“Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story”

A Celebration

Amos Lassen

“Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” is one of the few rock and roll concerts that I have seen and one that I will never forget. It began with Mick Ronson alone on the stage playing his guitar as a clear plastic ball with David Bowie inside descended from the ceiling. Ronson’s guitar mesmerized us even though he was not the one we came to see. By the end of the concert, everyone talked about him and how he managed to almost steal the show.

“Beside Bowie” is a celebration of the life and works of guitar virtuoso Mick Ronson, a rock hero who was virtually uncelebrated even with “his direct contribution and involvement in countless compositions, lyrics and recordings that changed the face of music forever”.

Mick Ronson’s life began in Hull, England and while living there, he was known to modest and unpretentious. He worked with the city’s council while pursuing his craft with total dedication. Soon word of his talent reached David Bowie, who jumped at the chance to work with Ronson and that became a career-long association. Ronson also collaborated with other greats such as Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter, Lulu, Lou Reed, Morrissey and John Mellencamp. The albums with Bowie included “Ziggy Stardust”, “The Man Who Sold the World”, “Aladdin Sane” and “Hunky Dory”. These were all were constructed with Ronson on guitar.

While working on a solo album in 1993, Ronson died and this was before receiving the recognition he so richly deserved. This film contains unprecedented archival backstage footage that has never before been released and iconic imagery from superstar photographer Mick Rock. It is a fascinating and at times controversial authentic chronicle of the career of Ronson, a cornerstone of rock. Producer and director Jon Brewer has said that Ronson and Bowie were the “ultimate duo” whose masterpieces “will live on forever.”

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