Bowie: A Biography

Bowie: A Biography

by Marc Spitz
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Bowie: A Biography by Marc Spitz

An expansive biography of David Bowie, one of the twentieth century’s greatest music and cultural icons.

From noted author and rock ’n’ roll journalist Marc Spitz comes a major David Bowie biography to rival any other. Following Bowie’s life from his start as David Jones, an R & B—loving kid from Bromley, England, to his rise to rock ’n’ roll aristocracy as David Bowie, Bowie recounts his career but also reveals how much his music has influenced other musicians and forever changed the landscape of the modern era. Along the way, Spitz reflects on how growing up with Bowie as his soundtrack and how writing this definitive book on Bowie influenced him in ways he never expected, adding a personal dimension that Bowie fans and those passionate about art and culture will connect with and that no other bio on the artist offers.

Bowie takes an in-depth look at the culture of postwar England in which Bowie grew up, the mod and hippie scenes of swinging London in the sixties, the sex and drug-fueled glitter scene of the early seventies when Bowie’s alter-ego Ziggy Stardust was born, his rise to global stardom in the eighties and his subsequent status as an elder statesman of alternative culture. Spitz puts each incarnation of Bowie into the context of its era, creating a cultural time line that is intriguing both for its historical significance as well as for its delineation of this rock ’n’ roll legend, the first musician to evolve a coherent vision after the death of the sixties dream.

Amid the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll mayhem, a deeper portrait of the artist emerges. Bowie’s early struggles to go from follower to leader, his tricky relationship with art and commerce and Buddhism and the occult, his complicated family life, his open romantic relationship and, finally, his perceived disavowal of all that made him a touchstone for outcasts are all thoughtfully explored. A fresh evaluation of his recorded work, as well as his film, stage and video performances, is included as well.

Based on a hundred original interviews with those who knew him best and those familiar with his work, including ex-wife Angie Bowie, former Bowie manager Kenneth Pitt, Siouxsie Sioux, Camille Paglia, Dick Cavett, Todd Haynes, Ricky Gervais and Peter Frampton, Bowie gives us not only a portrait of one of the most important artists in the last century, but also an honest examination of a truly revolutionary artist and the unique impact he’s had across generations.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307393968
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/27/2009
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

MARC SPITZ’s writing on rock ’n’ roll and popular culture has appeared in Spin, the New York Times, Maxim, Nylon, Blender and Uncut (UK). He is the author of How Soon Is Never?; Too Much, Too Late; and Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times, and Music of Green Day and coauthor with Brendan Mullen of We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Bowie 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
charlotte2779 More than 1 year ago
A real page turner. if you are a David Bowie then this book is the one you must have.
unionmark More than 1 year ago
A well-researched, admiring but yet balanced look at one of the most influential figures in rock for the past 40 years. If you are familiar with the Bowie songbook, the author provides much new information about the music and Bowie's influences at the time of creation. The book is an especially positive example of a literary genre - celebrity biography - that is commonly and deservedly reviled.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookBeachandT4me More than 1 year ago
Author seemed to ramble and jump around years way too much. It was difficult to follow and rather boring!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jack_drastic More than 1 year ago
I'm certain that formatting this book for my Nook caused some oddities in terms of how the text appeared, but in many cases, the author's poor grammar (and editor's lack of identifying spelling and grammar issues) violently yanked me from the immersion I typically enjoy when reading well written books. The fact that the writer and subsequent publisher couldn't get the spelling and grammar down made me constantly wonder why did I pay $15 for this thing? Atrocious spelling aside, I could not relate to the author in any single way, which made the book even more difficult to read, as he found it necessary to interject his own fond memories of listening to David Bowie throughout the text (read: filler). Additionally, I could not roll my eyes hard enough every time he cited the self-important hipster website Pitchfork as a credible source. I think the thing that really irked me personally was how little time the author decided to spend talking about Freddie Mercury and Queen's collaboration with Bowie, when not one chapter before he spent what felt like an eternity talking about the two men who appeared on stage during Bowie's first SNL appearance. These two men essentially amounted to nothing more than one-time props, while 'Under Pressure' has crept into cultural relevance countless times for thirty years, and yet the collaboration hardly gets a nod. Due to the source material, I still read and enjoyed the book. I suppose it's a lot like going to an awesome party and just ignoring the one drunk arshole in the corner, also usually going on and on about Pitchfork.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing new in this book. It's mostly a regurgitation of all other bowie books. Spitz often goes off topic writing about other people and topics - only loosly connected to Bowie.