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Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side with David Bowie

By Angela Bowie

There are countless books about the great rock/pop icon of the twentieth century, David Bowie. But only one written by the woman who met him aged just nineteen, married him, had a child with him and helped shape his image and the early stages of his career.

In one of the great rock’n’roll exposés, Angela Mary Hartnett Bowie gives a riveting account of her years with Bowie and his progress from aspiring young singer to international rock stardom. She emerges as a witty, powerful personality in her own right, and as his partner of ten years has insights into his background and personality that are exclusively hers. American, educated in Cyprus, Switzerland, the US and then London, Angie brought her confidence and sophistication to the young David’s life and is credited with conceptualizing the costumes for the Ziggy Stardust stage show, which was his breakthrough to success.

This is a fascinating glimpse into the music and club scene of early seventies London, and later the rock lifestyle in New York and Los Angeles. Angie knew everyone and gives a colorful, wry account of the ambience, and her brushes with other giants of the decade – Jagger, Elton John, Lou Reed, the Jacksons and members of Led Zeppelin, to name just a few. Her story gives a unique take on life with the inscrutable Bowie and she recounts the dissolution of their marriage, and his descent into cocaine addiction, with courage and charm.

Born Angela Mary Barnett to American parents in Cyprus, Angela Bowie was educated at exclusive schools in Cyprus and Switzerland. She then moved to London to do a marketing degree and it was there that she met the young David Jones, later Bowie. They married in 1970 when she was just 21 years old. During the years of their marriage Angie, as she became known, shared her husband’s fame as a key figure in the development of his music and image. Subsequent to their divorce Angela Bowie returned to America, where she developed a career as a performer, a writer and a journalist.

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