Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Bowie's world debuts of Hunky Dory & Ziggy Stardust were at Friars Aylesbury. We are creating a stunning statue in the Market Square.
Bowie's world debuts of Hunky Dory & Ziggy Stardust were at Friars Aylesbury. We are creating a stunning statue in the Market Square.
747 backers pledged £115,199 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

David Bowie Statue - Aylesbury Market Square UK project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

£115,199

747

David Bowie had a very special connection with Friars Aylesbury. We are going to celebrate that connection by creating a stunning statue of David in Aylesbury Market Square, the same Market Square he referenced in the first line of ‘Five Years’, the opening track of one of the most iconic albums of the 20th Century, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars. The sculptor will be Andrew Sinclair, one of the best in the world. We need you to participate in this Kickstarter campaign to help us make this happen. 

Why Aylesbury? Bowie played an experimental gig at the Friars club in Aylesbury in September 1971 to see if he could cut it playing live. We were aware of his ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ album and the ‘Space Oddity’ single which had been a hit two years before. He needn’t have worried. Not only did he go down a storm that night, but he gave us the world debut of ‘Hunky Dory’ which at that time had not been released. After the gig, in the Friars dressing room, he said to Woody Woodmansey, Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder “This was great tonight. Let's form a band and go out and do it properly.” Four months later he played Friars Aylesbury for the second time. In the interim period ‘Hunky Dory’ had been released and immediately went to No 1 in the local Aylesbury album chart. So on 29 January 1972 we were very excited about seeing him play Hunky Dory. He did play a few songs from that album but the majority of the set was a completely stunning new suite of songs which turned out to be the Ziggy Stardust album. So, Aylesbury was the place that one of the greatest stars of the modern era chose to perform the world debut of both ‘Hunky Dory’ and ‘Ziggy Stardust’. 

Roger Taylor from Queen was at that January ‘72 gig. Here’s what he had to say about it: ‘I got Freddie out in my little mini and I remember the lights didn’t work very well and we were going around the roundabouts and he was going “Oh dear – I don’t think you can see dear, can you?” and I said “Don’t worry Freddie it will be all right” and anyway, we did get around the roundabouts and we got out to Friars Aylesbury which seemed like the end of the earth at that time. I think it could have been the first-ever Ziggy Stardust gig and it blew us away – we were blown away – it was so fantastic, like nothing else that was happening and so far ahead of its time – The guy had so much talent to burn really and charisma to burn as well. I hate to gush but he did have it like no-one else did at the time.’ 

Bowie & Ronson - Friars Aylesbury 29 Jan 1972 (Photo: Michael Putland)
Bowie & Ronson - Friars Aylesbury 29 Jan 1972 (Photo: Michael Putland)

There were two more Friars Bowie gigs that year. The first was at Friars Dunstable on 21 June, and then back in Aylesbury for the infamous 15 July gig. By this time the Ziggy character had been fully developed. For the July Aylesbury gig Bowie flew in 50 of the top US music journalists just for the Aylesbury show. This resulted in reviews in Rolling Stone, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine amongst many others. This put Friars and Aylesbury firmly on the world music map.

Bowie & The Spiders from Mars - Friars Aylesbury 15 July 1972 (Photo: Mick Rock)
Bowie & The Spiders from Mars - Friars Aylesbury 15 July 1972 (Photo: Mick Rock)

Fast forward to March 1977. Bowie was back in Aylesbury, this time as keyboard player with Iggy Pop. The Friars date was the opening night of Iggy’s Idiot tour. It was the only Friars gig where the audience were unsymmetrical. The audience were all over to the right of the venue, where Bowie was playing. Earlier that day Friars promoter David Stopps was walking up from the venue into the Market Square. Under the arches at the bottom of the Square two people were walking towards him. One was wearing a white silk scarf. It was the Thin White Duke. It was David Bowie. Bowie greeted David Stopps with “What’s a clean cut kid like you still doing in a small town like this?” The site of the statue will be at exactly the spot where that meeting took place. 

London's Evening Standard review of the Friars Iggy Pop gig - 1 March 1977
London's Evening Standard review of the Friars Iggy Pop gig - 1 March 1977

The most recent contact was on the opening night of the 2014 Friars Exhibition which took place at the Buckinghamshire County Museum. Bowie sent Friars a text, something that he did very rarely. Here is the text: 

It was with great sadness and shock that we learnt of David’s passing on 10 January 2016. We immediately organised a special event under the arches in Aylesbury Market Square to celebrate David’s art and life. This took place on Saturday 16 January and lasted from 12 noon until 12 midnight. Throughout the day over 3000 people attended. We had a big sound system and played only David Bowie tracks and videos. There was immediately a big local demand to create something permanent in the Market Square to celebrate Bowie’s strong connection with Aylesbury. We also ran a flash campaign for every Bowie fan in the world to play ‘Starman’ at 12.00 noon that day. Many radio stations across the world joined in. Even a ship in the Pacific played it on the ship’s sound system. Flowers, artwork and dedications were placed in exactly the spot under the arches where the statue will be sited. (see photo) 

Flowers and dedications at the site where the statue will be positioned.
Flowers and dedications at the site where the statue will be positioned.

 

Bowie tribute event under the arches in Aylesbury Market Square - 16 Jan 2016
Bowie tribute event under the arches in Aylesbury Market Square - 16 Jan 2016

 

Front page of The Bucks Herald - 13 Jan 2016
Front page of The Bucks Herald - 13 Jan 2016

A petition immediately started with physical signatures that day as well as online signatures via change.org. Very quickly we had over 2000 signatures. We then had a series of meetings with all three Aylesbury Councils to get permission to site the statue under the arches. Aylesbury Town Council was the first to give official support for the statue followed by Aylesbury Vale District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council. That process took 6 months and whilst we now have full permission and support it was made clear from the start that none of the money for the statue would come from council tax payers. 

That’s why we need to raise at least £100,000 to make this happen and we need your help. What will the statue look like? We have been in discussions throughout this year with Andrew Sinclair who is one of the best figurative sculptors in the world. Andrew has done many commissions including work for the Queen. Go to http://www.andrew-sinclair.com to see his work. The statue will have Bowie as Ziggy as the main figure, but behind that figure will be sculpted references to many of the other characters and looks that he created during his career. The statue will be in coloured bronze and a beautiful bound and boxed book will be published about the making of the statue. An exclusive edition of this book is available in the Kickstarter campaign. If a statue is made of coloured bronze (which is a new process) it has to be out of the weather which is why the site under the arches is so ideal. In addition, the statue will have the following features: 

1. It can be beautifully lit, because it is under the arches.

2. We intend to place a webcam high under the arches so that the statue can be viewed 24/7 from anywhere in the world. 

3. We intend to place high quality directional speakers above the statue. A Bowie track will be played at random on the hour, every hour between the hours of, say, 8.00am and 10.00pm every day. As far as we know this will be the first audio enhanced statue anywhere in the world. 

4. We have a Bowie mask taken from his actual face during the filming of ‘The Man who Fell to Earth’ so the statue’s face will be a perfect likeness.

Sculptor Andrew Sinclair with the mask taken from Bowie's face during the filming of 'The Man who Fell to Earth'.
Sculptor Andrew Sinclair with the mask taken from Bowie's face during the filming of 'The Man who Fell to Earth'.

Kickstarter have limited our rewards to £6000 but we are adding two higher tiers. The first will be at £15,000 and will include a bronze maquette made in the foundary of the Ziggy figure in the statue. The second will be at £40,000 and will include a maquette of the full statue which will be a serious investment for the future. Please contact us directly on sue@fmlmusic.com if you are interested in these two higher tiers.

Please give us your support.  If we can raise the money we need, people will come from all over the world to see this stunning work of art. It will almost certainly be the first David Bowie statue in the world. It will give Aylesbury and Aylesbury’s music scene a massive boost, both culturally and economically. Please tell everyone you know to have a look at the campaign and the rewards we are offering. Let’s make this happen!

Risks and challenges

We have all the necessary permissions from all three Aylesbury councils. We see no significant risks and challenges to completing this project provided our Kickstarter goal is reached.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $12

    Absolute Beginners

    Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Certificate of Support

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    96 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $24

    Starman

    Bowie Statue Keyfob (Limited Edition)

    Includes:
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    211 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £30 or more About $36

    Life on Mars?

    Reproduction numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars Aylesbury double-sided newsheets from September 1971 and January 1972.

    Includes:
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    108 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $61

    Kooks

    Reproduction limited edition numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets for the September 1971 and January 1972 gigs.

    Includes:
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    43 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $91

    Hang on to Yourself

    The Thin White Book especially written by Kris Needs for this Bowie Statue campaign. Numbered and signed by the author. The book offers valuable insight to the Bowie Aylesbury gigs.

    Includes:
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    22 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $122

    The Man Who Sold the World

    Exclusive Friars Bowie T-Shirt (only available here)
    A section of the statue unveiling sheet.

    Includes:
    • The Thin White Book especially written and signed by Kris Needs
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    49 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $182

    The Jean Genie

    Two tickets to the exclusive statue unveiling after party. (Date to be advised) + special reproduction of legendary Friars Dunstable mini-poster.

    Includes:
    • Section of statue unveiling sheet.
    • Exclusive Friars Bowie T-Shirt (only available here)
    • The Thin White Book especially written and signed by Kris Needs
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $304

    Rebel Rebel

    Your name or company permanently engraved on a plaque to be positioned near to the statue + Limited Edition numbered Repro poster (20" X 30") of the January 1972 world debut of Ziggy Stardust Friars Aylesbury gig.

    Includes:
    • Repro of legendary Friars Dunstable Bowie mini-poster
    • Two tickets to Bowie statue unveiling after party.
    • Section of statue unveiling sheet.
    • Exclusive Friars Bowie T-Shirt (only available here)
    • The Thin White Book especially written and signed by Kris Needs
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    87 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $608

    Five Years

    Limited Edition reproduction of the September 1971 Friars Aylesbury poster (20" X 30") where Bowie performed the world debut of Hunky Dory + repro poster (20" X 30") for the January 1972 world debut of Ziggy Stardust Friars Aylesbury gig.

    Includes:
    • Your name or company permanently engraved on plaque near statue.
    • Repro of legendary Friars Dunstable Bowie mini-poster
    • Four tickets to exclusive Bowie statue unveiling after party.
    • Section of statue unveiling sheet.
    • Exclusive Friars Bowie T-Shirt (only available here)
    • The Thin White Book especially written and signed by Kris Needs
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,200 or more About $1,460

    Space Oddity

    Beautiful bound, boxed and signed book of the making of the Bowie statue by sculptor Andrew Sinclair including fabulous photographs of the foundry and sculpting process.
    2 Best tickets to see Holy Holy playing the Ziggy Stardust album and meet and greet with the members of the band.

    Includes:
    • Your name or company permanently engraved on plaque near statue.
    • Two repro numbered & signed Friars Bowie posters (20"X30")
    • Repro of legendary Friars Dunstable Bowie mini-poster
    • Four tickets to exclusive Bowie statue unveiling after party.
    • Section of statue unveiling sheet.
    • Exclusive Friars Bowie T-Shirt (only available here)
    • The Thin White Book especially written and signed by Kris Needs
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,041

    Soul Love

    Visit to Andrew Sinclair's studio during the making of the statue.
    + Visit to the foundry during the statue's casting process.

    Includes:
    • Bound, boxed & signed book of making of sculpture by A Sinclair.
    • Four best tickets for Holy Holy playing the Ziggy Stardust album.
    • Your name or company permanently engraved on plaque near statue.
    • Two repro numbered & signed Friars Bowie posters (20"X30")
    • Repro of legendary Friars Dunstable Bowie mini-poster
    • Four tickets to exclusive Bowie statue unveiling after party.
    • Section of statue unveiling sheet.
    • Exclusive Friars Bowie T-Shirt (only available here)
    • The Thin White Book especially written and signed by Kris Needs
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £6,000 or more About $7,299

    Oh! You Pretty Things

    Bronze life cast of Bowie's face as taken from the film 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'. Can be wall of plinth mounted + Four tickets to see Holy Holy play the Ziggy Stardust album live including meet and greet with members of the band. + Dinner with Friars Promoters David & Sue Stopps.

    Includes:
    • Bound, boxed & signed book of making of sculpture by A Sinclair.
    • Your name/company engraved on plaque near statue in larger font.
    • Two repro numbered & signed Friars Bowie posters (20"X30")
    • Repro of legendary Friars Dunstable Bowie mini-poster
    • Four tickets to exclusive Bowie statue unveiling after party.
    • Section of statue unveiling sheet.
    • Exclusive Friars Bowie T-Shirt (only available here)
    • The Thin White Book especially written and signed by Kris Needs
    • Reproduction of 3 original Bowie Friars Aylesbury tickets
    • 3 Repro numbered copies of the original Bowie Friars news-sheets
    • Bowie Statue Keyfob
    • Bowie Statue Friars Aylesbury Cerificate of support
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (40 days)