Bowie: The Biography

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Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke. Gender Bender. Rebel. Songwriter. Fashion Icon. Rock God. One of the most influential creative artists of his generation, David Bowie morphed from one glittering incarnation to the next over the course of five decades—an enduring superstar who remained endlessly enigmatic and always ahead of his time. Discover the man behind the myth in this intimate and in-depth biography—featuring a full-color sixteen-page photo insert.

David Bowie passed away after an eighteen-month battle with cancer on January 10, 2016. Few knew of his illness, and Bowie flawlessly orchestrated his last goodbye with the release of his final (and some say best) album, Blackstar, featuring the haunting song “Lazarus,” and its accompanying video, a farewell message to his millions of fans. Throughout his iconic career that included such hits as “Let’s Dance,” “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” “Modern Love,” and “Life on Mars,” Bowie managed to retain his Hollywood star mystique.

Through in-depth interviews with those who knew him best, New York Times bestselling author Wendy Leigh reveals the man behind Bowie’s myriad images—up to and including his role as stay-at-home dad, happily monogamous in his quarter-of-a-century-plus marriage to supermodel Iman. In this “sizzling” (Radar Online) new biography, Leigh brings fresh insights to Bowie’s battles with addiction; his insatiable sex life—from self-avowed gay to bisexual to resolutely heterosexual—and countless conquests; his childhood in a working-class London neighborhood and the troubling family influences that fueled his relentless pursuit of success; and much more. This exploration of an artist beloved by so many reveals the man at the center of the mythos.
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About the author

Wendy Leigh is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including Bowie, Prince Charming: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story, and The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy, and the coauthor of Life with My Sister Madonna, Jeannie Out of the Bottle, and Shirley Jones.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 23, 2014
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781476767116
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Music
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A no-holds-barred look into the remarkable life and career of the prolific musician, songwriter, and producer behind Eurythmics and dozens of pop hits.
 
Dave Stewart’s life has been a wild ride—one filled with music, constant reinvention, and the never-ending drive to create. Growing up in industrial northern England, he left home for the gritty London streets of the seventies, where he began collaborating and performing with various musicians, including a young waitress named Annie Lennox.
 
The chemistry between Stewart and Lennox was undeniable, and an intense romance developed. While their passion proved too much offstage, they thrived musically and developed their own sound. They called themselves Eurythmics and launched into global stardom with the massively popular album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).
 
For the first time, Stewart shares the incredible, high-octane stories of his life in music—the drug-fueled adventures, the A-list collaborations and relationships, and the creative process that brought us blockbusters from Eurythmics like “ Here Comes the Rain Again” and “Would I Lie to You” as well as Tom Petty’s  “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” No Doubt’s “Underneath It All,” Golden Globe winner “Old Habits Die Hard” with Mick Jagger, and many more.
 
From great friendships and creative partnerships including the group SuperHeavy along with Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and A. R. Rahman, to inspired performances and intimate moments in the studio—Stewart highlights the musicians he admires and calls friends, from Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Elton John, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr to Bono, Bon Jovi, and Katy Perry.
 
With a behind-the-scenes look at Stewart’s innovative endeavors that keep him on the cutting-edge of the music business, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This is a one-of-a-kind  portrait of the creative heart of one of its most gifted and enterprising contributors.

With a Foreword by Mick Jagger!
I am Tommy Lee, born Thomas Lee Bass in Athens, Greece, on October 3, 1962, and raised in a suburb of California by an American father and a Greek mother. At seventeen, I joined Mötley Crüe and we became one of the baddest-ass rock bands in history. We sold over 40 million albums, we wreaked havoc, we scared parents, and we titillated too many fathers' daughters. I've been married three times: once for just a few days to a Penthouse Pet, for seven years to Heather Locklear, and then for five years to Pamela Anderson, with whom I have two beautiful sons. I've gotten into a lot of fights and I've been to jail a few times.

But this book isn't your typical journey in a straight line from day one to day now. I'm more interested in revealing what's most important about my life, like how I cook my steaks; what I think of the tabloids, the truth, my ex-wives, my ex-band, my music; and what an innocent observer might find hanging around my house any given Sunday. You'll get plenty of facts and I'll tell you a story, but my real mission here is to paint you a picture of my life. I want to show you how my memories smell.

I'd like to get into it now, so please take your seats. I advise you to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. If you have a pacemaker, a heart condition, or if you are pregnant or too damn short to reach the safety bar, I ask that you turn back immediately. Those with weak stomachs, strict morals, or chronic indigestion should put the book down now. For the rest of you, there's one truth that's real across the board: What you send out is what you get back. Send out the good, people, and it will come back to you. There's another thing I've learned over the years, in court, in fights, and in arguments with people I love: There isn't one truth, there are many. This book is my truth.

NOTE: THE EBOOK DOES NOT INCLUDE PHOTOGRAPHS THAT APPEAR IN THE PRINT EDITIONS.
A heartwarming, in-depth portrait of the beloved star whose sensational performances in Dirty Dancing and Ghost seduced a generation, and whose courage in the face of illness captivated millions

For almost thirty years, Patrick Swayze has been an American icon of masculinity and sex appeal, strong but sensitive, romantic yet dangerous.

In this intimate and revealing biography, New York Times bestselling author Wendy Leigh shares the inspiring untold story of Patrick's incredible life: his show business childhood, his fairy-tale love affair with wife Lisa Niemi, his catapult into alcoholism after his father's untimely death, the daredevil exploits that almost killed him, and his courageous fight against pancreatic cancer, a fight that has off-ered hope and encouragement to others grap-pling with similar life-threatening illnesses.

Ever since the steamy low-budget film Dirty Dancing skyrocketed Patrick to fame and cemented his place in the hearts of audiences around the world, he has been one of our most cherished public figures. Based on interviews with countless sources who have never spoken about Patrick before -- from the Texas beauty who shared his first kiss, to the woman he almost married, to the manager who worked closely with him from his teen idol days until his romantic tour de force in Ghost -- and many more, Leigh unveils surprising details about the charismatic actor's life on- and off-screen. Beginning with his training as a dancer with his choreographer mother and spanning his remarkable -- and at times challenging -- career, this groundbreaking biography of the un-forgettable entertainer is the mesmerizing, enduring, and definitive story of a man who captured our hearts.
John Cleese’s  huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seem written into comedy’s DNA. In this rollicking memoir, So, Anyway…, Cleese takes readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown.
 
Cleese was just days away from graduating Cambridge and setting off on a law career when he was visited by two BBC executives, who offered him a job writing comedy for radio. That fateful moment—and a near-simultaneous offer to take his university humor revue to London’s famed West End—propelled him down a different path, cutting his teeth writing for stars like David Frost and Peter Sellers, and eventually joining the five other Pythons to pioneer a new kind of comedy that prized invention, silliness, and absurdity. Along the way, he found his first true love with the actress Connie Booth and transformed himself from a reluctant performer to a world class actor and back again.
 
Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions—with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what’s funny and why—this story of a young man’s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.

Madonna up close, by the brother who knows her better than anyone.

Christopher Ciccone's extraordinary memoir is based on his forty-seven years of growing up with, working with, and understanding the most famous woman of our time, who has intrigued, scandalized, and entertained millions for half a century.

Through most of the iconic star's kaleidoscopic career, Christopher played an important role in her life: as her backup dancer, her personal assistant, her dresser, her decorator, her art director, her tour director.

If you think you know everything there is to know about Madonna, you are wrong. Only Christopher can tell the full scale, riveting untold story behind Madonna's carefully constructed mythology, and the real woman behind the glittering façade.

From their shared Michigan childhood, which Madonna transcended, then whisked Christopher to Manhattan with her in the early eighties, where he slept on her roach-infested floor and danced with her in clubs all over town -- Christopher was with her every step of the way, experiencing her first hand in all her incarnations. The spoiled daddy's girl, the punk drummer, the raunchy Boy Toy, Material Girl, Mrs. Sean Penn, Warren Beatty's glamorous Hollywood paramour, loving mother, Mrs. Guy Ritchie, English grande dame -- Christopher witnessed and understood all of them, as his own life was inexorably entwined with that of his chameleon sister.

He tangled with a cast of characters from artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, to Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss, Demi Moore, and, of course, Guy Ritchie, whose advent in Madonna's life splintered the loving relationship Christopher once had with her.

The mirror image of his legendary sister, with his acid Ciccone tongue, Christopher pulls no punches as he tells his astonishing story.

Life with My Sister Madonna is the juicy, can't-put-it-down story you've always wanted to hear, as told by Madonna's younger brother.
The New York Times Bestseller!

After decades of silence, Robyn Crawford, close friend, collaborator, and confidante of Whitney Houston, shares her story.

Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of fans around the world. One person was there by her side through it all—her best friend, Robyn Crawford.

Since Whitney’s death in 2012, Robyn has stayed out of the limelight and held the great joys, wild adventures, and hard truths of her life with Whitney close to her heart. Now, for the first time ever, Crawford opens up in her new memoir, A Song for You.

With warmth, candor, and an impressive recall of detail, Robyn describes the two meeting as teenagers in the 1980s, and how their lives and friendship evolved as Whitney recorded her first album and Robyn pursued her promising Division I basketball career. Together during countless sold-out world tours, behind the scenes as hit after hit was recorded, through Whitney’s marriage and the birth of her daughter, the two navigated often challenging families, great loves, and painful losses, always supporting each other with laughter and friendship.
 
Deeply personal and heartfelt, A Song for You is the vital, honest, and previously untold story that provides an understanding of the complex life of Whitney Houston. Finally, the person who knew her best sets the record straight.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Even in the days when he was Davie (or Davy) Jones of the the Kon-Rads, King Bees or the Manish Boys (a few of his early bands) — David Bowie was, and still is, a fully formed, timeless pop artist. Although he always experimented and changed stylistically, he seems to have simply burst into this world as Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, and finally just Mr. Jones — all rolled into one. He is a shimmering chimera changing to reflect what we hope to find, and what we don’t expect to find: the romantic troubadour, the glammed outer space messiah, the burnt-out case from another world, the sophisticated, world-weary philosopher, the aging artist facing his own mortality.

David Bowie’s best known, and most groundbreaking character is Ziggy Stardust. If the trappings of Ziggy Stardust, glam-androgyn, are stripped away, what we have left is simply great pop music. The gender-smashing concept of Ziggy — as stimulating, and some would say, as freeing for society as it was — isn’t a bolt out of the blue for us today as it was then. What survives is the music. So the sociological effect of David Bowie’s depiction of gender with his character Ziggy Stardust isn’t his most valuable contribution to pop music. The music is.

Besides his popular success, part of why David Bowie is such a great contributor to late 20th century rock and roll is that the answer to who or what David Bowie is is a reflection of who we are. Like all great artists he shows us aspects of our own imaginations. And in an uncanny way, he has always managed to presage certain trends or events at a time when Western pop culture was changing in a way that in hindsight seems inevitable. At any given time, the shape of the future is unknown. An obvious observation, but one that needs restating in order to place ourselves more fully in the shoes of those who came before us.

In 2004, Rolling Stone put David Bowie at number 39 on its “100 Greatest Artists of All

Time ” list. His friend and sometime collaborator, Lou Reed, commented that ”he has a melodic sense that is just way above anyone else in rock and roll.” Listen to just a few of his songs, and it becomes obvious that he is a great songwriter as well as a great performer: “Space Oddity”, “Changes”, “Ziggy Stardust”, “Life on Mars?”, “Young Americans”, “Fame”, ”Sound and Vision”, “Heroes”, “Let’s Dance”. His music varies so much over the years — from the English music hall style of some of the songs on the 1967 album, David Bowie, to the American soul style of Young Americans, to the euro-rock, post punk sounds of the Berlin Trilogy, Heroes, Low, and Lodger, to mainstream hits of the 80s, ”Let’s Dance” and ”Modern Love”, to his late career, jazz-influenced song “Bring Me the Disco King”.

Despite the fact that he has varied his approach stylistically, Bowie explains his approach to his subject matter in this YouTube video of a Danish interview given at the start of his A Reality Tour of 2003. He has returned to the same themes throughout his life: “loneliness, isolation, abandonment, spirituality, and the lack thereof.” He tells the interviewer that he is fundamentally the same person that he was a teenager, except that he is three and a half inches taller.

According to Bowie, he has shifted his perspective, but not his artistic preoccupations...

...buy the book to read more!

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