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The 1980 Floor Show

David Bowie 1974

The 1980 Floor Show was a rock musical spectacle featuring David Bowie as the protagonist, held at the Marquee Club in Soho, London, on October 18-20, 1973, and broadcast in the United States by NBC on November 16, 1973, as part of the series The Midnight Special.[1] The show presented the last performance of Bowie as the character Ziggy Stardust.

Lineup and content

The lineup included songs from the albums Aladdin Sane and Pin Ups, as well as the medley "1984 / Dodo".[2] The title of the show was a play-on-words referring to the song "1984" (nineteen eighty-four / nineteen eighty floor), that captured a transitional moment between the glamorous science fiction of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album and the dark dystopia of the Diamond Dogs album, released six months later.[3] The live audience was made up of 200 fan club members.[4]

Visual elements

The visual elements of the show referenced the Ziggy Stardust character, who had been terminated by Bowie along with the Spiders from Mars. The troupe of dancers wore crocheted cobweb-like costumes, and Bowie sported outfits designed by Freddi Buretti, Kansai Yamamoto and Natasha Korniloff, most notably a body-stocking outfit with a flame motif, and a fishnet full-leotard with stuffed gold lamé hands.[4] The keyhole-cutout half-leotard outfit was inspired the Dada artist/poet Tristan Tzara's performance at the Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich) production La Coeur a Gaz. The choreography by Matt Mattox featured a sequence of dancers spelling out the words "1980", "Floor" and "Show" with their bodies.[4]

Bootleg record

A bootleg record of The 1980 Floor Show was released in 1974, called Dollars In Drag - The 1980 Floor Show, by The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label (ASIN: B00RC7WEEO). A multi-disc DVD followed, which shows some of Bowie's and his guests lavish costumes, and includes excerpts of rehearsals and false starts.[5]




Lyrics and music by David Bowie unless otherwise indicated.



  1. ^ David Bowie Is. London, England: The Victoria and Albert Museum. 2013. ISBN 978-1-85177-737-2.
  2. ^ Spitz, Marc (2009). Bowie: A Biography. New York: Three Rivers Press, Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-0-307-71699-6.
  3. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (2 December 2011). The Complete David Bowie. London, England: Titan Books. ISBN 978-0-857-68290-1.
  4. ^ a b c Pegg, Nicholas (2011). The Complete David Bowie. US/UK: Titan Books. ISBN 9780857682901. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ Thompson, Dave. "David Bowie's best bootlegs". Goldmine: The Music Collector's Magazine. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  6. ^ Griffin, Roger (2016). David Bowie: The Golden Years. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857128752. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  7. ^ Morley, Paul (2016). The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference. London/New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-4711-4811-8. Retrieved 11 October 2018.

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