Entertainment & Arts

Mick Ronson: Hull City of Culture to honour Spiders From Mars guitarist

David Bowie and Mick Ronson Image copyright Jack Kay
Image caption Ronson was a member of Spiders from Mars - David Bowie's backing band

The life of Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson is to be celebrated in his home town as part of Hull's City of Culture celebrations next year.

Turn and Face the Strange is a live show written by Rupert Creed and Garry Burnett, both of whom are from Hull.

The performance will incorporate film, audio, storytelling and live music.

Ronson grew up in Hull, where he formed the band that went on to become the Spiders From Mars. He died in 1993 aged 46 after developing liver cancer.

A spokesman for the project said Turn and Face the Strange would go "beneath the known narratives of Mick Ronson's partnership with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars".

He added: "It will tell the story of how a working class boy from Greatfield Estate came to challenge the norms and expectations of his time and place of origin, to play a pivotal role in creating a new music and social culture."

Image caption Rupet Creed has co-written Turn and Face the Strange

As well as working with Bowie, Ronson recorded several solo albums, the most successful of which was Slaughter on 10th Avenue, which reached number nine on the UK album chart.

He also played on, produced or arranged songs for artists including Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Morrissey.

The performance will be accompanied by an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia at the Freedom Centre.

Creed said: "The project will engage and connect Hull residents from Greatfield Estate and across the city, recording and sharing audio stories and memories, personal photographs and memorabilia.

"We will gather memories of gigs, record his impact as role model and icon on the lives of Hull residents and beyond."

The material gathered from archives as well as contributions from the public will then make up the content of the show, which will be performed in August 2017.

Turn and Face the Strange will be one of 60 projects to take place in neighbourhoods across the city as part of the the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme. The 60 projects will share £750,000 funding.

The full City of Culture line-up will be announced on Thursday.


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