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Backstage Passes Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1994

3.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Jove; Reprint edition (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515113522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515113525
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't have high expectations of this book, but thought it would be fun to see just how raunchy it might be. Turns out it's not all that raunchy, although it did give a good glimpse into sexual experimentation in the 1970s with men and women and stage performers, while also offering a glimpse into David Bowie's icy 1970s insanity, drug use and sexual excess.

Angela gives a bit of background to herself, not too much, and writes well (or her co-author Patrick Carr does). Some nice passages putting people in their place, and she had a lot of evil hanger-ons to deal with, not to mention show business leeches (Bowie was no different than the Stones, Black Sabbath, or any number of bands that got ripped off by management). She gives the impression that she indulged in sexual and drug excess only a small proportion of what her husband engaged in, and she hardly seems to know her son Zowie (the remarkably unattractive film maker Duncan Jones).

Born in Cyprus, but an American, she met Bowie in 1968 when she was 19, they married a year later, had a tumultuous 12-year personal and professional relationship, and divorced in 1980. The book covers up to 1980, hinting only slightly at the years that followed. The strangest thing about the book is Bowie's descriptions of Michael Jackson - she knew him before Thriller and praised his normalcy. The book was published in 1993, my version is a 2006 reprint that doesn't appear to be updated at all. She also recounts the famous episodes of the song "Angie" (not written about her at all - she came close to sleeping with Mick Jagger but never actually did), and also finding him naked in bed with her husband - she neither make assumptions about what went on nor confesses to spotting K-Y jelly in the vicinity.
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Format: Paperback
A real page turner. High spirited Angela Bowie has a way with words and is a gifted story teller. This book does not rely on casual name dropping, but is full of twist turns, tales of intrigue, colors, sounds and sensations. She does not portray herself as a hero, but as a woman navigating her way through turbulent and exciting times, and embracing a life of promoting pop icon David Bowie, while shunning societal norms. She is witty, intelligent, and deeply introspective. This book is reminiscent of Pamela Des Barres' I'm With the Band, but instead of being a celebration of sexual worship of the macho rock God, is the story of a woman fighting for her own survival while helping her man, David Bowie reach the heights of stardom. This book is highly relevant to the issues of today with its frank treatment of her open marriage, bisexuality, and androgyny, and her powerful influence over David Bowie's early image and career. In the end she expresses some regret over not having had a conventional marriage, and her rejection of motherhood that resulted in estrangement from her son. Still, had she lived a "normal" life, she would not have such an exciting story to tell.
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