“BOWIE’S PIANO MAN: the life of Mike Garson” by Clifford Slapper
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It is pointless to talk about his ability as a pianist. He is exceptional. However, there are very, very few musicians, let alone pianists, who naturally understand the movement and free thinking necessary to hurl themselves into experimental or traditional areas of music, sometimes, ironically, at the same time. Mike does this with such enthusiasm that it makes my heart glad just to be in the same room with him.
*First-ever biography of Mike Garson, long-term pianist with David Bowie, who has played on 19 Bowie albums. He has also played live with Bowie on countless tours and shows, and remains his most long-standing and frequent band member.
*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, as a pianist, he was catapulted overnight from the obscure world of New York’s avant-garde jazz scene to a close and long connection with Bowie
*Based on in-depth long conversations with Garson himself, as well as interviews with many of those he has worked with, such as Tony Visconti, Earl Slick, Trent Reznor, Gail Ann Dorsey. Gerry Leonard and Reeves Gabrels. It also has over 50 photographs, many never seen before, of Garson with Bowie and others.
*This book seeks to shine a spotlight on one of the musicians who has contributed hugely, though often without full recognition until now, to modern musical history, especially through helping to mould the sound of classic albums like Aladdin Sane by David Bowie. It 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.
Of the whole lot, Mike is the true genius; we are all just toys in his atonal wonderland.
Mike Garson played the legendary piano parts on David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album. At Bowie’s final concert as Ziggy Stardust, in July 1973 at Hammersmith Apollo, Mike came on first and played a solo piano set of Bowie songs. He is a prolific classical composer, jazz master and improviser. He has also recorded and performed live with rock, pop and soul legends including the Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Gwen Stefani, Jeff Beck, Luther Vandross, St. Vincent; and with jazz greats including Stan Getz, Stanley Clarke and Freddie Hubbard. All of this is covered in this first ever, fully authorised biography.
Photo: Ray Burmiston
Clifford Slapper is also a pianist and played the piano for David Bowie’s appearance on Ricky Gervais’ award winning TV comedy “Extras”. He has also played for Boy George, Suggs, Lisa Stansfield, Jarvis Cocker, Angie Brown, Stereo MCs and Gary Kemp amongst many others. With Billie Ray Martin he created a ground-breaking series of live and partially improvised film-scores in London and Berlin for Polanski’s Repulsion, and he has been writing for many other artists. He features on recent releases by Marc Almond and Holly Johnson, and played the piano as Dudley Moore in a BBC recreation of the sketches of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, presented by Jonathan Ross. Aside from magazine articles, this book is his first published work. He is available for Q&A, readings, signings etc.