Book Review: Sheet Music

Rob Sheffield

Sheet Music

Die-hard fans won't find anything revelatory in Rob Sheffield's new biography/eulogy, but at least they'll be in good company. The longtime Rolling Stone contributor blends biography and introspection in On Bowie, which reads like a collection of cover stories rather than a cohesive narrative. Each of the singer's classic albums through Let's Dance merits its own chapter, while his entire late-Eighties and Nineties output gets reduced to a footnote in the final 30 pages. Sheffield dares readers to keep up with his brisk pacing, and he definitely reaches in comparing the Thin White Duke to C-3PO, Josie & the Pussycats, and Atlanta trap-rapper Future within three pages. Yet in his personal relationship with the Starman's music, we're reminded how Bowie made us all feel like heroes.


On Bowie

by Rob Sheffield
Dey Street Books, 192 pp., $24.99

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More David Bowie
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
David Bowie
Loving the Alien (1983-1988) (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, Dec. 7, 2018

Heart-Shaped Box Sets
David Bowie
A New Career in a New Town (1977-1982) (Record Review)

Lauren Modery, Dec. 8, 2017

More Music Reviews
<i>Me & Mr. Cigar</i>
Me & Mr. Cigar
Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes debuts a deeply weird and wonderful young adult novel.

Alyssa Quiles, Feb. 21, 2020

Revenge of the She-Punks
Revenge of the She-Punks

Rachel Rascoe, Dec. 6, 2019

More by Bryan Rolli
SXSW Music Keynote: Garth Brooks
SXSW Music Keynote: Garth Brooks
Country music standard talks up songwriters

March 18, 2017

SXSW Music Live: MetalSucks Showcase
SXSW Music Live: MetalSucks Showcase
Even death won’t get festivalers off Sixth Street

March 17, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

David Bowie, C3P-0, Future, Josie & the Pussycats

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle