Famed producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Morrissey) shares decades worth of stories in his new book, "Tony Visconti: The Autobiography -- Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy," which arrive
Famed producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Morrissey) shares decades worth of stories in his new book, "Tony Visconti: The Autobiography -- Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy," which arrived last month in the United Kingdom via Harper Collins. A U.S. publisher has yet to be finalized.
"My memory was remarkably clear for this," he tells Billboard. "Then, of course, I saw some things I didn't really want to review again, mainly marriage breakups and drug abuse. Those two things were very painful to revisit. I settled the score with all my ex-wives -- three; my drug days have been over for 20 years and my alcohol days for seven years. I don't want that to be top of mind all the time, but I had to write about it. There's hardly anything you don't know about me now."
Asked if he came a real confidant to the artists with whom he worked so closely, Visconti says, "Friendship inevitably evolves. I just got an e-mail from Bowie. We e-mail all the time, we send each other clips from YouTube and discuss the finer points of growing old. Marc would have loved the Internet, although he was a little dyslexic. It would have been interesting to see a Marc Bolan e-mail, all misspelt words -- k's instead of c's."
Visconti is still empowered by a formative moment when he first moved to England and a friend graced him with an early listen to the Beatles' then-unreleased "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hears Club Band." "It was the most 'pinch me, I died and went to heaven' kind of experience," he recalls. "Even today, with some of those sounds, you ask yourself, 'How did they do that?'"
Up next for Visconti is work with St. Louis-born singer/songwriter Kristeen Young, who's been championed by Morrissey. "He's really pushing her forward," he says. "I'm working with a New York-based glam rock group called Semi-Precious Weapons. I've [also] been invited to do the next Morrissey album, whenever that takes place. I love to make records -- I'm never going to stop."
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