By Jim Johnson

David Bowie‘s 1974 classic “Rebel Rebel” took on Herculean proportions over the weekend when it was played in unison by over 1,000 musicians, according to Rolling Stone. A professionally filmed clip of the volunteer-based rock band dubbed Rockin’ 1000 performed the song in Cesena, Italy’s Orogel Stadium. The other song performed by the massive ensemble was a cover of the White Stripes‘ “Seven Nation Army.” Last year, the group caught the world’s attention with their take on Foo Fighters‘ “Learning To Fly.”

In 1983, David Bowie shed light on how and why the character of “Ziggy Stardust” came to exist: “I think I was quite happy to buy into the idea of reinvention, up until the beginning of the ’80s, really. When I was a teenager, I had it in my mind that I would be a creator of musicals — I sincerely wanted to write musicals for the West End and for Broadway, whatever. I didn’t see much further than that — as a writer. And I really had the idea in my head that people would do my songs. And I was not a natural performer; I didn’t feel at ease onstage — ever. And I had created this one character — ‘Ziggy Stardust’ — that it seemed that I would be the one who played him, because nobody else was doing my songs and the chance of my getting a musical mounted were very slim, and so, I became ‘Ziggy Stardust’ for that period.”

  • Two days after his 69th birthday David Bowie died on Sunday, January 10th, following a private 18-month battle with cancer.


  • David Bowie‘s “Rebel Rebel” was first released on February 15th, 1974 and had been written the previous year for his aborted Ziggy Stardust musical.
  • “Rebel Rebel,” which features Bowie on lead guitar, was included on the 1974 Diamond Dogs album, and marks Bowie’s last single in the glam rock vein, and his first hit since 1969 to not feature longtime collaborator and lead guitarist Mick Ronson.
  • Although the single soared to Number Five in England, “Rebel Rebel” stalled at Number 64 in the U.S.

CHECK IT OUT: Rockin’ 1000’s performance of “Rebel Rebel”:


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