Friday, October 13, 2017

Film Review: Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story

Even though I consider myself a pretty die hard Bowie fan, I really know very little about how his music came to be. I know some of the names of his collaborators, but I don't know what they did. I always had the assumption that everything was David Bowie and he more or less defined how everything sounded.

That's why Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story was such a revelation for me. Mick Ronson wasn't with David Bowie from the very start, but as the guitarist for the Spiders from Mars, his influence was wildly important to Bowie. Every so often the film seems like it is veering towards telling the story of David Bowie, but the director avoids this and truly tells the story of Mick Ronson, only using Bowie as background and context.

It shows how Ronson helped turn Bowie into a true rock star, by bringing a heavier, more rock n roll sound into his music. Ronson arranged a lot of the strings on Bowie's music, and even though Bowie was credited as the producer of Lou Reed's Transformer, Ronson was the one who knew how to run the boards and did a good amount of the production work. Even though the Spiders from Mars only lasted 18 months, Ronson worked with Bowie on The Man Who Sold the World, Aladdin Sane, Hunky Dory, and The Jean Genie. It also shows off his post Bowie work with artists like John Mellancamp, Morrissey, Bob Dylan, and Tina Turner, up to his too early death in 1993.

Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story is great for those of us who are trying to expand our knowledge of David Bowie besides what we know from just listening. It's also perfect for die hard Bowie fans who might have all the information since it's filled with amazing archival footage and pictures. Plus, it has interviews with Bowie discussing the importance of his work with Mick Ronson.

Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story is available now. You can pick up a copy of the DVD or Blu-Ray here or through Amazon.

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