Author Clifford Slapper with David Bowie
Photo: Ray Burmiston
By Clifford Slapper
“2013. This is the year of David Bowie, with the fastest selling exhibition at the V&A throughout its history, and his first album in ten years going to number one across the world. Who has been his biggest collaborator? Tony Visconti, Mick Ronson and others come to mind, and have had biographies published accordingly. But the musician who has played alongside him the most, and over the longest period, is Mike Garson. This virtuoso jazz and classical pianist has been featured on fifteen of Bowie’s albums and played live with him on numerous occasions in four decades, from “Aladdin Sane” onwards.
For some time Clifford Slapper has been working very closely with Garson to write a book which explores the life of this extraordinary and eccentric modern musician. It documents in detail how he was catapulted overnight from the obscure world of New York’s avant-garde jazz scene to a close and long connection with Bowie. This is the first ever biography of Garson. Writing is well advanced and we are now considering options for publication. Its starting point was several days of in-depth and uncensored conversation with Garson himself, and covers a wide range of themes which will be of interest to all Bowie fans, but also to anyone with a passion for music, social history or the process of creative inspiration.
Clifford Slapper is a musician and writer. As a pianist, he has played with David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, Gary Kemp, Boy George, Suggs, Lisa Stansfield, Stereo MCs, Angie Brown, Billie Ray Martin, Dead Or Alive, Katherine Ellis, Finley Quaye and many others. He has also appeared in television comedy productions, having played the piano part for Bowie’s appearance with Ricky Gervais on “Extras” (HBO/BBC, prod. Charlie Hanson) and the role of Dudley Moore in a BBC recreation of the sketches of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. In addition he has worked as a teacher, as well as producing and compering regular club nights across London incorporating live performance of all kinds. Aside from magazine articles, this book will be his first published work.”
Simon Benham, Literary Agent