STEVE: A singer, a writer, an actress, she's pretty much covered all the bases of the arts she's interested in I think. Will you welcome, to the Rock College, our Guest Lecturer for this week – it's none other than Toyah Willcox! 

TOYAH: Hello! I'm Toyah Willcox. I'm a singer and an actress. I'm 54 years old so I'm young enough remember when "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars” was released by David Bowie. It came out in 1972 and this was a moment that changed my life forever. This is an album that is going to be re-discovered and re-discovered by generation and generation.

But but was life changing for me was here you had an artist who was not only a phenomenal songwriter: he'd been writing incredible songs for at least six years before this album's release but he also was one of the most charismatic people in the whole of the universe.

I was born in Birmingham and I was watching TV one day and I was watching a show called “Licked (?) Off With Asia” when David Bowie came on and sang “Starman”. And he was wearing a jumpsuit and he had spikey red hair and I was first attracted to the image and androgyny. And then I was drawn into the song and the narrative of the song which about David Bowie at this time was always about alienation. 

And it just made feel as if I wasn't alone on planet earth. And like many teenagers at the time I didn't feel I belonged in the society, I was being formed into fitting – I was a square peg being squeezed into a round hole.

And David Bowie came along and he gave us all a voice. And that was the character of Ziggy Stardust. There are so many incredible songs on this album. Every one is absolutely mind-blowing and can change your life forever. One of the most prominent ones is “Rock'nRoll Suicide” which is just the most perfect song for a depressive teenager.

It's about early mornings, cigarette in hand, the milk float is gliding down the rainy street and you are alone and you feel as though you are alone in life as well. If you haven't heard this album I recommend that you go out and get it. This is an album that inspired every major rock star since. It is utterly stunning.


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