David Bowie Made Me Gay by Darryl W. Bullock

Review published on October 9, 2017.

Darryl W. Bullock’s David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music is quite the definitive guide.

Extensively researched, from the nascent jazz performers that worked the New Orleans brothels of the early 1900s through to the self-penned, self-produced YouTube artists of today, this is a rich history lesson. And it is made all the more interesting in that it is a history so seldom told.

It is an engaging study – it’s strength lying in its ability, especially in its earlier chapters to seemingly ‘pull the people off of the page’ with well-related anecdotes – even though you mayn’t previously have known of the artist discussed.

Each chapter, each paragraph even, is founded on quotes, interview or catalogued data. It is not supposition nor is it sensationalist in tone.

There is a lot to be got through and the author is sure footed in this cultural history being both concise and engaging – no small feat when there is such a density of cast involved.

It seemingly covers all countries and all genres and its extensive references make this an engaging read. Not only did I find myself double checking historical points of interest but also during the later chapters of the book I read with YouTube ‘to hand’ to put faces and voices to the rich tapestry of LGBT performers this book weaves.

If I had any criticism of this book it would be the wish for a shorter sentence. The author has much to cover – so many names, so many stage names that I often go lost along the way.

Note: this read would probably favour a broad minded reading group.

Amanda Aldridge 5/3

David Bowie Made Me Gay by Darryl W. Bullock
Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd 9780715651926 hbk Sep 2017

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