Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With David Bowie (Anglais) Cassette – Livre audio, 31 décembre 1993
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Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Great stories in this book (my fave involves Led Zeppelin, who come across as average, rather loveable drunks), with an attempt by Bowie to exorcise a demon from a swimming pool running a close second.
A really enjoyable read ... A friend who's met Angela tells me she seemed kind of crazy, but I'd have to say she comes across as a very hurt, somewhat bitter person who also has a few cogent things to say. Take her with a grain of salt.
And all you people working so hard to knock this poor woman ... an average human who probably did indeed have an impact on Bowie's career, in the same way all magical things combine in places and in times to create a special chemistry -- what, are you secretly jealous you didn't marry Bowie or something? Let's hear it for pulling hair. Meow.
Bowie describes how she arrived on the music scene of the 1960s and met the budding singer David Bowie. After a very unconventional relationship, they married (he proposed by asking if she could deal with the fact that "I don't love you"?) into an open, bisexual union. A child, several albums and a drug addiction later, they split.
A gag order was part of the divorce settlement between Angela Bowie and her ex husband; this book was published once the order ran out. Alas, there really isn't anything to justify the order. She is bitter -- nobody could mistake that. But aside from intimate rashes and lack of sexual prowess, she really has nothing too grubby to say about David Bowie. Bowie apparently contents herself with acid-flecked comments whenever she can manage it. There are jilted ladies of the rock world (Marianne Faithfull, Bebe Buell) who handle themselves with decorum, but apparently Bowie doesn't want to.
The problem with Angela Bowie is that, like many paramours of rock stars, she assumes that she's a lot more interesting than she actually is. Her life is detailed, but not terribly interesting. What's worse, there's little contact with the intriguing people in the rock world. There's a spattering of stars like Mick Jagger who make real appearances (okay, we know Mick is a "billy goat" -- next shocking revelation!) and Michael Jackson, and others like Marianne Faithfull and John Lennon are mentioned but never really shown. Even Bowie's own ex-husband (the whole reason people read the book) is a nebulous presence.
Bowie's writing wobbles dangerously, with plenty of rants and flash-forwards, as well as her opinions on the music industry. There's a lot of sex and drugs, but not much rock'n'roll. If you want to hear about the various people who wanted to sleep with both Bowies, Angela will tell you gladly. Same with the gender-bending clothes. Unfortunately, you won't be told nearly so much about his music.
Readers may put down "Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With David Bowie" wondering why the famed rock star bothered to put a gag order on Angel Bowie. The shock value is ultimately low, and the embittered, self-centered focus gets annoying. Not recommended.
I knew that the book probably wouldn't shed any light on his life after the '70s, since him and Angie were divorced by then, but I was surprised by the fact that it hardly gave me any info on his life in the latter half of the '70s. If you want to know what was going on in Bowie's personal life while he was making such innovative albums as Station To Station, Low, Heroes, and Lodger, you are not going to learn it here. She breezes through the mid-late '70s rather quickly, and it seems as if during that time she barely even saw him. Their divorce was finalized in 1980, but their marriage was over long before that. But just because there isn't much insight given into David's personal life during the latter half of the '70s, doesn't mean the reader doesn't learn anything at all about what was going on behind closed doors in his life. Angie does give some good info about him during the late '60s and early '70s, but even when she was spending lots of time with him, like she was during that era, she often felt like a detached observer of his life, much like the reader of this book does.
I guess this review is turning out more negative than I intended it to be, but that doesn't mean I don't recommend the book to other Bowie fans, because I do. Like I mentioned earlier, it is a hard book to put down, especially if you like reading about someone who leads a debaucherous lifestyle, and Angie certainly did. It is widely known that Angie and David had an open marriage, and that both of them lived a swinger lifestyle during the '70s. Angie does believe that David was bisexual, at least during that time, despite the fact that since then it has been argued that he never actually was bisexual, and she claims that she was and still is bisexual herself. So because of the open marriage and her bisexuality, explicit sex plays a large part in this book, and it certainly can get steamy. There is all the sex you could want, as well as drugs and Rock 'N Roll, including lots of Rock Star gossip, in general, not just gossip about David Bowie. If you like reading such gossip, then you will definitely enjoy all the namedropping she does, as well as the little tangents that she goes on about experiences she had with famous musicians like: Lou Reed, Keith Moon of The Who, Mick Jagger, Led Zepplin, Elton John, and others. Surprisingly, there wasn't anything to learn about Marc Bolan or Iggy Pop though, and I hoped there would be. One of the drummers of T.Rex is mentioned since Angie had a fling with him, but Bolan isn't mentioned at all, and the Stooges are mentioned, since Angie had flings with two of the members, but hardly anything is said about Iggy, and I found it odd that such important figures in David's life would be ignored. There is also no mention of Roxy Music, except for a brief story about how Bryan Ferry crashed on the Bowies' couch after a party once, and no mention of Brian Eno at all, which I guess makes sense since Eno was a profound influence on David's late '70s career, and Angie was pretty much out of the picture by that time. But yeah, this book is definitely not the place to look if you want to learn about how David's Glam Rock contemporaries affected his life, and I think it has to do with the fact that Angie herself was more so interested in meeting, hanging out and/or having sex with Rock Stars whom had been famous since the '60s and/or weren't involved with Glam at all.
Ok, so now you are probably wondering what kind of stuff you will actually learn about David Bowie's personal life if you read the book, since I've told you all the stuff that you won't learn. Well there are some interesting insights into how Bowie's childhood, as well as his family life, has affected him as an adult, or at least the part of his adult life which Angie was involved in. You also learn quite a bit about two of Bowie's early managers, Ken Pitt and Tony DeFries, and how they shaped his career. There is also an interesting cast of characters that the Bowies were spending time with while David was on his way to becoming famous, and you learn how these people affected their lives, as well as his career. You learn about all the things that Angie did to help him become famous, and she claims to have done a lot for his early career, but whether you decide she's giving herself too much credit, is up to you. Like I mentioned before, there is tons of sex in this book, and you learn from Angie whether she thinks David was good in bed. You also learn alot about who they both were having affairs with, although none of them were really surprising to me, especially where David is concerned. I was hoping of learning about a juicy affair he may have had with Iggy Pop, since the movie Velvet Goldmine has one take place between the characters that are based on Pop and Bowie, but if there ever was one, Angie does not mention it at all. She does mention what may have happened in the sheets between David and Mick Jagger though, but I didn't really care for that part, especially since I find the idea of him being with Iggy Pop far more sexy and intriguing.
Another person who I thought I'd learn more about would be Mick Ronson, and you do learn a bit about him early on in the book when David is putting together the Spiders From Mars, and when he first starts playing with them, but after Angie mentions David's sudden breaking up of that band, at that famous Hammersmith Odeon show in 1973, no more is to be heard. The breaking up of the Spiders is not just a turning point for David's career, but it was also a turning point for their marriage, because after that event, Angie's knowledge of what was going on in David's personal life starts to get more and more vague. It is during the time before 1973, that she gives the most insight into David's creative process, and I did find that to be fascinating. You do learn quite a bit about what was going on behind the scenes when The Man Who Sold The World was recorded, and I really enjoyed that part, but she doesn't tell you as much about what circumstances surrounded the recordings of the albums after that. So, if you are looking to find out what inspired Bowie to write every song on an album like The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, don't look here, because she will not tell you. Instead, she gives glimpses of what may have inspired him to do certain creative things during the early '70s, and you do get a peak into how he actually went about writing some of his songs, but the only person who really could tell you what he was thinking when he wrote Suffragette City, for example, would be David himself. And unfortunately he hasn't written an extremely personal biography like this about his own life yet, but I really wish he would hurry up and do that. Then I could have the answers to many of the questions which Angie's book left with me, and get his side of the story on their marriage, which is something I definitely wanted to know about after I finished the book, but until then I will just have to settle with hers. It is a pretty good read to settle with though, and despite the fact that it left me with more questions than it did answers, I still recommend it to other Bowie fans. If you are the kind of fan that wants to know what was going on in his personal life before and during the Ziggy era, then Angie will give you an idea. It may not be the complete picture, but since that cannot be known until David writes his own tell all book, this might just be good enough to tide you over for awhile.