Die-hard Bowie fans are always likely to be able to recount their ‘lightning bolt’ moment, the time they were first struck by the great man’s music. For Why Bowie Matters author Will Brooker it was an unlikely one, as the initial track that resonated with him deeply was Ricochet from Let’s Dance. In his new book, Brooker explores Bowie’s legacy as a cultural icon from a couple of perspectives.
Firstly, as an academic (he’s Professor of film and cultural studies at Kingston University) and, secondly, as a lifelong Bowie obsessive.
After all, this is the man who lived his life as The Dame for a year as part of an immersive research project that saw him not only trace Bowie’s footsteps (London, Berlin, New York), but also listen only to the music and read the books that he (Bowie) loved. He dyed his hair bright orange, too. This lunatic undertaking, sorry, immersive research project, certainly gives Brooker a different viewpoint, but it’s not one that he is able to take full advantage of throughout the book’s entertaining yet not wholly illuminating discourse.