Mick Ronson didn’t have ego for stardom
Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson didn’t have the ego required to become a star in his own right, says producer Ken Scott.
Scott worked with David Bowie and the band on iconic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, which was release 40 years ago today.
When Bowie moved on Ronson failed to capitalise on his own acclaim to the extend many think he could have done – but the producer says that’s not a bad reflection on the guitarist.
Scott tells Gibson.com: “One has to have a certain ego to be a frontman, and I don’t think Ronno had that ego. And I don’t mean that in a negative way.
“Generally speaking – and I want to stress this is a generalisation – musicians have particular personalities relating to their instruments and to the role they play.
“A bass player tends to have a personality that’s different from the personality of a drummer, and so on. There’s a trait peculiar to a frontman, a lead singer, that Ronno definitely didn’t have.”
Scott recalls Ronson recorded his acclaimed solo on Moonage Daydream in one take: “My recollection is that there had been no discussion beforehand regarding what it should be. It was more like, ‘Okay, it’s time to do it,’ and he just played it. David and I just went, ‘Wow!’ Whether or not Ronno had spent time working on it at hime is something I can’t answer.”
In the 1970s bands were under pressure to release a new album every six months, and rarely spent more than two weeks recording an LP. Scott says that’s one of the reasons people are still talking about albums like Ziggy Stardust four decades on.
“It made the cream rise to the top,” the producer reflects. “Only the best artists could keep it going. Just look at the material that came our from that period: Bowie, Elton John, the Who, and beyond.
“It’s amazing, the things we still listen to today that were made under that pressure. You were forced to make decisions quickly without second-guessing yourself. The quality of work was better as a result.”