Synopses & Reviews
David Bowie has been one of pop music’s greatest interviewees since January 1972, when he famously risked career death by asserting to Melody Maker
that he was gay. Although he wasn’t yet a big star, it was a groundbreaking moment. And over the years, Bowie has failed to give an uninteresting interview. It might be said that he has habitually used the media for his own ends, but he has paradoxically also been searingly honest, declining to ever be coy about his ambitions, his private life, and even his occasional ennui.
Bowie on Bowie presents some of the best interviews Bowie has granted in his near five-decade career. Each interview traces a new step in his unique journey, successively freezing him in time as young novelty hit-maker, hairy hippie, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, plastic soul man, fragile Germanic exile, godfather of the New Romantics, eighties sellout, Tin Machinist, and, finally, permanently, artistically reborn beloved elder statesman of challenging popular music. In all of these iterations he is remarkably articulate. He is also preternaturally polite—almost every interviewer remarks upon his charm.
The features in this book come from outlets both prestigious (Melody Maker, Mojo, New Musical Express, Q, Rolling Stone) and less well-known (The Drummer, Guitar, Ikon, Mr. Showbiz). In all cases, Bowie enables the reader to approach the nerve center of his ferociously creative and prolific output.
"Rock music writer Sean Egan (The Rough Guide to the Rolling Stones, The Mammoth Book of the Beatles, etc) dug through countless stacks of periodicals to select the fifteen articles (primarily interviews) that make up this slim but entertaining look at one of rock's most iconic figures. Offering little more than a paragraph introduction to each entry, Egan nevertheless does an admirable job as a curator-the collection spans other five decades and pieces vary in length. Even readers who consider themselves well-versed on Richards will find new material here. In a previously unpublished interview with Ira Robbins from 1988, Richards discusses his legendary drug habit, noting that 'If they'd have left me alone, you wouldn't have half these freaks thinking that's the way you play guitar, by taking that crap.' Also included is the full, unexpurgated version of Richards's epic Rolling Stone interview from 1971 which 'served to confirm that he was now a counter-culture icon.' Remarkably honest, Richards comes across as an affable, humble subject-quick to give credit to his band mates for songs like 'Paint it Black' as well as the performers who inspired him decades ago.
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"All of the infamous incidents are covered—Brian Jones drowning death, Richards 1967 drug bust and subsequent jail time, the violence at Altamont, and Richards public feuding with Mick Jagger, most notably after Mick's knighthood. But what also comes through is his still-burning admiration for the Chicago blues musicians who were his greatest influence and his wariness of fame. Great reading for Stones fans."—Booklist
“[An] entertaining look at one of rock's most iconic figures.”—Publishers Weekly
“[T]his is a fascinating journey through the mind of a musician many people claim to “know” but who proves time and again that his own essence is often foreign to himself. An asset for Bowie fans.” —Library Journal
“David Bowie has always been a consummate mythmaker, and this fascinating anthology captures him at his most mysterious and mischievous, laying himself bare and building walls around himself in the same mercurial instant.”—Peter Doggett, author of The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s
“A must for Bowie fans.” —Booklist
“It’s great fun to browse through. And it’s the closest you’ll get to an actual Bowie autobiography.” —Goldmine, The Music Collector's Magazine
“...this imaginative compendium of more than thirty interviews is a welcome addition to an ever-lengthening bibliography. […]So good, you want to read it as you revisit his peerless catalog.” —Classic Pop
The iconic life and career of the famed guitarist of the Rolling Stones is detailed in this compilation of interviews that spans the last 50 years. Featuring articles from GQ, Melody Maker, and Rolling Stone, as well as interviews that have never previously appeared in print, it charts Keith Richardss journey from gauche, young pretender and swaggering epitome of the zeitgeist to beloved elder statesman of rock. Initially overshadowed by band mates Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, Richards gained popularity as half of the second-most important songwriting team of the 1960s, and in 1967 the drug bust at his house and his subsequent trial and imprisonment made him a household name. His interviews match his outlaw image: free of banality and euphemism, they revel in frank stories of drugs and debauchery. Yet they also reveal an unexpectedly warm, unpretentious, articulate, and honest man. This collection amply illustrates the magic and charm of Keith Richards.
Bowie on Bowie presents some of the best interviews David Bowie has granted in his near five-decade career. Each featured interview traces a new step in his unique journey, successively freezing him in time in all of his various incarnations, from a young novelty hit-maker and Ziggy Stardust to plastic soul player, 1980s sell-out, and the artistically reborn and beloved elder statesman of challenging popular music. In all of these iterations he is remarkably articulate and also preternaturally polite as almost every interviewer remarks upon his charm. The features in this book come from outlets both prestigious—Melody Maker, MOJO, New Musical Express, Q, Rolling Stone—and less well-known—the Drummer, Guitar, Ikon, Mr. Showbiz—but no matter the renown of the magazine, newspaper, or website, Bowie lets us approach the nerve center of his notoriously creative output.
About the Author
Sean Egan is an author and journalist who has interviewed members of the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols, the Velvet Underground, the Who, and many others. He is the author of The Guys Who Wrote 'Em, Jimi Hendrix and the Making of Are You Experienced, The Mammoth Book of the Beatles, and The Rough Guide to the Rolling Stones.