Yet another sign of Bowie as transcendent cultural and marketing phenomena: The Hotel Ziggy is a new rock-themed hotel located on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. The hotel’s proprietor is quite explicit about the hotel being named for Ziggy Stardust, but if you watch the promotional video, there are no explicit images of or references to Ziggy Stardust or David Bowie. There’s plenty of rock iconography, but no Bowie.
I see this as being of a piece with what I was writing about yesterday — Bowie themed shoes that don’t use Bowie’s name or image. The word “Ziggy” contains so much cultural meaning that’s it doesn’t need additional explanation. It is the explanation. And again, “Ziggy” is not resonant of the artist who died in 2016 (who happened to have a hit record on the charts at the time of his death)— its a reference to one of Bowie’s creations that is more than 50 years old. Bowie’s artistry from that period has been marinating long enough to detach from the man himself and live on in the form of abstract concepts.
Jon Bortz, identified as the hotel’s chief imagineer, explained in a NME article (click to link), “What better location than the sunset strip to celebrate the rebellious spirit of norm-breaking musicians who have changed how we live?” So he felt the need to explain the relationship between the hotel’s location and its theme, but the name speaks for itself.