Friday, November 16, 2007

The Legendary Stardust Comboy

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, born Norman Carl Odam on October 10, 1947 in Lubbock, Texas, is an incoherent rock and roll performer who invented an early example of the genre that came to be known as psychobilly in the 1960s. While often considered a novelty artist, he considers himself a serious performer.
David Bowie has been a fan of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, who likes to be called "The Ledge", since he heard Paralyzed. Bowie himself has said that the "Stardust" in "Ziggy Stardust" is taken from The Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
In 1985, the Dutch VPRO radio tried to re-popularise the Ledge. (

Friday, 11 October 1985

Line up
Uncertain, but likely: The Legendary Stardust Cowboy - guitar, vocals; Kid Congo Powers - guitar; Murray Mitchell – guitar; Patricia Morrison - bass; Desparate – drums
Recently surfaced video (see below) reveals the backing band to be Claw Boys Claw! However, at the end of the fragment, CBC bassist Bobbie hands her bass to another woman - possibly Patricia Morrison with a giant blonde hairdo/wig?

Set list
01 Indian Wallpaper
02 So mean
03-14 Unknown
The first two tracks are Claw Boys Claw, track 3 is an instrumental during which the Ledge joins them.

I have a complete lossless (flac) audience recording of the show.

The Ledge backed by Claw Boys Claw at Pandora's 85 as uploaded to YouTube by waaghalsrecords.

Other info
The Ledge appeared as surprise act at the festival, backed by Fur Bible. The Claw Boys Claw played a short warm-up set. Unknown if they were Friday or Saturday, but Saturday sounds most likely: Fur Bible played on Saturday and CBC were likely to be there to see their mates (and ex-drummer) in the Fatal Flowers and L’Attentat. They possibly played the “Mini Box” after 23:30 (when Fur Bible finished their “Small Hall” set), or after 02:00.

Also around this time the ex-Gun Club contingent appeared as the backing band to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy (of 'Paralysed' fame) on a tour of England. (

This is not as strange as it may sound. Fur Bible came to life as a vehicle for another legendary 60’s star: Tex Perkins.

So in the meantime while we were thinking about "now what do we do?", this Dutch promoter, Willem Venema had this idea. He was working on bringing over the Legendary Stardust Cowboy – who – we all knew the song "Paralyzed." The song is a big legendary song that we all loved. He asked us, "Would you be the back-up band for this guy?" And I was like, "That 'Paralyzed' guy? Yeah, sure. That sounds great." And it was just a gig to do. I never met him. I didn't know what he might be like or anything. So he shows up – him and his manager. And he is a total kook. That guy is a total kook. Actually a little bit like Jeffrey but totally charming and loveable somehow - and very talented. It's a really untamed crazy talent, but he has his own vision and it has nothing to do with the rest of the world. And certainly I can appreciate that.
So we got a record and we learned the songs and we just ended up doing this crazy tour of Europe and it was totally fun and funny. And Patricia wore a big Dolly Parton blonde wig. It was totally campy and he was just crazy. What a nut! He did some crazy strip at the end where he stripped down to these horrible flesh-colored big underwear. And he just had all his crazy songs about UFOs and love and him "thinkin' about you while I'm sitting in a garbage can." And great songs. It was totally a gig, but I really loved it. It was a real fun thing and it really broke up this whole seriousness about The Gun Club breaking up and this thing with Tex not working out. It was like, "OK, we can be totally ridiculous." It came at the right time. (Kid Congo Powers,

I saw The Legendary Stardust Cowboy somewhere in the mid 80's in a club in Rotterdam, where he was accompanied with members of The Gun Club. An awesome show and nothing like anything else. The image of a (already) middle aged Ledge stripped to nothing but his underpants and (of course) cowboy boots somehow still haunts me :D. (Robert Haagsma,

The Ledge watching Tex & the Horseheads from the side of the stage at Pandora's 85 (Vinyl magazine 1985/11)


swisstapes said...

i have a tape of this gig, gonna post it in my blog next week

brt said...

I had a cassete tape to. I lost it in France in an orchard. A year later somebody found it on the ground and it was still playeble...

brt said...

I had a cassettetape to. I lost it in an orchard in France. a friend found it one year later on the ground. It was still playeble... The Ledge live foreever!