The Age of Bowie
Simon & Schuster
Respected arts commentator Paul Morley, one of the team who curated the highly successful retrospective exhibition for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, David Bowie Is . . . constructs the definitive story of Bowie that explores how he worked, played, aged, structured his ideas, invented the future and entered history as someone who could and would never be forgotten. Morley will capture the greatest moments of Bowie’s career; from the recording studio with the likes of Brian Eno and Tony Visconti; to iconic live performances from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, as well as the various encounters and artistic relationships he developed with rock luminaries John Lennon, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. And of course, discuss in detail his much-heralded, and critically-acclaimed comeback with the release of Black Star just days before his shocking death in New York.
Morley will offer a startling biographical critique of David Bowie’s legacy, showing how he never stayed still even when he withdrew from the spotlight, how he always knew his own worth, and released a dazzling plethora of mobile Bowies into the world with a bloody-minded determination and a voluptuous imagination to create something amazing that was not there before.
The introduction captures the essence of being a teenager and discovering music in the early 70’s – music that influenced society, fashion, language, tv programming, family interaction…such a powerful seductive influence. I also appreciated the lists – of albums and at the end of the book a chronological list of David Bowie’s life- major events and achievements. I also liked the list of Bowie’s favourite 100 books.
We (the reader, the fan) have our own memories of Bowie, this is Paul Morley’s memory, his fan moment – it did not feel like it was written for the general public but for Paul himself to pay tribute to a musician he so obviously adored. His fan boy moment. Too gushy, to…too much. I felt like I was intruding.
The use of He….I found this devise irritating…”He is moving from the pubs and clubs into theatres…He is afraid to fly….He is swanning around America… (p.260).
And although this is nothing to do with the actual writing of the memoir – I intensely disliked the tissue thin paper this book was printed on, paper that yellowed within weeks of this book arriving on my desk.
Just my opinion I’ll leave you to make up your own mind.