Ashes to Ashes: Book Thoughts


Hello, everyone. Ashes to Ashes comes out today (edit: not until the 19th in the UK, it seems? Sorry UK). You can buy it in your local bookshop (a good option!), you can buy it online, and you can get it as an e-book. See here for many ways to get it.

So this is my general thank you to everyone who visited this blog over the past ten (!) years, to those who have said something kind about it, and to those who’ve left an insightful comment. As you’ll see in the book’s introduction, I believe that the blog flourished in the early 2010s for a few reasons, the quality of its readership being a primary one. In a couple weeks I’ll talk about what I’m thinking of working on next.

If you can make it to an event in the next month (see here—but in brief summary, New York on 21 and 25 February, London on 14 March, and (details to come) Manchester on 16 March), please say hello. It will be nice to meet anyone whom I’ve only known as a name on a comment thread.


On the Notes

I’m putting up the book notes section in the next few days and will collect these in PDF form if that’s more convenient for readers. It’s to my great regret that these couldn’t appear in Ashes, but they would have added another hundred? pages to an already-oversized book (if you’ve ordered it in the mail, when the package shows up you’ll think it’s a pair of shoes) and jacked up the retail price, etc. But as dense and esoteric as these notes may be, they’re a vital piece of the book.

For one thing, I tried, as much as possible, to credit by name the journalists who interviewed Bowie and/or reviewed his concerts. I was blessed to write about a musician whose working life coincided with a far healthier environment for newspapers, music websites, and magazines. As late as the Reality tour, nearly every Bowie concert in North America and Europe was covered by a writer for a local or national newspaper, creating an invaluable pile of contemporary details. Someone in the 2030s writing about, say, Janelle Monáe may not have that to draw upon. The idea that YouTube clips, tweets and Tumblr entries documenting her Dirty Computer tour will be around in 20 years is…optimistic.


On the Book

Some thoughts on how the book turned out:

Chapter One: New People (1976-1977)

Title comes from a Dziga Vertov subtitle that’s stuck with me over the years: that mix of optimism and doom. It’s the “character opening” chapter, so there are some quick intros for post-Station DB, Iggy Pop and Brian Eno. Some entries were greatly reworked; others hold fairly close to their original blog entries. Among the key pieces are “Sound and Vision” and “Warszawa.” As I’ve said before, the latter’s in great debt to Agata Pyzik, who gave—at last!—a Polish perspective for a song written about a Polish city.

Chapter Two: Berliners (1977)

The rocket-propulsed chapter—the upper of the period, with some Berlin stage-setting. “Heroes” got some substantial alterations; “V-2 Schneider” is far better than the blog, I think.

Chapter Three: Someone Else’s Horizon (1977-1979)

Mr. Toad provided the title. But a bear of a chapter to write, as it covers a sprawling period from the Marc Bolan and Bing Crosby duets through the 1978 tour to post-Lodger. It’s interesting to see how much Lodger‘s reputation has improved in the span between when I first wrote about it (2011) to today.

Chapter Four: A Society of One (1980-1982)

Title nods to a line from “Teenage Wildlife” (“I feel like a group of one”) but, perhaps less obviously, it’s from a 1997 article on Zora Neale Hurston. I nearly called it Except the Intellectuals, from a Renata Adler quote. I’d assumed the Scary Monsters chapter would be centered on “Ashes to Ashes,” which is a substantial bit for sure, but it turned out that “Teenage Wildlife” became its hub—even more central to the themes of ‘lateness’, modernity and anti-modernity, anger, etc. that permeate DB songs of this period (“Under Pressure” is part of this). With hope, the Baal songs work as an epilogue.

Chapter Five: The Strike Price (1983-1985)

A financial title: if you’d bought shares in David Bowie in 1971 or thereabouts, 1983-1984 would have been your ideal time to cash out—you would have made a mint. World-popular Bowie, and its echoes. “Criminal World,” as blog readers know, had to bear the weight of an exploration of when a gay-identified pop star says he’s not gay anymore in 1983, aiming to be sympathetic to all sides—DB’s frustration with being defined by a homophobic media; fans who felt betrayed by his comments. Labyrinth gets a solid share of time and the chapter ends on some lighter notes.

Chapter Six: The Man on the Spider (1986-1987)

My goal was to be not overly cruel about Bowie’s oft-bashed works: I made a pretty quick dash through what I consider the lesser half of the Never Let Me Down songs. The key pieces are “Glass Spider” and “Zeroes,” which aim to get at where Bowie was in 1987 and why, for some, his spells didn’t work this time.

Chapter Seven: The Battle of the Wilderness (1988-1992)

A US Civil War reference—one of those grisly battles where men were stuck in the woods shooting at each other, then doing it again a week later. I’m indebted, as in a few subsequent chapters, to Reeves Gabrels, who broke down when songs were written and recorded for the Tin Machine albums. Again, my aim was not to bash a still-oft-bashed DB era but to show its serious strengths as well, to see what Bowie said he wanted to accomplish during his time in the ranks. That said, there are still a few jokes about the Machine, sorry guys.

Chapter Eight: Family Albums (1992-1993)

A short but hard chapter to complete. I bet when the next box set comes out and a fresh round of retrospectives get done on Black Tie White Noise, some murkiness about this album will dissipate. At the moment it’s bit of a mess—some players weren’t credited, the thing came together over almost a year of sprawling sessions and Bowie’s insightful comments on the album were few. By contrast the Buddha of Suburbia pieces were a dream—did ’em all in a week or two, if I recall. “Untitled No. 1” remains a favorite in part because the original blog post was when Bowie came back in 2013—reading the old comments is like watching kids wake up on Christmas morning. A good memory.

Chapter Nine: In the Realms of the Unreal (1994-1995)

Title’s from Henry Darger, as you’ll see. It meant lots of earth-moving—endless revisions, additions, cuts (“The Motel” was pared down hard, as I never thought that entry worked well)—but I think you’ll find this is one of the more thorough and, with hope, coherent narratives of how Bowie and Eno’s last collaboration began, what Leon was and what happened to it, in which order the songs came together (thanks again to Reeves—learning that the composition of “Thru These Architects’ Eyes” and “Voyeur of Utter Destruction” preceded the Leon improvisations shed light on why those, for me, had never seemed to fit ‘properly’ into the Outside frame). Spoiler: the killer of Baby Grace isn’t revealed.

Chapter Ten: The Bottle Imp (1995-1997)

Title’s from Robert Louis Stevenson (“there is one thing the imp cannot do—he cannot prolong life”). Writing the Earthling blog entries during 2013 was a slog: I was desperately trying to finish the Rebel Rebel manuscript and very burned out. In revisions, I cut entries down and focused some of this chapter on gear—Mark Plati’s samplers, Gabrels’ Parker and Roland VG, Zach Alford’s drum loops. And I wound up loving Earthling more, with its flash and scrapper’s sensibility—its sparkling conversation between six players—DB, Gabrels, Plati, Garson, Dorsey and Alford (in a way, this wouldn’t happen again until Blackstar). Book-ended by pieces on some of DB’s best tours. A subplot is that this is the last time DB truly irritated people, from Nine Inch Nails fans to a good chunk of the British press.

Chapter Eleven: Tomorrow Isn’t Promised (1998-2000)

Title sounds like a Bond movie but according to DB, Abbie Hoffman told him this (there’s a play for someone to write.) Another monster to draft and organize, as it meant working through Bowie’s late Nineties detritus (BowieNet and Omikron and Bowie Bonds and BowieBanc, etc.), ‘hours…’ and Toy. With hope, it wound up on the side of coherence, spending a good amount of time on the long and winding creation of ‘hours…,’ an album that was made twice. Spiritual center is “Uncle Floyd,” an entry that upon revision, I realized was as much about my own losses as anyone’s. Not the only time, either: I put Nabokov’s Pale Fire in the bibliography as a joke on myself.

Chapter Twelve: Forward Into Remove (2001-2002)

The title’s from a favorite poem in Jana Prikryl’s The After Party. The Heathen chapter is an ashen, po-faced, somber one, to honor one of Bowie’s more ashen, po-faced, somber albums. “Cactus” and the entry on the Legendary Stardust Cowboy hopefully provide some bright asides. I struggled with whether to keep my own part in the “America” entry (as on the blog), nearly deleting it at times, but everyone I showed the MS to said that it should stay, so it did. Still not sure.

Chapter Thirteen: Inauthentic Reality (2003-2007)

Another woolly beast to wrangle. Reality is a tough one—it’s got a lot of songs and it’s all over the place at times (in retrospect, much like the album that followed it). Plus you’ve got to tackle all the bits and bobs of Bowie’s “semi-retirement” years. The “Bring Me the Disco King” entry is fairly intact (at the correct advice of a copy-editor, I wound up ditching the Neil Gaiman/Michael Moorcock parody section, as it didn’t fit with the other ‘alternate life’ bits). No doubt some unaware readers will say “what the hell?” at this point—Ashes gets progressively weirder as it goes on. Ending with the Scarlett Johansson songs, which I thought at first would come off as random, ended up okay, as they wrapped up the New York theme of the chapter.

Chapter Fourteen: Agent Jeffries Reports In (2011-2013)

Organizing the Next Day songs in more coherent form (thanks to Nicholas Pegg getting its recording dates for his latest edition) helped forge a decent storyline of the making of another long album, one full of struggle but also goofiness. “Heat,” by far the most laborious blog entry ever, writing-wise, is improved by edits, I believe. Curious how TND will hold up in the 2020s, as the “wow he’s back!” elated mood fades from collective memory—I’ve seen some bashing of it of late (for more, come to the event in Manchester).

Chapter Fifteen: Noewhemoe (2014-2016)

And: the chapter you haven’t seen before (well, half of it). The title’s from Finnegans Wake, countered by a line from a Broadcast song, as you’ll see. At the least, having Maria Schneider guide you through the writing and recording of “Sue” should be of interest. I tried to give each musician stage time—“I Can’t Give Everything Away” is as much about Jason Lindner and Ben Monder as it is DB. I decided well over a year ago that the book would end with “Blackstar,” whose structure is meant to parallel “Station to Station” in Rebel (& I had the last line set far earlier, though wound up tweaking it in the last edits). Whether it all works is, of course, up to each of you.

87 Responses to Ashes to Ashes: Book Thoughts

  1. Classic Frames says:

    Thank you! Very excited for all this info.

    Doubt it is here in South Africa yet, will check.


  2. Mark Adams says:

    Not out till February 19th in UK. Well done anyway, Chris. Incredible body of work.




  3. richardjoly says:

    Thanks for the hard work and dedication.

  4. TisAPity says:

    I got my copy of the ebook, i’ll be reading it today on my commute. Cheers!

  5. Ann K says:

    Thanks for all your hard work Chris, and for providing the notes. I pre-ordered so I can’t wait for the book to arrive! Maybe next Philly Loves Bowie Week you can make it to Philadelphia for an event. That would be great, and I know you’d get a good turn out. And perhaps every once in a while you can just post a “Hey, how’s everyone doing?” on the blog, just so it doesn’t feel “over.” Jk – on to the next project – and good luck with whatever is on the horizon!

  6. fhgaldino says:

    Very excited! I pre-ordered the e-book and I’m looking forward to read it! And we can’t thank enough for the incredible work you’ve putting into this, in a decade spam. Thank you, Chris! I always remember my expectation on the ‘Bring the Disco King’ entry and when it came out… it was not only above any expectations, it was very moving to read it. As so ‘Heat’. I started reading this blog as soon as I got into Bowie in 2013. And waiting for the entries (and Momus comments), so pleasant to read it was great. I just wish you the best, Chris!

  7. Phil O. says:

    My copy arrives today. I joined the ride back in 2013 or so; almost every entry has offered me new insights into something I’ve loved and known so well (or so I thought!) for so long. My copy of “Rebel Rebel” is well-thumbed.

    Thank you for bringing all of us along with you, and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for any appearances/readings in our mutual home state!

  8. Maarten says:

    I’m curious to know about the Bring me the Disco King first versions

  9. Vinnie says:

    Hoping to attend your event in New York– congratulations on the book’s release!

  10. postpunkmonk says:

    This sounds like the perfect gift for some Bowie/book lovin’ friends I have! So I may be getting a few copies [including my own]. bI try to minimize books purchased, but this blog was so assiduously written and researched, it really reached lofty heights. My own hasty scribblings pale in comparison. Maybe I’ll actually edit them in retirement.

  11. fantailfan says:

    Just downloaded to my iPad… Richard Taruskin will have to wait.

  12. djonn says:

    Beyond excited of course, but also apprehensive in that here is where it ends. I was that way with the Beastie Boys autobiography in that it was such a joy to read, but knowing that in the final few chapters the story would end and there would be no more. Sure undoubtedly there will be more unreleased Bowie songs and insights, but there will be nothing new, which was always the fun (or head scratching bit) of his career which I followed either directly or at a distance since I was a 11 year old boy in 1972- “what will happen next?!” Bur Chris, I know that I am in good hands with you as the “final say” for me. You, the fair, even handed, sometimes exasperated fan (maybe “fan” isn’t the right word for someone with such a vested interest, but I hope you know what I mean).
    Anyway, cheers and thank you yet again for all the tireless work and sacrifice. It is appreciated more than you’ll ever know.

  13. Terra Sancta says:

    Book appeared in my Kindle last night and I read the Blackstar entries immediately. Fantastic stuff, and really appreciate your work over the years

  14. James LaBove says:

    My copy arrived, and I’m counting down the minutes until I’m done with work so I can dive in! Shoe box is right – it is HUGE (but not in a bad way).

    Congratulations, Chris. Since I first came across PAotD some years back, your words on Bowie have been a constant source of insight, enjoyment, and at times consolation, and I tremendously appreciate all of it. You will always be the definitive critical voice for Bowie’s work, for me and many others.

  15. Gareth Power says:

    It seems that the 19th is the publication date round these parts (Ireland). On a point of principle I want to buy it in an actual shop, so hopefully it shows up on the shelves here.

    Not only does this project have brilliant writing and a wealth of really exceptional analysis and insight, but also combines objectivity with a great generosity of spirit towards DB’s work.

  16. s.t. says:

    Just arrived today.
    Can’t wait to dig in!

  17. scarymonster says:

    Thank you and congratulations, Chris!

    Just got tickets and look forward to seeing you in Manchester next month.

    • col1234 says:

      oh great! it should be fun. Owen has plenty of opinions about Bowie and so should be a raucous debate.

      • scarymonster says:

        Great to meet you last weekend in Manchester, Chris.

        Thanks for an enjoyable evening, albeit slightly marred by the host’s preference for focusing on the few missteps rather than the many triumphs.

  18. Mark A Silva says:

    WoW it IS huge. Just arrived today. Thanks.


  19. Bruised Passivity says:

    Despite the 2 day blizzard my copy arrived earler today. Once the snow is cleared from the driveway I have a date with some hot chocolate and the 1st chapter of your book. Congratulations again Chris you should feel proud of this outstanding achievement. 🙂

  20. Coagulopath says:

    (if you’ve ordered it in the mail, when the package shows up you’ll think it’s a pair of shoes)

    Perhaps of the red variety.

  21. ric says:

    really, really looking forward to reading this; hoping UK copy makes it by 23rd, as that hits a gift date spot-on. ticket for mcr purchased (“admit one Scary Monster (or Super Creep)” – very nice). will see you then,

  22. Anonymous says:

    Our copy came yesterday from Amazon!!!

  23. valentina says:

    Just ordered my copy from Italy.
    Thank you and many, many congratulations Chris!

  24. Matt says:

    Book on order!. See you at the Rough Trade gig in “That London” (as we say here).

  25. StupidintheStreet says:

    As if I weren’t already excited about getting the book in my hands, reading this has got me all fired up. Cannot wait to read the mid 90s chapters, in particular. Next month’s vacation reading is totally sorted, yay! Congrats Chris,and thanks for your amazing work.

  26. stuartgardner says:

    Chris, Ashes to Ashes landed in today’s mail out of the blue. Why did I have a package from Amazon? But of course I had preordered the book the very day you told us we might, and so today is something like an unexpected Christmas.

    You already know that my standard review of the blog and Rebel Rebel, on Amazon and repeated numerous times on Twitter and other social media, says “No other work on Bowie approaches O’Leary in terms of depth of research, originality of thought or grace and beauty of writing.”

    Having read every word of the blog and then every word of Rebel Rebel on Kindle, I then purchased and devoured a physical copy.

    And all of that, I know, is an appetizer for the great feast I’ll begin tonight. My challenge will be resisting the temptation to sample desert, because I’ve been dying to read your work on Blackstar since the day that album, which I consider Bowie’s greatest, was released.

    Congratulations on seeing your great dream realized.

  27. stuartgardner says:

    Oh, and for three years I’ve wanted to say that from the moment news of Bowie’s death broke, I’ve felt terrible about how learning he could never respond to your work must have felt. I feel certain that he must have read an essay or two, at least, and that he could only have felt appreciation.

  28. D&B says:

    See you in NYC!!

  29. vonwegen1 says:

    Just finished the last Blackstar entries. Fascinating how you describe the original double album planned for Oct ’15, and how it ended up being his final statement. Well worth the wait!

    • ric says:


      amazon ‘order update’, “estimated arrival date 14th march”… cheers jeff… going for the UK Hive instead, which seems a much better thing altogether.

      • Anonymous says:

        not sure what you said to them Chris, but it’s worked; amazon chap just dropped in a big box of shoes :), muttered something about the suspension on his van, & departed…. so much to find out about, so much to look forward – I’m quite dizzy with anticipation…

        (sorry, still me, may show as anonymous)

  30. zak says:

    ditto from …”Please be advised that we have a revised delivery date [to the UK] … Estimated arrival date: March 14 2019 ” … They still list the release date as 19 Feb.

    • col1234 says:

      hey: what’s happened is that the first print run sold out and amazon is waiting for the next run to get into their warehouses (thus making their “pre-order” concept a bit suspect, yes). with hope that will happen in the next week, maybe in days.

  31. Stolen Guitar says:

    Will copies of both books be available for sale and signing at the Burgess, Chris?

  32. Stolen Guitar says:

    Oh! What a shame…I gave my copy to a friend, who loves it, and is subsequently coming with me to your reading at the Burgess.
    Really looking forward to it, Chris, and hoping for more insight out of your discussion with Owen.

    Good luck with the UK tour!

  33. Tymothi Loving says:

    My copy came at a perfect time. I’m laid up sick, and have been working my way through bit by bit between coughing bouts and half-napping to old MST3K episodes. I’m quite enjoying it so far.

  34. Jonesing says:

    Hello Chris,

    I’m thrilled that you have published the book’s notes, because I already have questions that maybe the notes will answer. Like, how do we know where Bowie was and how he reacted when he found out about Lennon’s assassination? I’ve read a couple different accounts. And: what evidence is there that Bowie went for that walk in Warsaw? (none! you helpfully admit in the notes.) And: WTF with the Lindner cut-out at 4:28 in I Can’t Give Everything Away? To my amateurish ears, it’s one of the most awkward mixing choices Bowie ever made. I was so relieved that you mentioned it, and if you have any more insight or info, I’d love to hear it, cuz I’m stumped.

    I also greatly enjoy and appreciate the visuals that accompany the blog posts, and am delighted to see how many you’ve included in the notes.

    Congratulations and heartfelt thanks.

    • col1234 says:

      the lennon thing is via May Pang to Trynka, as i note. i went with my heart on the Warszawa walk story. He *definitely* heard “Helokanie” regardless.

  35. I really hope it will find an italian editor.

  36. KEV HILL says:

    Hi Chris (?),

    Don’t know whether you’re aware but, having received your wondrous tome and been reading through it, I’ve noticed pages 673-676 inclusive are missing! It would seem to be a printing error and, possibly, the mirror pages which would appear earlier in the book (somewhere) are presumably also missing.

    Might want to have a word with the printers concerned?

    As to the book, fantastic, as was the last and I hope sincerely to be able to hook up with you when you hit London next month.

    Hang onto yourself – Kev

  37. Hi Chris; received the book here in Vancouver, Canada yesterday 20th. Started reading last night: fantastic writing, as always.

    Note: in response to Kev Hill, above, my copy has pages 673-676 (not missing).


  38. Sid the Cat says:

    I’ve spent most of the last week with your book, and its been a treat. Its chronological structure has made me hypothesize that Bowie’s Eighties were analogous to his Sixties: an extended period of trying everything until he finally discovered a vein of ore worth working.

    Many thanks.

  39. D&B says:

    Nice seeing you in Soho!
    Great job.!

  40. David Wilson says:

    Hi do you (Chris) or anyone else know when the book is being released on the Apple ibooks store? I pre ordered it there for reading on my ipad – It was due 19th Feb, but still not showing on the ibooks store at the time of writing this.
    hope someone can help

  41. Chris says:

    A pdf of the book notes would be awesome, if you can stand to do it! Thanks again for a brilliant blog and even better books.

  42. mrbelm says:

    Just finished it today, after spending a month listening and reading along with the tracks.The last chapter is brilliant, a perfect ending.

    Any possibility of a Boston area appearance?

  43. Stang says:

    Thanks so much for everything Chris. 
    Words fail me when I contemplate your effort in completing such a work load. At times it must have felt like an endurance test but just know that for me (& many others) your blog has been the highlight of my entire internet use over the last few years. As a kid in the 90’s listening to my dads Bowie records & staring at the covers I suspected; subconsciously that there were somehow worlds inside the sounds & visions Bowie evoked…but it stayed imperceptible until reading your blog. Your writing unlocked doors & helped me further understand the man, his artistic development, personae, crucial collaborators & how he was marked by his milieus. The depth of research into influences that formed him have sent me down many a fascinating rabbit hole, creating new avenues in my mind which would otherwise not have been nourished. 
    So thanks for the blog, the books, the years of hard work & keeping THE FAITH!
    See you at rough trade east tomorrow mate (it’s free entry right?…tho I will buy a book on the night anyway)

  44. Jasmine says:

    Chris, thank you so much for your talk yesterday in Spitalfields! It was really informative and time flew by! I hope you got to see some of Jack the Ripper land and the Hawksmoor church while you were there.

    Thank you for this blog and the two books which are now essential references for me.

  45. Greg Evans says:

    Hi Chris, Greg here, I introduced myself (and asked a lot of questions – sorry) at the Rough Trade in Brooklyn signing. I’m up to the Outside section of the book (I think I’ll finish the book then read the notes you’ve added here). Anyway, just wanted to say how much i’m enjoying it. It’s gonna take me a while – I listed to each song on repeat as I’m reading the corresponding segment, and enjoying every minute…

  46. Stolen Guitar says:

    Missed the Burgess night…clashed with my daughter’s 16th Birthday! Kids, hey?
    My friend said it was great, Chris, and he picked up a signed copy of the book, so though it was a great shame I missed you, at least I’ve got the book.

    Now all I have to do is find a copy of Rebel, Rebel…!

    Aah, well; hopefully you’ll come back and see us soon.

    Cheers, Chris!

    PS How did you find Manchester Bowiephiles? The city was (is?) a stronghold for Bowie and his influence is writ large all over our post-70s musical history. Hope you enjoyed us…

    • col1234 says:

      everyone was wonderful and the crowd KNEW their stuff. Glad I was able to keep up with the questions!

  47. Stang says:

    Will the ‘Rebel Rebel’ book ever be available to purchase again? Sounds like you’ve had some issues with the publisher maybe..?
    I have ‘Ashes to Ashes’ now but ideally would like to read them in the right order!
    Nice meeting you briefly at rough trade east too by the way 🙂

    • col1234 says:

      you can buy it right now via Amazon at least—check out the link at the top right hand box on the blog’s home page. It’s always been hard to find in stores, I’m afraid. but it is in print.

      • Stang says:

        Ok great, yes had trouble tracking it down in local book shops but last time I checked Amazon to my chagrin it said it was out of print! Thankfully that’s not the case so I will be buying that right away, thanks! And again thanks so much for everything, just showed your blog to my friend who’s now kicking himself he missed your London talk. Lucky him tho with so much to discover now…I warned him about the ‘Time’ entry tho as thats a favourite of his. Ha! 
        All the best mate, Steffan

      • col1234 says:

        thanks again! i did see a copy of RR at the foyles near Charing Cross Rd last week.

  48. do I smell a henry darger related homage to outsider art in chapter nine’s title? also thank you for the work you put in to this, I can’t wait to read!

  49. suzyq1973 says:

    The book (brick?) finally found its way to my doorstep in Austria this morning. It will come with me for a long reading session in the park today. And tomorrow. Thanks for all your work, Chris!

  50. SleazyMartinez says:

    Making my way through this at the moment, tremendous work. You’ve given me a whole new perspective on these records.

  51. Cat Gareth says:

    What a great read this is, Chris. I’ve read the blog and Rebel, Rebel
    for content but this one is a real showcase for how you write as well as what you write about. I’ve just finished reading the entry on Ashes to Ashes and have already found myself rereading sentences or passages just to admire and enjoy them again like replaying a song. Congratulations. And thank you. CG

  52. Matias Moulin says:

    Dear Chris! First: I love your book! BUT: leaving out the comments is a shameful crime against intellectuality! You mentioned a pdf. Where can I get it??? I printed some online text by myself but this is an awful solution. We need some DIY here but please, provide the pdf! Thanks! Matt

    • col1234 says:

      yes, sorry—one of those things i’ve been meaning to do but haven’t had time to. Will try to get it done finally.

    • Matias Moulin says:

      PS. my post supposed to be a bit sarcastic. But honestly, notes are really important to me 🙂

      • Matias Moulin says:

        wow thanks for your quick reply!!! By the way I really think this (and Rebel) is the best geek book about Bowie. Big compliment!

  53. Anonymous says:

    Hi. I kindly wanted to remind you that we are still longing for the Notes pdf 😉

    • After all you’ve given of yourself, Chris, I feel almost as gauche asking for the Notes as as a fellow demanding a second desert after being treated to a lavish buffet, but when they appear they’ll be eagerly devoured.

  54. I Like the T-shrts says:

    Hi Chris. I just got a copy of Ashes to Ashes tonight from my wife for a birthday gift. I have been a long time follower of this blog but have never posted, In fact, I’ve never posted on any blog, but what you have done here deserves recognition and admiration. You opened up your well researched entries to comments knowing full well you were dealing with Bowie hot potatoes like songs from “Labyrinth.” I can’t say I agreed with everything you wrote (I think Baby Universal is about critics turning on him) but in general, I was blown away how you handled the late 80’s and onward – a period where our hero became mortal and (in some cases) more magnificent. By providing extra insight you introduced me to some pretty good songs that I had largely forgotten or ignored (e.g. Zeroes, Valentine’s Day, and Bring Me the Disco King).Thank you for your efforts and I cannot wait to FINALLY read your thoughts on the rest of Blackstar!

    P.S. Is there anywhere we can see your top 100 in the Bowie poll you hosted a few years back? I might just be missing it.

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