Bowie's Piano Man: The Life of Mike Garson

Bowie's Piano Man: The Life of Mike Garson

by Clifford Slapper

Paperback(Updated and Revised)

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(Book). Pianist Mike Garson was David Bowie's most frequent musician, on record and onstage throughout Bowie's life. They played over a thousand shows together between 1972 and 2004, and Garson is featured on over 20 of Bowie's albums. Bowie's Piano Man is the first-ever biography of Mike Garson, written by Clifford Slapper, a fellow pianist who also played for Bowie, working closely with him on his last-ever television appearance. The book explores the special relationship between Garson and Bowie, beginning with the extraordinary story of how Garson went overnight from playing in tiny jazz clubs to touring the world on arena rock tours with Bowie after one short phone call and audition. A noted master of jazz, classical, and other genres, Garson has composed thousands of original works and has taught countless students, acting as mentor to many. Bowie's Piano Man explores his roots and childhood in Brooklyn, his ongoing strong presence in the jazz world, and his collaborations with a huge range of other artists in addition to Bowie. Touring and recording with the Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails are given in-depth attention, as is his approach to teaching and creating music. Explored in detail in particular is his commitment to improvisation as a form of composition, a manifestation of his more general dedication to living in the moment and always moving forward a trait he shared with Bowie.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617136931
Publisher: Backbeat
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Edition description: Updated and Revised
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Clifford Slapper grew up against the background of the glam-rock scenes, Slapper became a pianist, having been inspired, at age eleven, by Mike Garson's piano on Bowie's 1973 album Aladdin Sane. Going on to be one of the UK's top pianists, playing with many great artists such' as Boy George, Marc Almond, and Lisa Stansfield, he finally worked closely with David Bowie himself, playing for him on his last-ever television appearance. He also works as a producer, arranger, and composer and has recently produced the album Bowie Songs One, which reinterprets Bowie's songs acoustically for piano and voice. Slapper lives in London.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Foreword Mike Garson xv

Acknowledgments xvii

From Wembley to Bell Canyon, the Long Way: How This Book Came to Be Written xix

1 Hammersmith, 1973 1

2 Gl Garson 13

3 Ziggy's Support Act 19

4 Brooklyn, 1945-1969 35

5 Abstinence Amongst Excess 47

6 Supporting Their Eating 55

7 Breaking Down Barriers 71

8 From Lulu to Liberace 87

9 Inside Outside and the 1990s 101

10 Reality, 2003 119

11 Music in the Moment 133

12 Nine Inch Pumpkins 147

13 Teaching People to Find Their Voices 157

14 'Music Has Charms to Sooth a Savage Breast…' 169

15 From Ventura to Fitzrovia, a Pilgrimage Complete 179

16 Scandinavian Sessions 193

17 Seventy Years of Serendipity 201

18 From Outsider Art to Outsider Music 213

19 We Spoke of Was and When: Mike Garson in a Post-Bowie World 227

20 Life on the Road with David Bowie, Part I: 1972-1974 245

21 Life on the Road with David Bowie, Part 2: 1995-2006 257

Appendix 1 Watch That Man: Garson's Playing on Twenty-One Bowie Albums-Selected Highlights 267

Appendix 2 Forensics: Analysis of Mike Garson's Techniques in Playing, Improvising, and Composing 279

Appendix 3 Discography 285

Appendix 4 Milestones 289

Select Bibliography 293

Notes 297

Index 303

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