448 pages, 3.76 × 2.5 × 0.57 in
February 6, 2012
Crown Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307393968
ISBN - 13: 9780307393968
Read from the Book
1.There's an alien in the window of the house next door to the one where David Bowie was born at 40 Stansfield Road in Brixton, a southern borough of London. It peers out, gray skinned, with black, oval-shaped eyes and a tennis-racket-sized skull, the same kind of inflatable spacemen for sale in the gas station gift shops that one stops at while driving through Roswell, New Mexico. X-Files/E.T.-faced aliens. It might not be there now, should you decide to make a new pilgrimage, but it was there when I traveled to Brixton, as if to say, "Welcome, biographer!"Whoever lives in the virtually identical home at 38 Stansfield Road, they certainly know who was born next door. If the alien had eyelids it'd be winking. Otherwise, this block, like every other block in the area, is as quiet as it must have been in the harsh winter of 1947. The house itself is three stories high, pale brick, with a double-arched doorway painted French white. A chest-high brick wall separates the house from the adjacent buildings. Another brick wall girds the property, sectioning off a very tiny lawn and a spindled tree that extends just past the chimney. It's a handsome if compact residence. Unlike the city of Brixton, which was predominantly a white, middle-class enclave in the years just after World War II, this home is static. In another fifty-two years, while jet packs and flying cars travel overhead, one can imagine it looking exactly the same. There's no brass plaque here marking David Bowie's birth
From the Publisher
Finally an expansive biography of 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.
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.
“BOWIE is inspired, edge-worn, loud, quiet, observant, humble, gorgeous, and humane. If the record business loved music as much as Marc Spitz does, there would still be a record business.” —Dan Kennedy, author of Rock On: An Office Power Ballad
“A breezy, well-lit portrait of the ever-enigmatic rocker . . . Spitz’s encyclopedic knowledge and obvious appreciation for Bowie’s work separate this book from countless cookie-cutter rock stories.”
“Spitz concentrates on the complex evolution of Bowie’s music to deliver an evenhanded, critically thorough, while still reverential, life of the Thin White Duke.” —Publishers Weekly