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The Age of Bowie Kindle Edition
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On the song "Absolute Beginners"; "It is a tribute to the sort of emotional, uncomplicated pop music that Bowie never got around to writing. It's also an exercise in writing the perfect love song to be played over the end credits of a film and extend the fantasy for a few more wonderful minutes. A love song about a love song, about the power of film, where the singer dreams of a love song that can fly over mountains, sail over heartaches and laugh at the oceans.
Bowie said at the time that he wished he could be in this kind of love with someone, but there is definitely some love, and real loss, making it into the song. He's singing a song for his extremely non-conformist brother Terry, who helped give Bowie his beginning. Terry who introduced Bowie to lesser-known sights and sounds, helping him enter new worlds and deep layers of history that might yet control and prevent madness.
He's singing a dream of the kind of less tense, less distressed music he might have made if he didn't have the shadow of Terry always there, the constant fear of losing control, of having to make a choice between staying with all the madmen or perishing with the sad men roaming free; this lovesong-loving Bowie was always there, among all the shadows keen on ruling, and ruining, his psyche, which is why there was always some big-hearted pop element lurking in even his more dark, savage songs. Here it takes over."
On the song "Heroes": Sobre la canción "Heroes":
"He is leaving Berlin, and leaving the walled-in Berliners a hymn, which is a sign of his rebirth,and becomes a part of the city's own rebirth, and which doesn't exactly eventually knock the Wall down, but imagined a world where it was not needed, and needs to be sung when it is, and comes to symbolise the significant end of a divided city."
On the performance of "Heroes" on the Bing Crosby show:
"Still with the sad clown in his heart, he makes out the wall with his hands in the way the classic mime artist describes a box they are trapped inside, as if to say, the wall is not really there."
"If I've been at all responsible for people finding more characters in themselves than they originally thought they had then I'm pleased because that's something I feel very strongly about; that one isn't totally what one has been conditioned to think one is; that there are many facets to the personality which a lot of us have trouble finding and some of us do find quickly."
I could go on and on. Just do yourself a favor and read it. It will enlighten your life
I LOVE Bowie. I LOVE reading! I have met few books....no, actually, I've NEVER met a book which I found as unreadable as this one. And that includes "A" by Andy Warhol, which is the closest in "tone" and style to this book.
I received this book as a present, and was so eager T read it. Very disappointed.
"The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference" came out not too soon after Bowie's passing last year, and I didn't know if I was ready for it; I had just read Rob Sheffield's delightful "On Bowie" (which any Bowie fan should also check out) and didn't know if I was ready to start thinking of Bowie in the past tense. But I picked it up recently and, after a rough start, found myself absorbed in Morley's attempt not so much to render Bowie as to show a range of Bowies, at different facets of his career.
I know of Morley's style from having read his work on Joy Division over the years; safe to say that when I began my on-and-off freelance (and often unsolicited) writing career some fourteen years ago, I aped his style a lot (especially when writing about Joy Division/New Order). So I knew going in that this wouldn't be a "conventional" biography. And admittedly, the first hundred pages or so have separated the weak from the strong in terms of continuing on with the book, I'm sure. But I stuck with it, and gradually began to fall under Morley's spell as he fell under Bowie's.
This is a fluid narrative, that does bow down somewhat to chronology (the Seventies, the decade that made Bowie and that he made, get the lion's share of space, but in a unique way that I'm not going to spoil here), but as much as anything, it's a testament to how Bowie impacted Morley that it doesn't read like anything conventional in the slightest. Perhaps that frustrates people, and I get that. But really, do you honestly think a "conventional" biography of Bowie could do the job?
"The Age of Bowie" is not for everyone, but it is for the people who continue to wonder what it is about Bowie that got them going in the first place, which Bowie is their favorite (mine is the period from "Golden Years" to "Boys Keep Swinging"), and why some people still don't "get" Bowie. This is a fitting, lovely and loving tribute to one of the most important figures of the 20th century.