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More a Voyeur

Colm Tóibín: Elton Took Me Hostage, 19 December 2019

by Elton John.
Macmillan, 376 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 1 5098 5331 1
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... British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, it came last. (All six songs were sung by Lulu, and the winner was called ‘Boom Bang- a-Bang’.) To make money, Elton began to work as a session musician, singing backing vocals for Tom Jones and playing piano with the Hollies. He also worked for a label called Marble Arch which knocked out versions ...

My Heroin Christmas

Terry Castle: Art Pepper and Me, 18 December 2003

... Vertes, Dusty in Memphis, Ferrier’s Kindertötenlieder, Toots and the Maytals, Têtes Raides, Lulu, Lulu – even Gurdjieff’s potty piano ramblings. He always makes me think of Katherine Mansfield. But things went AWOL from the start. Stopping for gas at Casa de Frutta, between Highway 101 and 5, I found the batteries ...

Wham Bang, Teatime

Ian Penman: Bowie, 5 January 2017

The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference 
by Paul Morley.
Simon & Schuster, 484 pp., £20, July 2016, 978 1 4711 4808 8
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On Bowie 
by Rob Sheffield.
Headline, 197 pp., £14.99, June 2016, 978 1 4722 4104 7
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On Bowie 
by Simon Critchley.
Serpent’s Tail, 207 pp., £6.99, April 2016, 978 1 78125 745 6
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Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy 
by Simon Reynolds.
Faber, 704 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 571 30171 3
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... very much in love with, and shaped by, mainstream British showbiz and Saturday night TV. Recall: Lulu singing ‘The Man Who Sold the World’. Recall: Bryan Ferry duetting with Cilla (‘and special guests Gerald Harper and Tony Blackburn!’). Recall: a newly shorn Bowie guest-starring on Bolan’s camp-for-kids teatime show, Marc. This was what made them ...

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