Review: David Bowie: Finding Fame (2019)

“David Bowie: Finding Fame” is a BBC documentary that explores the early years of David Bowie’s career, from his time with the band The Lower Third to the development of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The documentary features archival footage and interviews with Bowie’s friends and colleagues, including Lindsay Kemp, Mick Ronson, Woody Woodmandsey, and Trevor Bolder.

The documentary offers a fascinating look at Bowie’s early struggles as an artist and his transformation into a boundary-pushing, genre-defying musician. It also delves into his personal life, including his relationship with his mother Peggy and his half-brother Terry, who struggled with schizophrenia.

While there are certainly some tough moments for fans of Bowie’s later work, such as his novelty single “The Laughing Gnome” and early miming routines, the documentary ultimately portrays Bowie as a heroic outlier and trailblazer. It highlights his ability to persuade his bandmates to embrace makeup and unconventional fashion and his willingness to push musical boundaries, even when it wasn’t popular or fashionable.

Overall, “David Bowie: Finding Fame” is a must-watch for fans of the iconic musician and a great introduction to his early career for those unfamiliar with it. It provides a deeper understanding of the man behind the music and the events and experiences that shaped him as an artist.

Reviewed by Pat Harrington

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