crestas and The Rats is examined where his guitar craft was formed. In April 1991 he began chemotherapy for terminal liver cancer and died on May 6, 1993, leaving behind a wealth of creative music only now seen collectively.

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