Bowie by Marc Spitz
A Biography

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Marc Spitz

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Marc Spitz has written and produced numerous novels, plays, and biographies, including We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of LA Punk (with Brendan Mullen), How Soon Is Never: A Novel, Bowie: A Biography, and Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue. His writing on rock 'n' roll and popular culture has appeared in Spin, Rolling Stone, Maxim, Uncut, Nylon, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. He blogs at Spitz lives in New York City.
Published October 15, 2009 by Crown Archetype. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bowie

Kirkus Reviews

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The author (Nobody Likes You: Inside the Life, Turbulent Times, and Music of Green Day, 2006, etc.) takes great care in his dissection of the details of Bowie’s long, eventful career, from the highs—e.g., the success of his remarkably entertaining alter ego Ziggy Stardust—to the lows, most notabl...

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BC Books

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Spitz covers Bowie's "lost" years in L.A, his friendship (and work) with Iggy Pop, the filming of The Man Who Fell to Earth, and his notoriously erratic (and rumored cocaine-fueled) debut TV appearance on the 1974 Dick Cavett Show.

Nov 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Bowie: A Biography

BC Books

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Normally, I like to read books front to back much like everyone else, but Marc Spitz's new Bowie: A Biography is something else entirely.

Oct 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Bowie: A Biography

The Telegraph

Bowie: a Biography by Marc Spitz Spitz describes himself as a “Bowie-ist”, a condition that seemingly manifests itself in a peculiar mixture of grovelling – at one point he invites us to treat “the idea of Bowie the man… with as much reverence as Bowie the go...

Apr 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Bowie: A Biography


Music journalist Marc Spitz is frank about the fact this book came into being at the behest of his agent, who suggested a David Bowie biography would probably sell well.

Apr 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Bowie: A Biography

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