NZ Bowie Rock Opera, promoted by Bowie Himself
Let’s turn on with me and you’re not alone…
No, that’s not Doctor Who’s TARDIS about to move to another space-time continuum above…it’s the Ziggy phone box, as seen on the back of the Ziggy Stardust album and used in the 1974 press adverts for the UK Rock ‘N Roll Suicide 45, appropriately enough.
This news item is about a rock opera called ROCK AND ROLL SUICIDE taking place in Arrowtown, New Zealand from Wednesday the 27th through to Friday the 29th…and there is a link to the Time Lord’s machine.
The thing is, even though I’m posting this during the afternoon of Tuesday the 26th, these NZ guys are from the future and they’ll shortly be getting up on the morning of the 27th, the day of the first show. Bloody weirdoes.
Anyway, over to the details of what’s about to go down…
Rock and Roll Suicide stars (from left) Shaun Vining, as Idol, Max Gunn (17), as Joe Rockstar,and Pearly McGrath, as Susie Diva, Joe’s girlfriend, pose during the company’s first dress rehearsal with the band, in the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall, on Wednesday night. The rock opera debuts in the hall on Wednesday and plays until Friday. Photograph by James Beech.
JOE ROCKSTAR, is a young man who dreams of becoming a rock star. He takes his guitar and heads to London, where he is jostled and confronted, but eventually joins the groove. He finds himself in a local nightclub, where he sees IDOL on the stage for the first time. He is amazed by IDOL, and inspired. He decides this is who he wants to be.
JOE also notices SUZY DIVA and they quickly fall in love with each other and their mutual desire for fame. They dance together and are spotted by JUPITER, the record executive and his evil side-kick VEX, who quickly makes them a “deal”. JOE seizes the opportunity for fortune and fame and SUZI reluctantly agrees. JUPITER starts to favour JOE over IDOL and the public loses their love of IDOL, and embraces JOE. His fall from Grace pushes IDOL over the edge and he succumbs to madness.
Meanwhile JOE is eating up the hype. He swears to SUZI that he will not forget her as his fame climbs and hers stays the same. But this is not to be, as he begins to upstage her, neglect her, and indulge too far, too fast into his new found world of drugs and fame. Eventually, his drinking and drug taking over step the boundary, and SUZI leaves. He is left with his empty glamorous world and becomes self-destructive. JUPITER pushes him to keep going, regardless of his obvious decline. When JUPITER sees that JOE is blowing it on-stage, he drops JOE and embraces a new face, DJ.
JOE tries to commit suicide and his body loses life. However, he chooses life, and when SUZY finally lets go of his lifeless hand, he miraculously regains consciousness and reaches out for her. He escapes total destruction and reclaims himself, his music, and his love for SUZY regardless of fame.
Then everybody sings “Ziggy Stardust”.
You can read more regarding the show over at the Otago Daily Times, where director and co-producer, Margaret O’Hanlon, also talks about the production.
I’ll leave you with a list of the songs performed during ROCK AND ROLL SUICIDE with the performer in each case….
ROCK AND ROLL SUICIDE – A ROCK OPERA FEATURING THE MUSIC OF DAVID BOWIE
STATION TO STATION – COMPANY
LADY STARDUST – IDOL, COMPANY
LIFE ON MARS? – SUZY, COMPANY
STARMAN – JOE, COMPANY
JOHN, I’M ONLY DANCING – COMPANY
THE PRETTIEST STAR – JOE, SUZY
SWEET THING/CANDIDATE – JUPITER, VEX, IDOL
CHANGES – JOE, COMPANY
FAME – COMPANY
THE BEWLAY BROTHERS – IDOL, COMPANY
SUFFRAGETTE CITY – JOE, COMPANY
WHEN I LIVE MY DREAM – JOE, SUZY
1984 – COMPANY
TIME – JUPITER, IDOL, VEX
ROCK AND ROLL WITH ME – JOE, SUZY, COMPANY
“HEROES” – SUZY, COMPANY
LADY GRINNING SOUL – MEDUSA
GOLDEN YEARS – JUPITER, COMPANY
DJ – DJ, COMPANY
ALWAYS CRASHING IN THE SAME CAR – JOE
“HEROES”/WHEN I LIVE MY DREAM/STARMAN REPRISE – SUZY, COMPANY
TONIGHT – SUZY, COMPANY
ROCK-N-ROLL SUICIDEJUPITER, JOE, IDOL
ZIGGY STARDUST – COMPANY