Episode #210 — Bowie @ 75 with Martin Popoff

Anyone who is involved with a book club knows each club conducts their meetings a little differently. Some are very formal and serious — the members are there to discuss the book and nothing more. Other book clubs are more of an excuse for people to get together once or twice a month to hold a book in their hands and talk about the Real Housewives franchise. (We suggest dedicating an entire meeting to a discussion of Teresa Giudice’s hair at her wedding. More than 1500 bobby pins! And if you’re rolling your eyes because you don’t know who we’re referring to, just Google it. You’re welcome.)

As for us, we prefer to spend some time talking about what fabulous things we’re reading, especially when we get to chat with the author for a podcast episode. So, when we do book club, we’re reading to talk about narrative structure, character development, book jacket design, etc. — and we don’t need Oprah’s cheat sheet book club questions at the back of the volume. We also want to make sure we are excellent hosts, with a wide array of food and beverages for our fellow club members to enjoy.

That being said, we usually head to our local Wegner’s grocery store (or is it Meiger’s?) to stock up on bibliotastic bites. Charcuterie is all well and good, but we’re all about our crudités. No tray of raw veggies is complete without a selection of fiddleheads, sunchokes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash — with queso and strawberry jam for dipping, of course. We’re so in touch with the everyday people! And not political at all.

Our guest for this week’s episode, Martin Popoff, not only provided us with a great read, but he also read Mick Ronson’s guitar work on the Ziggy Stardust album for filth. But we talked with him anyway. And fair enough that he has strong Ziggy opinions — he just wrote a book titled, “Bowie @ 75,” after all. We had the chance to speak with Martin about his work on this Bowie volume and his scores of other music-related books.

Before we got to the actual copy, we had to talk for a minute about the design. This is a beautiful book. It honestly could serve as a décor piece, but we do not condone using books merely for decorative purposes. (Side note: One of us was at a vintage shop the other day and beheld two women picking up old books. They talked about how one of them wanted to get a bunch with the same color scheme to display on her shelves — “I don’t care what they’re about, they just need to look good together.” Here’s hoping she unwittingly picks up some antique books on why reading is fundamental.)

So, display Martin’s “Bowie @ 75” to your heart’s content. Even frame the fold-out poster contained within. Just be sure to read it, too, because it will take you on a journey through 75 pivotal moments in David Bowie’s life and career. Martin shared his process in selecting those moments (not an easy task with someone as iconic as Bowie), along with what it’s like to be a rock journalist, what he’s listening to right now, and whether all his Bowie opinions are popular ones. (See our previous statement re: Ziggy Stardust.)

“Bowie @ 75” is available on September 6 wherever you get your books. (Let’s hear it for independent booksellers!) For more information on this book, to listen to his podcast, and to peruse his other published works, check out Martin’s website. Whether you’re a casual Bowie fan or are all about the deep cuts, you’re going to learn some fascinating things about his life and work.


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