Hardback Edition ISBN: 978-1-78196-131-5





"wonderful addition to the Bowie bibliography...a class book for a class act"
Classic Pop magazine, Awards issue, May 2015 BEST BOOK

"a welcome tribute to a great musician..."
MOJO, Sept 2015

"really great and fascinating! A fabulous book"
Bowie guitarist, Gerry Leonard

“Readable, rigorous, revealing, Bowie’s Piano Man is musicology of the highest order. This biography is much more than a simple account of one man’s life. It is almost a history of the piano in popular music, such is the range of influences – from avant-garde jazz to Stravinsky and Rachmaninov – that comes within the author’s purview. Slapper’s insights into the nature of performance itself would make an equally enthralling book. His forensic analysis of the corrosively addictive nature of fame is among the most convincing I’ve ever read. Like Garson’s thrillingly exquisite improvised solo on “Aladdin Sane”, Bowie’s Piano Man takes you on a journey without co-ordinates, until you find yourself in a place you had no plans to visit. But you’ll be glad as hell you took the trip anyway. Brilliant!”
Tribune, July 14, 2015

“Quite simply it's a great book: engaging, inspiring and entertaining; written extremely well and sympathetically about one of the greatest pianists of our times"
Blues And Soul Magazine

Hot Press Music Book of the Fortnight :
"Pieced together from days' worth of lengthy, revealing conversations with the magnificently-named Clifford Slapper, "Bowie's Piano Man" is a rich, never-before-told account of the eventful career of one of music's oft-unheralded players. As the Thin White Duke himself says, "it makes my heart glad just to be in the same room with him". The next best thing is learning about him in print. The fact it features contributions from the likes of Trent Reznor and Tony Visconti makes it an even more intriguing read."
June 2015 (Hot Press is Ireland’s top music magazine)

“The book is superb; essential reading for genuine Bowie fans, and indeed anyone who loves music. It's a truly fascinating journey, especially for musicians, writers, artists, and all music industry people.”
Mark Shaw (Then Jerico)

“Bowie fans will obviously adore this thorough and well researched biography. The fact that Slapper is also a pianist, really helps convey the story.”
Cellophaneland arts review site

“I've been a massive fan of Mike Garson for years and years. I can't believe that this is the first book ever written about him. It's so good to be able to find out answers to questions I've pondered for ages. I think it also helps that it was written by another amazing piano player, Clifford Slapper. I think it brings a unique angle to the book. Loved it to death. It’s fantastic.”
Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17)








“It is pointless to talk about his ability as a pianist. He is exceptional. However, there are very, very few musicians, let alone pianists, who naturally understand the movement and free thinking necessary to hurl themselves into experimental or traditional areas of music, sometimes, ironically, at the same time. Mike does this with such enthusiasm that it makes my heart glad just to be in the same room with him.”
David Bowie on Mike Garson



Mike Garson has played piano on sixteen David Bowie albums, including Aladdin Sane, with his celebrated piano solo on its title track, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, 1. Outside and Reality. He has also played live with Bowie on countless tours and shows, and remains his most long-standing and frequent band member. 

For some time Clifford Slapper has been working very closely with Garson to write a book which explores the life of this extraordinary and eccentric modern musician. It documents in detail how as a pianist he was catapulted overnight from the obscure world of New York's avant-garde jazz scene to a close and long connection with Bowie. In addition, Garson is recognised as a classical virtuoso, a jazz master and one of the world’s greatest exponents of improvisation. He has also recorded and performed live with other rock legends such as the Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails. All of this is covered by this first ever biography of Mike Garson.

Its starting point was several days of in-depth and frank conversation with Garson himself, and covers a wide range of themes which will be of interest to all Bowie fans, but also to anyone with a passion for music, social history or the process of creative inspiration. Input has also come from many interviews with those who have worked with him over the years, including Earl Slick, Trent Reznor, Sterling Campbell, Reeves Gabrels, Dave Liebman and many others.


Clifford Slapper is a musician and writer. After a degree in history from London University followed by various roles in education, he became one of the most sought after pianists in the UK, having performed with David Bowie, Boy George, Suggs, Lisa Stansfield, Jarvis Cocker, Galen Ayers, Angie Brown, Stereo MCs and Gary Kemp amongst many others. As a composer and arranger he has been involved in diverse and unusual projects. Together with Billie Ray Martin he created a ground-breaking series of live and partially improvised film-scores in London and Berlin for Polanski’s Repulsion, and he has been writing for many other artists.

As a pianist he features on recent releases by Marc Almond and Holly Johnson, and has performed for fashion labels including McQueen and Marc Jacobs. He has also appeared in television comedy productions, having played the piano part for Bowie's appearance with Ricky Gervais on "Extras" (HBO/BBC, prod. Charlie Hanson) and played the piano as Dudley Moore in a BBC recreation of the sketches of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, presented by Jonathan Ross. He also produces and presents regular performance club nights across London incorporating cutting-edge live artists of all kinds. Aside from magazine articles, this book will be his first published work.