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Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side with David Bowie Paperback – August 8, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press; First Thus edition (August 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815410018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815410010
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neither coy nor restrained, and freed of a time-limited divorce-settlement clause that forbade her to discuss her marriage, the former Mrs. David Bowie describes in no uncertain terms the torrid "open marriage" she shared with the singer known as the Thin White Duke. The couple met in 1968, married in 1970, and were estranged long before their 1980 divorce. Here, Angela Bowie (nee Barnett, an American citizen born in Greece), with assistance from freelance journalist Carr, proudly affirms her bisexuality as well as that of her "dear ex-husband," and describes with considerable relish their dalliances with sundry gender-benders of the glitterati. Sex and drugs far outweigh the rock 'n' roll: this is the book to read for details about David Bowie in bed with Mick Jagger; for the sexual scoop on Rod Stewart, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull and numerous now-deceased performers. There are even some possibly supernatural phenomena. With its smutty anecdotes and barbed remarks about music-industry folk of the 1970s, this portrait may be ugly at times, but it's never dull. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC featured alternate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Neither coy nor restrained...the former Mrs. David Bowie describes in no uncertain terms the torrid 'open marriage' she shared with the singer known as the Thin White Duke....This is the book to read for details about David Bowie in bed with McJagger; for the sexual scoop on Tod Stewart, Lou Teed, Marianne Faithfull, and numerous other performers....With its abecdotes and vbarbed remarks about music-industry fold of the 1970s, this portrait is never dull. (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

This book is well written,witty and kept my interest.
Darcy
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.
Roxie Stardust
You hang around the places you do and the people you do because they make you feel cool, but you're not all that cool.
MortensOrchid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By R.K.M. on November 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ya know, you have to take this book with a grain of salt. She is his ex-wife after all. But aside from the occasional "And did I mention this embarrasing sexual problem David has" and the long list of "But look at all the people who wanted to sleep with me!", this was a highly entertaining book. It was well written and witty. Who knows how many of the stories are true, although I have read other Bowie biographies and can confirm from other sources that a good many of them are. Also, it's nice to get the point of view of someone who was so close to it all. Go ahead and read this book. I recommend reading it in conjunction with a very thoroughly researched "Alias David Bowie" or some other such biography in addition. But this really was an enjoyable book. I intend to make several of my friends read it, just for pleasure although they have no particular interest in Bowie. It's just a fun read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I am a David Bowie fan, and because of that, I became interested in this book. When I read this book, I couldn't put it down. Angela Bowie says it all, from the sweet begining of their relationship to the bitter downfall of their marriage. It's a very funny and twisted tale, but it's very strange. The book is mostly about her rather than David and I thought that was kind of interesting. What is also interesting is the fact that she also mentions other famous names in rock and roll like Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, as well as others. On the other hand, I honestly didn't believe in half of the things she said in this book. So therefore, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves music and gossip. David Bowie fans might also be interested as well. : )
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By desmond on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Why do some reviewers care whether Angela Bowie is "bitter?" Does she seem a little bitter? Yes, frequently. Um ... So?

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.

Geez
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carrie McAllister on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Honestly, after reading this I'm surprised the poor woman didn't permently wrench her shoulder patting herself on the back like this. According to this book, just about every idea that advanced David's career was thanks to Angie. She did all the work, from cooking and sewing, drawing his bath, hiring and firing his managers, booking clubs, etc. Really, whatever did David do? I'm surprised she doesn't take credit for writing the songs and music too. I kept waiting for it, since she takes credit for just about everything else. Okay, I admit I'm not a big fan of Angela Bowie. I'll be up front about that. Her brief appearance backstage in the Ziggy Stardust movie, with her fake British accent and little girl voice irritated me from the start. But I've read other Bowie biographies and wanted to know more about what was happaning in his personal life at the time, and I figured his at-the-time wife would know best, so I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Nope. If that's what you're looking for, find another book. All this one does is tell you what Angie was doing, and frankly, according to the book, it was just about everything. Oh, and did you know that just about every major rock star of the era seems to have wanted to sleep with Angie too? My goodness, when did the poor woman have time to sleep? Frankly, the book is hilarious, but not in the way the author intended. If you want to crack yourself up reading a plethora of self-aggrandization, catty remarks and gossip without any proof besides Angie's opinion, than this is the book for you. I encourage you to read it aloud to your friends and family. I did and we all had a great laugh. But if you are really interested in David Bowie's life, you might want to pick another biography. David just doesn't seem to be in this one much.
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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
The tell-all autobiographies of disgruntled ex-spouses/paramours are among the most annoying books on the rock world. Angela Bowie's "Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With David Bowie" aspires to be witty and caustic, but ends up merely sounding bitter, without revealing anything really worth knowing.
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.
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