In 1975, rock ‘n roll photographer Andrew Kent was invited by David Bowie to join him, on and off, for a couple of years on the road to document the Isolar tour, which set out to promote the album Station to Station. With unprecedented access to Bowie and his entourage, Andrew Kent came away with some of the most important, intimate and iconic images of one of music’s most creative artists.

“David Bowie: Behind the curtain”, by Andrew Kent, is a beautifully produced large format photo travelogue published by PSG (Press Syndication Group) with a foreword by Rolling Stone journalist and contributing editor Cameron Crowe and an introduction by photographer Neal Preston. The book is so large (11 x 13.5 inches) it won’t fit into any of my bookcases. But that is a small price to pay for a book containing glorious, gallery-size images.

Cameron Crowe tells how he put Kent and Bowie together:

In October of ’75 I brought my photographer friend Andy Kent along to a S2S recording session at Cherokee Studios on Fairfax in Hollywood to introduce him to David Bowie. I thought their sensibilities might mesh, and that they’d enjoy each other’s company. Andy, always creatively inspiring and sensitive to an artist’s comfort level, left his camera behind and was there for the hang. Later that early morning, the three of us went back to Bowie’s Stone Canyon rental house, and Andy began what would become a near-year long sojourn chronicling Bowie’s travels – from Soul Train to Vancouver and Seattle, Portland and LA, New York to Munich, Moscow and Finland, and everywhere in between.

Of Kent’s photographs, Neal Preston says:

When I first saw the pictures Andy brought back from the tour I was speechless. They were stunning, and beyond iconic. I feel they are as important as any set of photographs of any musician who has ever lived. Andy shot exquisite, highly intimate, surreal portraits that are more alive now than the day they were made.

Many of the images in the book have been published before, but they are brought together for the first time as a collection in “David Bowie: Behind the curtain”. In the book’s epilogue, Andrew Kent says:

This book is not only the pinnacle of my contributions to David’s life’s archives, but also my tribute to him. My work with David was the best experience of my photographic career; during this time, I produced profoundly unique and distinctive images of the man. But I also had become his friend.

The first edition can be ordered through http://www.bowiebehindthecurtain.com/ for $59.95. Get it while you can. If you are in the market for something a little more esoteric, and you can afford it, two other versions are available:

Collectors Edition Box – $1,500, hardcover, 11 x 13.5 inches, 160 pages – the book is presented in a hand made Birdseye maple box limited to 100 numbered copies which converts to a display stand for the book when opened.

Edition of Five – $5,000 – the same as the Collectors Edition Box, but limited to 5, each of which includes an original backstage pass from the Station to Station tour.

David prepares his makeup in his hotel suite prior to an impromptu photo shoot in Paris
Bowie prepares his makeup in his hotel suite prior to an impromptu photo shoot in Paris (click for larger image)
Daavid Bowie performing on tv show Soul Train
In 1975 Bowie was one of the few white artists invited to perform on the legendary television dance show, Soul Train (click for larger image)
Bowie with Iggy Pop, Ronnie Spector and Mark Volman at a party backstage following Bowie's performance at Madison Square gardens in New York
Bowie with Iggy Pop, Ronnie Spector and Mark Volman at a party backstage following Bowie’s performance at Madison Square gardens in New York (Click for larger image)
Bowie looks through a French magazine on a train en route to Moscow (click for larger image)
Bowie looks through a French magazine on a train en route to Moscow (click for larger image)
Bowie prepares to take a cruise aboard the SS Leonardo Da Vinci from New York to London
Bowie prepares to take a cruise aboard the SS Leonardo Da Vinci from New York to London (click for larger image)
Bowie on stage during the Isolar tour
Bowie on stage during the Isolar tour (click for larger image)
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