Today’s Guest: Marc Spitz, author, Bowie: A Biography.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Late tonight, February 4, 2017, we learned that Marc Spitz, biographer of David Bowie, and contributing writer over the years to Rolling Stone, Spin, and The New York Times, died suddenly. It’s shocking that Bowie and Spitz passed within the same year, each taking their respective fans by surprise. Rolling Stone confirmed Spitz’s death; you can read what’s known about it here. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans. — Bob Andelman)
Even Marc Spitz admits, in the opening pages of his new book, Bowie: A Biography, that he wasn’t sure the world needed another treatise on the life, loves and music of David Bowie.
After all, as a writer for Spin, the New York Times, Maxim, Nylon, and Blender, as well as a long time fan of the singer, he had certainly read many of the already published works.
But, convinced there might be a market for a different approach, he attacked his subject with a dual purpose: first, he attempted to out-research and out-interview his predecessors, and second, he provided a personal string of thoughts and experiences to liven up the traditional chronology of who bonked who, when where and for how long.
MARC SPITZ podcast excerpt: “I think my book has a real hero’s journey in its narrative. You can really see David Bowie becoming the Bowie we know, from the nowhere kid in South London. By the end you feel you’ve lived through a dozen different zeitgeists. And it’s funny. And I’m in it.”
At this, Spitz certainly succeeded; his Bowie is a smooth, crackling read.
And there is one other factor to consider: There are still plenty of people in the world who have not read any of the previous David Bowie histories—like me, and I’m a big fan.