Tony Visconti: the Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy

Tony Visconti: the Autobiography: Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy

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By (author) Tony Visconti, Foreword by Morrissey

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  • Publisher: Harper
  • Format: Paperback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 192mm x 36mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 28 April 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007229453
  • ISBN 13: 9780007229451
  • Illustrations note: 10 b/w, 60 col plates (32pp)
  • Sales rank: 153,484

Product description

A name synonymous with ground-breaking music, Tony Visconti has worked with the most dynamic and influential names in pop, from T.Rex and Iggy Pop to David Bowie and U2. This is the compelling life story of the man who helped shape music history, and gives a unique, first-hand insight into life in London during the late 1960s and '70s. Soon after abandoning his native New York to pursue his musical career in the UK, Visconti was soon in the thick of the emerging glam rock movement, launching T.Rex to commercial success and working with the then-unknown David Bowie. Since his fateful move to the land of tea and beer drunk straight from the can, Visconti has worked with such names as T.Rex, Thin Lizzy, Wings, The Boomtown Rats, Marsha Hunt, Procol Harum, and more recently Ziggy Marley, Mercury Rev, the Manic Street Preachers and Morrissey on his acclaimed new album 'Ringleader of the Tormentors'. Even Visconti's personal life betrays an existence utterly immersed in music. Married to first to Siegrid Berman, then to Mary Hopkin and later to May Pang, he counts many of the musicians and producers he has worked with as close friends and is himself a celebrated musician. This memoir takes you on a roller-coaster journey through the glory days of pop music, when men wore sequins and pop could truly rock. Visconti's unique access to the biggest names and hottest talent, both on stage and off, for over five decades is complemented by unseen photographs from his own personal archive, and offers a glimpse at music history that few have witnessed so intimately.

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Author information

Tony Visconti was born Brooklyn in 1944. His family's traditional love of music ensured an early exposure to music that soon developed into a life-long obsession. Following a chance meeting with his 'British music industry cousin', Denny Cordell-Laverick, Visconti moved to the UK to begin one of the most famous careers in music production, launching and supporting some of the biggest names in pop history. He has now moved back to New York where he lives with his third wife, Mai Pang, but continues working within the UK music scene.

Review quote

'What makes this latest instalment of the baby-boomer's tale so readable is his easy-going, unjudgemental familiarity with the professional foibles of his clients. Not many people can remark, as he does of Bob Geldof, that "singing is not his forte", without the slightest trace of bitchiness or reproach.' The Sunday Times Culture magazine 'Without question, Visconti is one of the greatest and most innovative music producers of all time. His gritty history of two decades of British pop makes me want to brush the dust off my old Bowie and T.Rex albums and skip-jive around the kitchen' Daily Mail Four star review in MOJO: ' A life in music, rich in chemical romances, bickering stars and some wonderful work, is recounted with great dignity.' 'Just as George Martin was the definitive '60s producer, so Tony Visconti's work with David Bowie and Marc Bolan shaped rock's landscape in the '70s.' Q '[Morrissey] is so spectacularly presented by producer Tony Visconti that we end up not just with a Morrissey masterpiece ... but also a Visconti masterpiece ... Ultimately, Visconti helps transform Morrissey's dogged oddness and phenomenal fussiness into pure magic.' Observer, 2006 'Visconti recently teamed up again with his old foil David Bowie to record Bowie's best album in 20 years; now he has helmed Morrissey's best in 15 years.' Scotsman, 2006 'Visconti's sparky autobiography takes you stomping back to the frantic, glory days of glam rock and pop' London Lite 'His outsider's view of London's tiny, tatty underground scene of the late 1960s is wonderfully vivid.' '...worth seeking out.' Sunday Times