A brand new documentary on iconic guitarist Mick Ronson is set to debut in theatres on 8th May. As well as featuring unseen backstage footage, 'Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story' will also include contributions from the late David Bowie himself.
Produced and directed by Jon Brewer whose credits include BB King: The Life of Riley and Jimi Hendrix: Guitar Hero, the documentary maker has gained the unprecedented privilege of access and permission for use of materials relating to the life of rock hero Ronson, who was largely commercially uncelebrated, despite his direct contribution and pivotal involvement in countless iconic compositions of David Bowie and The Spiders from Mars.
Despite his production and guitar work with Lou Reed, Morrissey, Ian Hunter, Mott The Hoople, Bob Dylan and many others, it is Mick Ronson’s dynamic support, contribution, and co-creation of the expansive and multi-faceted career of David Bowie and in fact that era of music, that this film exposes.
With exclusive voice over contributions from David Bowie and contributed to by Yes' Rick Wakeman, Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, Oueen's Roger Taylor, Ian Hunter, Angie Bowie, and many more, 'Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story' is the untold tale story of an uncomplicated man who achieved the pinnacle of success in the music industry as well as the rarefied respect from his contemporaries for his production and guitar skills.
His humble beginnings in the northern English city of Hull underpinned the values and modest, unpretentious personality of Mick Ronson. Originally working with Hull City Council while he pursued his craft with consummate dedication, word of his talent reached David Bowie who grabbed at the chance to work with Mick, and from there rock history was made. 'The Man Who Sold the World', ‘Aladdin Sane’ 'Hunky Dory', 'Jean Genie', all were constructed with Mick Ronson on guitar. In 1974 he was voted #2 'Best Guitarist' in ‘Cream’ magazine (notably Eric Clapton came in third).
Said Bowie of his and Ronson's charismatic stage presence; “As a rock duo, I thought we were every bit as good as Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards], or Axl [Rose] and Slash. Ziggy [Stardust] and Mick [Ronson] were the personification of that rock & roll dualism.”
Jon Brewer’s documentary reveals facts that most will be surprised to learn, as told by those who were there. Controversial at times, always fascinating, the film boasts never released archive, graphic backstage footage plus iconic photographs from Mick Rock, Bowie’s official photographer at the time. The film asks, after considering the degree to which Ronson put forth musical concepts and compositions with Bowie year after year... 'Just where would we, or David Bowie, be were it not for the immense creative input of Mick Ronson? Some contributors are very clear on this issue in the film.
Sadly, in 1993 Ronson passed away before receiving the recognition he so richly deserved before taking that final bow, as seen on film, at this last show. He had been making a solo album at the time, which was subsequently finished by his contemporaries. Emperor Media have achieved ultimate authenticity and access in chronicling the life and works of this man, an extraordinary talent who became a cornerstone of rock music and who stood ‘Beside Bowie’ during one of the most memorable periods of his dazzling career.
'BESIDE BOWIE: The Mick Ronson Story' gets its UK Premiere Monday 8th May, with further screenings nationwide from 9th May. The feature premier on the small screen as part of 'Sky Arts Rocks', which will launch on Saturday 15th April 2017. A new series of documentaries about some of the biggest names in music, 'BESIDE BOWIE: The Mick Ronson Story' will be broadcast on Saturday 27th May 2017.