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Vacuum Cleaners, David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust! No Really!

David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust

Admittedly it’s a bit of a stretch. Vacuum cleaners are hardly a sexy news item – if a news item at all. Every home needs a vacuum cleaner. At Vacuum Works we sell them, repair them and carry enough vacuum accessories to keep your vacuums running and your homes clean. Most of the info out there on vacuums has to do with performance and technical advancements. All good and important information for us, but not exactly riveting stuff. So when I come across something that has a human interest element, well … I just have to share it.

 

Apparently David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust was inspired by the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Norman Carl Odam, whose serendipitous break into the music scene of the late 60’s was in no small part thanks to a bunch of vacuum cleaner salesmen.

 

“Norman Carl Odam typically goes by the “The Lege” short for “legend.” As it turns out, vacuum cleaner salesmen play a huge role in his quick rise to national stardom from Forth Worth  Raised in Lubbock, Odam set sail for Dallas but the music scene wanted nothing to do with him … During one particular Fort Worth performance, truck drivers were heckling Odam. But they were apparently no match for a bunch of vacuum cleaner salesmen who were there to see him perform for the second night in a row.

“They were ready to throw those truck drivers into the swimming pool, Odam remembers, “I guess if they could’ve got enough vacuum cleaners thy just could’ve sucked them up.”

Eventually they vacuum cleaner salesmen were knocking on his motel room door. Their office was next door to T-Bone Burnett’s recording studio. Burnett was a music industry veteran with a storied career. They told Burnett about this crazy singer and that he should hear him, and an icon was born. He begtan recording for Mercury Records. But the story doesn’t end there.

Bowie was also on the Mercury label. At some point someone at Mercury handed him a few records by the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. Bowie liked the music enough to use “stardust” for his alter ego’s last name. Years later, Bowie covered Odam’s “I took a trip on a Gemini Spaceship”

… you can read the whole article in The Dallas Observer’

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