David Bowie: A Life, a new bio about the iconic Rocker due September 12, delves into some of the complicated family dynamics that influenced him as a person and an artist. The book, written by Dylan Jones, the author and Bowie fan who previously wrote the highly regarded When Ziggy Played Guitar: David Bowie and Four Minutes that Shook The World, digs into some of the family factors that figured in Bowie becoming the artist he did. His youth was spent in a home life frought with troubles, many of them stemming from mental instabilities of members of his mother's family. One aunt was administered a lobotomy and another died in her 30's after having been committed to mental hospitals. His schitzophrenic half brother was hit and killed by a train in an apparent suicide. Bowie once said, 'One puts oneself through such psychological damage trying to avoid the threat of insanity, you start to approach the very thing that you're scared of.'
Although it's written that he went through cocaine at a pace during a period in his so furious it had nearly "eaten away his nose" at one point, Bowie once let a lover know that he was afraid of taking LSD because he considered '...the prospect of losing control during the psychedelic terrifying.'
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