Shortlisted for the NME Best Music Book Award 2018
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'The definitive book on Bowie' The Times
Dylan Jones’s engrossing, magisterial biography of David Bowie is unlike any Bowie story ever written. Drawn from over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie, this oral history weaves a hypnotic spell as it unfolds a remarkable rise to stardom and an unparalleled artistic path. Tracing Bowie’s life from the English suburbs to London to New York to Los Angeles, Berlin, and beyond, its collective voices describe a man profoundly shaped by his relationship with his schizophrenic half-brother Terry; an intuitive artist who could absorb influences through intense relationships and yet drop people cold when they were no longer of use; and a social creature equally comfortable partying with John Lennon and dining with Frank Sinatra. By turns insightful and deliciously gossipy, DAVID BOWIE is as intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn. It sparks with admiration and grievances, lust and envy, as the speakers bring you into studios and bedrooms they shared with Bowie, and onto stages and film sets, opening corners of his mind and experience that transform our understanding of both artist and art. Including illuminating, never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, drawn from a series of Jones’s interviews with him across two decades, DAVID BOWIE is an epic, unforgettable cocktail-party conversation about a man whose enigmatic shapeshifting and irrepressible creativity produced one of the most sprawling, fascinating lives of our time.
One Day: Saturday 13 July 1985, nearly two billion people woke up with one purpose. Nearly a third of humanity knew where they were going to be that day. Watching, listening to, attending: Live Aid.
One Decade: Britain in the Eighties was different. The culture was different, the politics were different, and our engagement with the world was different. And it was just one day in 1985 that showed how different it was.
In One Day, One Decade Dylan Jones tells the story of the Eighties through that day at Wembley, sweeping backwards to the end of the Seventies, and forward to the start of the Nineties. It draws on his personal reminiscences and perspective of music, media, fashion, politics and all forms of pop culture to frame the decade.
This is a big book but not a exhaustive and dry social history. Live Aid was the decade’s pinch point, when a nation's attitudes and expectations were somehow captured and changed forever. The author suggests that before Live Aid, Britain was one place, and after Live Aid it was another.
Britain in the Eighties was a juxtaposition of militancy and profligacy, a country where industry was being broken down, societies were being demolished, and unemployment became an inevitable lifestyle choice: yet the Eighties was also the apotheosis of pop culture, a decade where entertainment, opinion and subjectivity were more important than ever before.
Dylan Jones was at the heart of the 1980s editing the seminal magazines i-D and The Face. He was one of the Blitz Kids and was both a commentator and one of the style-makers of the time. This is a controversial book, a story told from the inside by one who was at the centre of events.
U2 360° BY NUMBERS
7,100,000 fans saw the show; 10 million people watched a live stream of U2 360° at the Rose Bowl on YouTube; 320,000 fans saw 360° in Mexico City; 9,760 guitar strings utilized; 7,100 miles – approximate distance travelled by space station while talking with U2; 5,200 years – collective touring experience of U2 tour personnel; 400 tons – weight of the fully loaded claw; 134 crew members; 126 truck drivers; 110 concerts; 53 gigs attended by a single fan; 7 astronauts attended.
U2 360°, the most successful concert tour of all time, came to an end in Moncton, Atlantic Canada on July 30, 2011. The massive 26 month undertaking by Live Nation Global Touring saw U2 play 110 concerts in front of more than 7.1 million fans in 30 countries across five continents.
From the Ground Up is the inside story of U2 360° with exclusive contributions from the band, manager Paul McGuinness, world-renowned set designer Willie Williams and exclusive photographs from photographer Ralph Larmann and written by Dylan Jones who was given complete access, including behind the scenes at Glastonbury 2011.
And then there was David Bowie, the uber-freak with the mismatched pupils, the low-tech space face from the planet Sparkle. This was Bowie's third appearance on TOTP but this was the one that properly resonated with its audience, the one that would go on to cause a seismic shift in the Zeitgeist. This is the performance that turned Bowie into a star, embedding his Ziggy Stardust persona into the nation's consciousness.
With a tall, flame-orange cockade quiff (stolen from a Kansai Yamamoto model on the cover of Honey), lavishly applied make-up, white nail polish, and wearing a multi-coloured jump-suit that looked as though it were made from fluorescent fish skin (chosen by Ziggy co-shaper, the designer Freddie Buretti), and carrying a brand spanking new, blue acoustic guitar, a bone-thin Bowie appeared not so much as a pop singer, but rather as some sort of benevolent alien, a concept helped along by the provocative appearance of his guitarist, the chicken-headed Mick Ronson, with both of them unapologetically sporting knee-length patent leather wrestler's boots (Bowie's were red). 'Most people are scared of colour,' Bowie said later. 'Their lives are built up in shades of grey. It doesn't matter how straight the style is, make it brightly coloured material and everyone starts acting weird.'
Suddenly Bowie - a man called alias - had the world at his nail-varnished fingertips, and in no time at all he would be the biggest star in the world.
Dylan Jones is the multi-award winning editor of GQ magazine.He has been an editor at i-D magazine, The Face, Arena, the Observer and the Sunday Times. He is a Trustee of the Hay Festival, a board member of the Norman Mailer Foundation and was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to publishing. He has written twenty books including the critically aclaimed When Ziggy Played Guitar and From the Ground Up, U2's celebration of their record-breaking 360° tour.