SIMON GODDARD – Bowie Odyssey 72

SIMON GODDARD – Bowie Odyssey 72


Following the publication of last year’s “Bowie Odyssey 71”, yours truly had been eagerly awaiting its follow-up, and what a treat it now is to be able to tell you that we are dealing with a sparkling new literary gem here. Simon Goddard’s story is an engrossing account of Bowie’s dealings and whereabouts in the glorious year of 1972 and as with the author’s two previous entries in the “Odyssey”-series, this one adds a fresh perspective on all things David and the musical landscape of Britain fifty years ago. Candid, audacious, original, and told with more flair and style than I can possibly sum up in a few sentences, the latest installment is a gripping exploration of a pioneering soul’s existence on the cusp of greatness and the trials and tribulations of a life in pop music and the sphere of glam rock.

Few would deny the fact that Bowie was a cultural force and phenomenon who influenced the minds of generations. Goddard guides us through the inner turmoil and broken promises, the artistic yearning and fierce rebellion, the superbly crafted songs and outrageous clothes, the seductive whispers backstage and forgettable love affairs, the spirited quest for musical innovation, and the burden of traumatic truths when relationships either shut down or ceased to be fulfilling. The dark side of life on the road in the US and what that entailed for David and his talented cohorts is brilliantly laid bare and elegantly told, and the dynamics of David’s intriguing friendship with Lou Reed and the strangely uncomfortable rivalry with T. Rex’s Marc Bolan make for a riveting read. The tone and narrative style that Goddard employs is unique and totally different to any other book on the great musician out there, which means that if hard facts and encyclopedic entries tickle your fancy then “Bowie Odyssey 72” might in fact not be for you as it is playful and imaginative.     

There is beauty and clarity as well as grittiness and pitch-black complexity to this irresistible piece of literature. Warm and witty one moment only to turn bleak and viciously sarcastic the next, Goddard’s book feels endlessly inventive and sizzles with energy. Whereas “Bowie Odyssey 70” was a fine offering and a good starting point, its follow-up was nothing short of a masterpiece. This new one, the third chapter in the saga, is a landmark in music literature that reaches dazzling heights, and it is as compelling as it is flawless. Simply put, “Bowie Odyssey 72” is the definitive account of this landmark year in the life of the much-missed icon, and it paints much more than a vivid and darkly entertaining portrait; it is addictive and immersive reading that overflows with creativity, and it offers a fabulously alternative and groundbreaking take on the birth of Ziggy Stardust. You need this.

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