Meet the Weirdo Texan Who Inspired Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”

Take your protein pills, and put your helmet on.

So, we all know David Bowie’s masterpiece, “Space Oddity.”

At least, I hope we do. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to share this little tidbit, since I for one had always just assumed that Bowie’s weird glamour was the result of some personally inherent magic. In the past few years, I’ve been exploring the phenomenon of Outsider Music, and in doing so, I have discovered that the essence of Ziggy Stardust was rooted in the obscure High Strangeness of an iconoclastic Texan known to his friends as The Ledge, aka Norman Carl Odham, aka the Legendary Stardust Cowboy.

From Noisey:

“No one knows what’s going to happen when the Legendary Stardust Cowboy takes the stage. Decked out in a cowboy hat and boots, spurs, leather chaps, and a jean jacket with his name emblazoned on the back, the 69-year-old singer carries a bugle and shoots off a pistol filled with blanks. He may ride a stick horse around stage and he’ll probably strip down to his underwear, but he never plays the same show twice.”

I really like the fact that, when you first hear him, he sounds like Johnny Cash. But then: oh, the discord! The off-key huffing and wailing! it’s just… so, so… perfect, in it’s own way. The guy’s a riot. So read the whole darn thing over at Noisey then, for Pete Sakes, which, as far as I can tell, is some kinda special musical section connected to the thing, or whatnot.

Let’s all bring the power o’ The Ledge to our Holidays meals this year! His demented little ditties are the nutmeg-infused reefer your brandy eggnog has been waiting for!

J. B. Turnstone

J. B. Turnstone

The Last Human Lighthouse Keeper at Hamlet's Mill, via
High Priest and Highly Reluctant Treasurer of the Alleged Order of the Nettle and the Toad, an Occult Society for Occultists Who Can't Bear to Keep Anything Occulted. Founder and Vice President, Luddite Ornithologists League (LOL). I shan't apologize for being a politically incorrect omnivore.
J. B. Turnstone