Ziggy Stardust and the storytellers from Mars (and Vancouver) this Thursday night!

CBC's Johanna Wagstaffe is co-host of a night of storytelling at HR MacMillan Space Centre.

CBC’s Johanna Wagstaffe is co-host of a night of storytelling at HR MacMillan Space Centre.

Both hardcore and casual fans of David Bowie, storytelling, outer space and/or CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe will want to pay a visit to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut St.) on Nov. 17.

On that night, Vancouver’s premiere storytelling group Rain City Chronicles is presenting a night of stories, reminisces and music focussed on one of the greatest classic-rock albums of all time, David Bowie’s groundbreaking 1972 release The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars.

Hosting the night is CBC’s Johanna Wagstaffe. We asked the meteorologist about how she came to be involved, and about her personal experiences with Ziggy Stardust/Bowie.

Inside Vancouver: Are you a regular co-host of events at the Space Centre, or were you tapped to do this one in particular?

Johanna Wagstaffe: I have done events at the Space Centre before but never for the Record Club. The last time I was there was for a Kids Space Club meeting
which was great but will be fun to be there as an adult as well!

IV: Do you have a personal story about Ziggy Stardust, or Bowie?

JW: Although Ziggy Stardust release was slightly before my time, Bowie has been a big part of my youth! My parents both love Bowie and played his albums all the time. And of course being a child of the 80s, (the 1986 movie) Labyrinth was in high rotation for my sisters and I.

David Bowie as the Goblin King in the 1986 movie Labyrinth.

David Bowie as the Goblin King in the 1986 movie Labyrinth.

I took mostly science classes in high school but it was grade 11 English class that Bowie helped me unleash my inner Bowie – during a presentation for a Mordecai Richler book, I brought in a disco ball and made everyone listen to “Space Oddity” and discuss nonconforming. The class loved it. And then in university my dad bought the whole family tickets to see David Bowie in Toronto on his A Reality Tour (1993) – and I had to miss a rock classification exam to make it. Like literal rocks, not rock and roll.

Since then, Bowie has been an outlet for wonder and weirdness for me. I totally get why astronauts love him so much.

IV: Do you have a favourite space (or weather)-related song? If so, what is
it, and why?

JW: Favourite weather song – so many to choose from! Right now it is probably
“Tokyo Summer” by Mounties (also love that the video was shot at Niagara Falls).
But sticking with the Bowie theme – “Wild is the Wind.”

IV: Is there any kind of a Record Club at the CBC?

JW: No record club at CBC – although CBC is full of people with great music taste and collections. Maybe we should start one.

Tickets to The Record Club presents David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust are $20 and available at eventbrite.ca.

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