A name synonymous with ground-breaking music, Tony Visconti has worked with the most dynamic and influential names in pop, from T.Rex and Iggy Pop to David Bowie and U2. This is the compelling life story of the man who helped shape music history, and gives a unique, first-hand insight into life in London during the late 1960s and '70s.
This memoir takes you on a roller-coaster journey through the glory days of pop music, when men wore sequins and pop could truly rock. Featuring behind-the-scenes stories of big names such as Bowie, Visconti's unique access to the hottest talent, both on stage and off, for over five decades is complemented by unseen photographs from his own personal archive, offering a glimpse at music history that few have witnessed so intimately.
Soon after abandoning his native New York to pursue his musical career in the UK, Visconti was soon in the thick of the emerging glam rock movement, launching T.Rex to commercial success and working with the then-unknown David Bowie.
Since his fateful move to the land of tea and beer drunk straight from the can, Visconti has worked with such names as T.Rex, Thin Lizzy, Wings, The Boomtown Rats, Marsha Hunt, Caravan, Procol Harum, and more recently Ziggy Marley, Mercury Rev, the Manic Street Preachers and Morrissey on his acclaimed new album 'Ringleader of the Tormentors'.
Even Visconti's personal life betrays an existence utterly immersed in music. Married to first to Siegrid Berman, then to Mary Hopkin and later to May Pang, he counts many of the musicians and producers he has worked with as close friends and is himself a celebrated musician.
on page 256/257:
Midway through the summer of this busy year an album came out that I had worked on during the spring. I still had a soft spot for Art Rock, which is where Caravan fitted in.
They were amongst the finest musicians I've worked with. Pye Hastings their guitarist had a 'thing' for Vicky Brown, the beautiful vocalist who was married to Skiffle legend Joe Brown.
He specifically wanted her to sing on 'Give Me More' and have her whisper, 'would you like to touch', which rendered him nearly orgasmic in the control room.
We recorded this album at a short-lived studio in North London called Unique.
Published:28 Apr 2008
Dimensions:394 pages 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
‘What makes this latest instalment of the baby-boomer’s tale so readable is his easy-going, unjudgemental familiarity with the professional foibles of his clients. Not many people can remark, as he does of Bob Geldof, that “singing is not his forte”, without the slightest trace of bitchiness or reproach.’
The Sunday Times Culture magazine
‘Without question, Visconti is one of the greatest and most innovative music producers of all time. His gritty history of two decades of British pop makes me want to brush the dust off my old Bowie and T.Rex albums and skip-jive around the kitchen’
Daily Mail
'A life in music, rich in chemical romances, bickering stars and some wonderful work, is recounted with great dignity.’
‘Just as George Martin was the definitive '60s producer, so Tony Visconti's work with David Bowie and Marc Bolan shaped rock's landscape in the '70s.’
‘Morrissey is so spectacularly presented by producer Tony Visconti that we end up not just with a Morrissey masterpiece ... but also a Visconti masterpiece ... Ultimately, Visconti helps transform Morrissey's dogged oddness and phenomenal fussiness into pure magic.’
‘Visconti recently teamed up again with his old foil David Bowie to record Bowie's best album in 20 years; now he has helmed Morrissey's best in 15 years.’
‘Visconti’s sparky autobiography takes you stomping back to the frantic, glory days of glam rock and pop’
London Lite
'His outsider's view of London's tiny, tatty underground scene of the late 1960s is wonderfully vivid.' '...worth seeking out.'
Sunday Times

Read This Book!
What a biography. Seriously if you appreciate music and the way it is made. Read this book. Then if you are a Bowie and/or Bolan fan. Read this book. Finally, if you weren't a fan of Tony Visconti and his work before. Read this book. His truth, style and candour come across. What a biography!
RaylanReturns 5/5 10.03.2021 (Amazon)

A story of rock legends from the guy who helped make them
An incredibly addictive read for anyone who loves music. Visconti has worked and played with the best of them - David Bowie, Mark Bolan, Joe Cocker, Thin Lizzy, Morrisey...and the list goes on. Great stories from recording sessions, social gatherings and moments in music history. He's no saint, but in the world of rock n' roll, who is?! A really enjoyable book.
Pepper Brookwood 5/5 03.03.2018 (Amazon)

Good but not great
I really like TV & have followed his career since he produced Tyranasaurus Rex & early Bowie. This is a pretty interesting biography with quite a lot of insight but ultimately I think that it’s a slightly mundane read. This has not so much to do with the content but with the writing. Such a pity but worth a read nevertheless.
Lawrence Daniels 3/5 24.08.2020 (Amazon)

Tales from the control room!
Good read. Tony's insight into being a top record producer. Helps a lot that 2 of his clients were absolute mega-stars of the UK music scene. In Bowie's case International mega-star.
Mick Easingwood 4/5 16.09.2019 (Amazon)

Great memories
A very enjoyable read. He effortlessly glides the narrative through all his [considerable] achievements. The American intro is interesting and the early 70's parts are absorbing. The later chapters I slightly skimmed over, though there are nuggets of intrigue along the way. Well worth a read; this is an invaluable insider's account.
MJP 4/5 15.10.2016 (Amazon)

Good read
If you are interested in music, David Bowie and T Rex, the seventies, you will love this and also Tony VIsconti the record producer.
Kathleen Cowan 5/5 29.08.2013 (Amazon)

Some Intriguing Insights
No prizes for guessing why many (most?) people might wish to read this 2007 autobiography of (undoubtedly) one of the most recognisable names in record production, as the words 'Bowie’ and 'Bolan’ are emblazoned on its cover with the same prominence as the name of its author, Mr Visconti. And, indeed, Visconti’s early work with the two glam-rock icons provides (for this reader) a great nostalgia trip, plus some intriguing personal insights into his work with the pair – covering pretty much all of Bolan’s music career, whilst being more intermittent with the longer-lived Bowie, though giving a much more positive sense of the author’s relationship with the latter, with whom Visconti was to work right through to the recording of 2016’s Blackstar i.e. after the cut-off for this autobiography. Elsewhere, there are some interesting snippets from Visconti’s early move to London in the mid-1960s from his Brooklyn home and his work with a diverse set of artists, including Mary Hopkin (Visconti’s 2nd wife), Strawbs, Thin Lizzy, The Moody Blues, Boomtown Rats, Sparks and Elaine Paige. There is also an unforgettable exchange with John Lennon in a New York hotel room. The book also has a personal eulogy from Morrissey, written as a foreword, although Visconti’s account of working with the man on his 2006 album, Ringleader of the Tormentors, is disappointingly brief.
Keith M 4/5 29.08.2017 (Amazon)