Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story

by Pete Crigler

besidebowie_150This long overdue retrospective documentary of legendary guitarist Mick Ronson is quite interesting. Interviews with friends, colleagues, admirers, and the occasional voiceover from Bowie himself paint a picture of a musician who was one of the most talented of his ilk. Not only could he play like a demon, but he could arrange and produce as well. For the most part, he will be remembered as Bowie’s partner in the Spiders From Mars, and a lot of time in this documentary is used to talk about his association with Bowie.

Bowie’s former wife Angie tries to steal the show with her over-exuberant personality, but for the most part, everyone is very dedicated to keeping Ronson’s memory alive. The most interesting parts come when his solo career is mentioned as well, as his late life revival when Morrissey asked him to produce Your Arsenal. Unfortunately, Morrissey doesn’t appear to praise his collaborator, but at the same time his appearance would’ve taken some of the limelight from the person in the spotlight. When Ronson died in 1993, he was mostly underrated and nearly forgotten. There’s great footage of Bowie on “The Arsenio Hall Show” talking about his collaborator and asking people to remember him.

Ultimately, this is an interesting piece of film for diehard Bowie fans, but there’s not a lot to rope in new fans or viewers. Still, it’s nice to see someone paying this much attention to such a deserving musician.

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