I was never a huge fan of David Bowie when I was young, but even then I appreciated that he had something utterly unlike other artists. But I didn’t know then what it was.
I do now, of course, like so many others who have looked back at the man’s extraordinary career following his untimely death. A quote of his I remember in particular: “the place for an artist to be is just outside their comfort zone.” I’ve tried to follow this in my career as an author, at first without realising it, but now with a kind of Brit-ironic shrug. An artist is an explorer, and there were very few explorers like David Bowie.
The Age Of Bowie is written by one of the most experienced of authors, who, as he explains at length in the opening chapters, loved and followed Bowie from the early days. This work is mostly about Bowie, but it is also about the way Morley found and appreciated Bowie, which serves as a template for all of us around his age.
Paul Morley can be rather wordy, and some would call his style in books and on screen pretentious. In this book however, despite in a number of places there being three paragraphs where one would do, the wordiness is impossible to criticise, because part of the deal here is to present Bowie in his times. It is not pretentious. Rather, the exuberance of words stands for Morley’s sincere love of his subject. Everything matters.
A book for fans of Bowie, and for fans of music, but perhaps above all for those who want an insight into the truth about creativity and everything surrounding it.