Tony Visconti: The Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy
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A name synonymous with ground-breaking music, Tony Visconti has worked with the most dynamic and influential names in pop, from T.Rex and Iggy Pop to David Bowie and U2. This is the compelling life story of the man who helped shape music history, and gives a unique, first-hand insight into life in London during the late 1960s and '70s.
This memoir takes you on a roller-coaster journey through the glory days of pop music, when men wore sequins and pop could truly rock. Featuring behind-the-scenes stories of big names such as Bowie, Visconti's unique access to the hottest talent, both on stage and off, for over five decades is complemented by unseen photographs from his own personal archive, offering a glimpse at music history that few have witnessed so intimately.
Soon after abandoning his native New York to pursue his musical career in the UK, Visconti was soon in the thick of the emerging glam rock movement, launching T.Rex to commercial success and working with the then-unknown David Bowie.
Since his fateful move to the land of tea and beer drunk straight from the can, Visconti has worked with such names as T.Rex, Thin Lizzy, Wings, The Boomtown Rats, Marsha Hunt, Procol Harum, and more recently Ziggy Marley, Mercury Rev, the Manic Street Preachers and Morrissey on his acclaimed new album 'Ringleader of the Tormentors'.
Even Visconti's personal life betrays an existence utterly immersed in music. Married to first to Siegrid Berman, then to Mary Hopkin and later to May Pang, he counts many of the musicians and producers he has worked with as close friends and is himself a celebrated musician.
with them in 1999. Lead singer Jesse Malin would climb all over the speaker bins and strip to almost nothing. I was told I had to see them live because that element was never successfully captured on record; I’ve heard this complaint many times. What A&R people fail to realize is with all the visual excitement and blasting sound, even a cement mixer can sound like a hit. D-Generation suffered from a lack of unified direction and terrible in-fighting. Maybe that disappeared on stage but that
and David has since returned to both stage and studio, making cameo appearances singing with Arcade Fire in Central Park, TV On The Radio, Secret Machines and Kashmir. He’s acted in the film The Prestige and the toe-curling comedy show Extras. I feel certain he’s warming up for another solo album. I don’t care if it’s with me or another producer; like the rest of his fans I just want to hear more David Bowie albums in the future. I probably would be dead or very ill if it weren’t for Tai Chi
Lambert, a talented trumpet player. He was so handsome; girls adored him. Tragically, like a lot of my friends, Gary died in the Vietnam War. His father was a top New York session violinist and I’m sure Gary would have become one of the world’s greatest trumpet players. (He died of a heroin overdose in Vietnam; ironic, really, as he never used heroin before being drafted.) In my senior year I met my teenage sweetheart, Bunny Galuskin. She came from a Jewish family and for the next four years we
I remember making �40, though. Shortly after recording David and moving to Lexham Gardens, Marc (with girlfriend Terry Mosaic in tow), Steve and I began making demos at the flat. They would sit cross-legged in my living room while I recorded them live with a stereo microphone into a stereo machine. Even before we moved, our flat in Elgin Avenue had been a magnet for social guests; my parents flew over from New York to stay for a couple of weeks and one night while they were there David and his
added. This turned out to be the last show with John Cambridge on drums. Although he had introduced his mate Mick Ronson into our band, Mick confided in David and I that he knew a far better drummer in Hull—the one that had replaced John when he went off to join Junior’s Eyes. David and I were considering replacing John anyway, but this was a surprise coming from Ronson. We liked John very much, his presence was very uplifting, but he wasn’t the adventurous drummer we needed to go to the next