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Me and Mr. Jones: My Life with David Bowie…

Me and Mr. Jones: My Life with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars (edição: 2024)

de Suzi Ronson (Autor)

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Título:Me and Mr. Jones: My Life with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars
Autores:Suzi Ronson (Autor)
Informação:Pegasus Books (2024), 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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Me and Mr. Jones: My Life with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars de Suzi Ronson

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It’s 1970 and young Suzi Fussey is working as a hairdresser in Beckenham High Street, South-East London. She lives with her parents in a semi-detached house in neighbouring Bromley. One day a Mrs Jones comes into the salon for a shampoo and set. She starts telling Suzi about her ever so talented son David who plays piano and guitar. It turns out that David is the one-hit wonder who did that song a while back about the astronaut who went off into space and was never heard of again - rather like David. Shortly after this Suzi is invited round to the Victorian Villa that David lives in to cut his hair: short spiky and bright red. Mrs Jones talented boy has been transformed into Ziggy Stardust, the bisexual alien rock star. In the time it takes to remove the gown from Mrs Jones and hand her the bill David is the biggest thing in British pop music since the Beatles, and Suzi is touring the world with him as his personal stylist. Just an everyday story of Bromley and Beckenham folk.

This is the story of the hairdresser who ran away to join the rock ‘n’ roll circus. Ronson tells it with an unforced enthusiasm which conveys the excitement of stepping through the hairdresser’s looking glass from the quotidian world of Bromley to the extraordinary world of Ziggy Stardust. Along with the excitement there is also a rather touching sense of not quite belonging to the glamorous and bohemian milieu she has entered. At first she is slightly shocked by Bowie’s open and bisexual marriage; not in any moralistic way, it’s just not how they did things in Bromley. The hip names dropped in Bowie’s circle - Burroughs, Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop - mean nothing to her. Sometimes the mundane and the bizarre meet with comic effect: she dyes Bowie’s jock strap, bought to be worn with an exotic but slightly too revealing costume by Kansai Yamamoto, bright red on top of the gas stove in her mum’s semi. At the poolside in LA, with Bowie’s exotic Warholian entourage, she is self-consciously aware that her swimsuit is from Marks & Sparks. What’s great about all this is that almost any teenage Bowie fan of the time, myself very much included, would have felt exactly the same had they suddenly found themselves transported into his world: thrilled to be there, but slightly out of place.

She writes about Angie Bowie with warm admiration. In the early seventies Angie was just as famous as David. Since then her role in the Bowie story has been sadly marginalised. Ronson returns her to centre stage. I’m sure she was the big influence on Bowie that Ronson says she was; always encouraging him to be that little bit more outrageous and an important catalyst in his transformation from curly-haired folkdom to Ziggy stardom. According to Suzi it was Angie who persuaded Bowie come out as gay in the 1972 Melody Maker interview which helped to make him famous.

For a couple of years or so Ronson was part of Bowie’s inner circle. She was often the only person with him in the dressing room before a show and always ready in the wings with a cigarette and glass of wine. She doesn’t use the book to betray confidences or settle scores. A clear-eyed portrait of Bowie emerges nonetheless, and not an entirely flattering one: charming yet distant, charismatic but enigmatic, overweeningly ambitious and with a ruthless streak. Bowie displayed that ruthlessness onstage at the Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973 when he announced the death of Ziggy and the end of the Spiders from Mars. This came as a shock not just to Bowie’s fans but also his bassist and drummer as he hadn’t bothered to tell them in advance. Suzi was dropped along with the band. Still, she has no regrets: ‘My life was all black and white until I met David, and afterwards it was glorious technicolour, as bright as the hair on his head’. Her entertaining memoir provides a fresh perspective on the rise to stardom of Mrs Jones talented boy. ( )
  gpower61 | Apr 13, 2024 |
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