It’s great when you hear a song and it transports you back to a specific moment in time. Like when I hear Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’, and I can picture myself in my living room dancing round with a revolving disco ball and my two housemates. Or ‘Born in the USA’ by Bruce Springsteen and I’m driving through America on a family road trip.
When I listen to Bowie, the same thing happens. I’m dancing at a friend’s house or on the way to Glastonbury. He pops up left right and centre. And he’s popping up in a pop-up shop in London. Well, not him. That would be weird. But a whole space dedicated to him to celebrate 75 years since his birth.
The space is on Heddon Street where the late pop star did a photo shoot for his moniker Ziggy Stardust, for the record The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The aim of the pop-up is to celebrate all things Bowie with an immersive look into his life, career and the changing era that surrounded him. There is a 360 reality audio and an immersive music and video experience so you can get full absorbed.
The store opened on the 25th October, 75 days before his 75th birthday (it’s basically just an excuse to make you do all of your Christmas shopping there, right?). You’ll be able to watch previously unseen footage of Bowie and rare clips of the time around the release of his albums Heathen and Reality.
You’ll also be able to dress up in some funky outfits, and there will be a whole host of events with appearances from special guests, such as film composer Geoff MacCormack and British businessman (and Twiggy’s manager) Justin de Villeneuve. And it’s all free – except for the special events, which you obvs have to pay for. The pop-up sells everything from necklaces and t-shirts to records – it’s basically one big retail therapy session.
It's basically one big retail therapy session
However, the most important question I have in all of this, is of course, will I finally find out how to pronounce Bowie?
Are you jetting off to New York at any point? I only ask because they’ve also opened a pop-up there too. The second store is on Wooster Street, where Bowie’s final outing, Blackstar, was created. Expect the same thing, just across the pond.
However, the most important question I have in all of this, is of course, will I finally find out how to pronounce Bowie? Is it bow, like a bow in a little girl’s hair? Or bow, as in bow to an audience? So… I’ve not been able to wait until I get to the pop-up. Instead, I Googled a YouTube video of him saying his name (it seems this is a very common search). And it turns out it’s the former, like toe. Just remember it like Bowie Toe-y. You’re welcome.
Are you jetting off to New York at any point? I only ask because they've also opened a pop-up there too.
Obviously, if all this Bowie paraphernalia isn’t enough for you. Then there are few other ways you can draw the experience out. You can visit Ziggy’s at Hotel Café Royal. Well, actually you can’t right now because it’s closed for maintenance, but you will be able to soon. This bar on the first floor is a playful tribute to Bowie, who famously held the retirement party for his alter ego Ziggy Stardust here in the 1970s.
Instead, why not try Ziggy Green, also on Heddon Street and named after the late pop-star. Indulge in bottomless brunches and punchy cocktails surrounded by Bowie-inspired artworks. Nearby there is also The Ship on Wardour Street where Bowie gave interviews to journalists; have a pint and reminisce about the Star Man. Or why not crossover to the other side of town and head to Brixton, where you’ll find a giant mural of Bowie’s head, and you can go on a tour to retrace his history from birth and school to new-found fame.
Where: 14 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BZ