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RIP Stan Harris

Stan Harris was not a name I knew until I saw his obit. He passed away at the age of 92 on Monday, September 18th in Toronto. He was a prolific television director whose path briefly crossed with Bowie’s as he directed the 1980 Floor Show in 1973.

I’ve posted videos related to the 1980 Floor Show many times before and I don’t like posting the same videos more than once, so I’ll link to some older posts below if you want to see that as well as some of my past commentary. Here I included a picture of Harris as well as some pictures from the show he directed, featuring Bowie during his actual very last appearance as Ziggy Stardust. This is contrary to Bowie’s own previous announcement that his appearance at the Hammersmith Odeon, which was documented in Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, was the last concert “he’d ever do,” a statement which in itself was retroactively interpreted to mean his last concert as Ziggy with the Spiders from Mars. That wasn’t, but this was. And it turns out that the guy who captured it on film was Stan Harris.

The pictures, which I downloaded off the internet, are appropriately grainy much as every video I’ve seen and recording I’ve heard have been grainy or fuzzy or both. It’s a good candidate for being spiffed up and re-released.

Ziggy Stardust: the Motion Picture has gotten a lot of attention this year, which is the 50th anniversary of the concert. It reappeared in movie theaters this year and a restored version of the soundtrack was reissued. The 1980 Floor Show deserves the same treatment, or at least a restored soundtrack. The version I have, which might not even be an official release, has unusually poor sound quality. Also, though Bowie performs nine songs, the overall record includes several song from guest stars whose quality varies but distract from Bowie’s performance (so what I’m advocating for is a restored Bowie-only CD). Also, presumably thanks in part to Harris’ direction, the visual aspects of the show are at least as interesting as those of The Ziggy movie.

For more on Stan Harris, click here.

For my commentary on the album version of The 1980 Floor Show, which includes a video of the 45 minute long Midnight Special version, click here.

For my short commentary on an eight-hour video including the whole show plus a bunch of extra material, click here.

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