Along the way, we follow Bowie's amazing journey as he moved through labels, managers (Tony DeFries), sidemen (the late, great guitarist Mick Ronson), rivals (most notably Marc Bolan), and addictions and identities (Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke), to become the icon and legend he is recognized as today.
The most fun part about reading this for me was going back to Bowie records I haven't listened to in years, and reliving my own memories as a teenaged fan.
From my earliest exposure to Bowie on the song "Moonage Daydream" (which I first heard on a promotional 4-song E.P. I got as a 16-year old intern at Seattle rock station KOL), to witnessing Bowie's sparsely attended 1972 Ziggy Stardust show in the orchestra pit at Seattle's Paramount with my high school buddy Kim Murrell, the memories came flooding back.
Bowie and Kim had a rather spirited exchange back then, when, in a rare moment of getting up close and personal with his audience, "Ziggy" offered my 15-year old friend the microphone. Remind me to tell you about it one of these days... because it's a great story.
I don't necessarily agree with all of of Spitz's critical assessments of Bowie's work here — I would definitely call comparing latter-day Bowie albums like Outside to the Berlin trilogy (reunion with Eno aside), somewhat misguided. But for the most part Spitz gets it right here like no Bowie biography has to date.
Most importantly, he reveals just how much David Bowie is truly missed. I suspect I'll be re-reading and discovering new things here for weeks and months to come. Come back David. All is forgiven.