This is basically a picture book. Pictures of Bowie at his peacock, androgynous, photogenic best, and very beautiful it is too! Ziggy and Alladin are the references here with Mick Rock photographing the dame on world tours, staged model shots and candid backstage takes in the early 70's. A lot of these photographs are rare or previously unpublished. Almost all of them are stunning in their evocation of the long gone glam era when David and Marc were kings.
Bowie is stick thin in these pictures. He has cheekbones so shockingly prominent you could, without doubt, cut your hands on them and, in most of the photographs, he is sporting his famous Ziggy carrot mullet. A cut that no doubt troubled many a 70's barber!
There is no doubt that Bowie has aged extremely well. Now 60 years old he still has the appearance of a man in his 40's. Viewing this book however i was still shocked to see how young Bowie actualy looks in some of these photographs. There are a collection of shots taken outside the Beverely Hills Hotel where Bowie could easily pass as a 15 year old schoolboy let loose in his mother's wardrobe!
The book stands alone on the strength and importance of these photographs. However, if that were not enough, there are also threads of narattive from Rock and Bowie himself throughout the book with both men recalling memories of the era or the origins of the photographs.
I strongly advise you to buy this volume of photographs whilst it is still in print and available.At this laughbly cheap price it is criminal not to!
I can remember being absolutely intrigued by David Bowie's image as a young lad of 11 or so. This was the hey day of glam rock and there were no such things as women in rock, or so I thought, mind you I was convinced that The New York Dolls and Brian Eno were very strange looking women. Once this myth was dispelled, I thought that rock stars had to dress up as women as real women were not allowed to play in Rock Bands.
Some how I always knew that David, no matter how much makeup and androgynous clothing he wore, was a bloke through and through. We had a black and white television and read Melody Maker and NME, therefore David was not usually available in full colour. There were colour pop mags and several of the pictures featured in this fantastic book were on my bedroom wall.
Along with the familiar images are some photo's that I have never seen before and with an entertaining narrative from Bowie Himself this is a feast of Sound and Vision. This book took me back to the 11 year old school boy and is a must for a Bowie fan, or even for the mildly curious. Now there was a man who sounded as good as he looked....
Wow, brilliant. I can't say enough good things about this book, but will tell you that it's well worth every penny. The photographs are reproduced in high quality, although I did question to myself why some of them are in black and white when I've seen them elsewhere in colour. Bowie himself laments in the book that Rock wasn't with him to capture the Japanese performances / Aladdin Sane time and this would have been an excellent addition.
But if you want to buy a book about Bowie, make it this one.
I bought this book for my mum's birthday. She absolutely loved it as she was a huge fan and even I was impressed with the lavish colour photos of Bowie in his fantastically theatrical costumes. There are many juicy snippets of information for lovers of the thin white Duke, including on-tour annecdotes, musings on fashion and fame, and insights into the song-writing process. It makes you realise just how very odd Bowie was at the time and still is, he was the inventor of glam, he was punk before punk was invented, New Romantic long before the eighties, but he was never exclusively any of these things. He was only ever himself, a truly mercurial and intelligent performer who bought his peculiar sensibility to everything he did.
My main interest in Bowie is the music, so I bought this only when I found it heavily discounted. I am glad that I did.
The revelation for me is Bowie's text, which runs through the book, partly as commentary on particular photos, but more often as general musings. He looks back fondly, yet dispassionately on the farflung Ziggy times. Witty & all rather English.
On being pressed by a girlfriend to take a look at Lindsay Kemp, the avantguarde mime artist, he comments: 'A mime. What could be less interesting?'. But then the girlfriend mentions that Kemp was playing Bowie's first album at the interval. 'A mime. how interesting.'
DB reveals that the lightening flash came from the sign for high voltage electricity. Not the schizophrenia reference which I had assumed.
You also get pictures, 300 pages' worth, recording much of the brief time Ziggy was with us (merely 18 months). An interesting mix of brash on-stage Ziggy & Spiders with some superbly mundane backstage footage & a few boyish ones at Haddon Hall. Viva Mick Rock!
This is not the first DB item you should buy. But it makes for a handsome addition for the Bowie enthusiast.
This book first appeared as a lush, limited-edition collector's item. Autographed by Bowie and Rock, it was craft-bound, weighed in at 8 lb and cost a cool three hundred quid.
It was perhaps inevitable that given a decent interval, the book would reappear in a trade edition at a more reasonable price. Still the size of a breeze block and glamorous enough to grace the best of coffee tables, official photographer Rock's upmarket photo album traces the entire history of the Ziggy Stardust era from its flame-haired inception to its last gasp on the legendary 1973 TV special, the 1980 Floor Show.
And what pictures they are - cataloguing the evolution of the alien, anorexic Ziggy style from its Clockwork Orange beginnings through harlequin suits and wrestler's boots to the late-period oriental eccentricity of Aladdin Sane.
But that's not all. The pictures are annotated by Bowie's own reminiscences - fragmented, acerbic, funny, wry, wistful, often self-deprecating. In the absence of a proper Bowie memoir, this is as good as it gets, shedding sidelights on an era that now seems as remote as the roaring twenties.
Dip into this if you must, but even in its cheap and cheerful form, Moonage Daydream is that rare artefact - a coffee-table book that's worth reading from cover to cover.