Hallo Spaceboy: The Rebirth of David Bowie
by Dave Thompson
This is actually Dave Thompson’s second volume in a continuing enlightening and detailed look at the life and career of über-artist David Bowie. The first volume, Moonage Daydream, closed with 1987 when Bowie’s career was at one of its nadirs. This book covers the next two decades up to 2006, showing the successes and missteps of a protean genius who shows a remarkable ability to recreate himself. Some of the surprising moves made by Bowie during this fertile period is playing to the techno masses (“Pallas Athena”), being the most challenging as Tin Machine, funding his future with “Bowie Bonds” and more. Surprising moves, sure, but not all would agree they were all successes or even wise. In an insightful work that is honest and not hagiographical, Thompson fairly assesses what went right and what went wrong with Bowie’s moves.
In a comprehensive review of this period of Bowie’s career, one near constant thread is the hot and cold creative relationship with guitarist Reeves Gabrels. Through the lens of Gabrel’s interaction with Bowie we learn a lot about Bowie’s creative process and his at times distant approach even to his closest collaborators. Closing on a better point in Bowie’s career than Moonage Daydream did, almost twenty years later Bowie has re-established himself at a new peak after another extraordinary comeback. Included in this book is the darkly astonishing 1.Outside, insights into his private life as a contented family man married to super-model Iman, and a running close examination of the relative strengths and weaknesses of The Berlin Trilogy of Low, “Heroes” and Lodger. (Often, this important series of releases is dispensed with superficially and categorically.)
Along with suggestions for further reading, this book features an extensive discography of career studio albums, live releases and details of recording sessions. Surprisingly, though, it is not indexed.