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Baker's Dozen

After The Flood: The 13 Favourite Albums Of Howe Gelb, Aged 12-16
Stewart Smith , June 11th, 2012 08:21

In a neat twist on our 13 favourite albums feature, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb talks Stewart Smith through his formative records from his teenage years in Pennsylvania


David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie was right there, Ziggy Stardust was the last record right before the flood. The sound of that record, besides the songwriting, was so exceptional. That record sounded like a rock opera to me. In my head I put it together as if it was a story, from the beginning to how it ends with 'Rock & Roll Suicide', it just all somehow made total sense to me. I could see the whole movie in my head. It was a rock opera, it just wasn't so bold to say it was a rock opera.

The funny part is that the cover, when he's standing there in front of the red time capsule? I thought obviously it's a time machine, because he looked so futuristic, and I had no idea that that was just a normal British telephone box. Our payphones did not look like that, so when I saw that red thing there on the cover I just thought, 'wow, what's that thing that just came out of out that capsule, look at him!'.

One of the first things I recorded in 1978 was a rock opera. It was very bad. It's probably left over from how I began, it just seemed that in my head I had a storyline. It had a very weird title, I called it, and I have no idea why I called it this, Z.E.Q.E. 24.0 88. So Ziggy Stardust just set my imagination for the rest of my sonic life. And then about eight minutes later a massive flood destroyed my home.