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Dana Gillespie, the award-winning first lady of the Blues has enjoyed an incredible life and career. Now, she has chronicled her exploits, and as anyone who knows Dana would expect, it is intelligent, insightful, outrageous, and funny.
Detailing high points, low points and everything in-between, the book covers, amongst many other things, liaisons with David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Keith Moon, and the cream of 1960’s rock royalty; Recording with Jimmy Page and Elton John; Performing as Mary Magdalene in the original London production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and as the Acid Queen in Tommy; Acting in films directed by Nicholas Roeg, Ken Russell and Mai Zetterling; Performing Shakespeare with Sir John Gielgud and Arthur Lowe; Topping the pop charts across Europe; Performing to an audience of one million people in India; And… oh yes… Being British junior waterski champion for 4 years!
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Sir Elton John “Spending time with Dana was very special. She was magical, and helped me overcome my shyness. She knew my story before I did! All the memories I have of her are fond ones. So much laughter and kindness which helped me enormously. Those brilliant times will never be forgotten.”
Sir Tim Rice “Dana Gillespie is larger and more fun than life, whether on land or sea, stage or skis. Simultaneously beautifully earthy and ethereal, and effortlessly able to wring both sadness and hope out of the blues, often in the same line. She’s got everything she needs, she’s an artist, she don’t look back. Everything’s all right, everything’s fine. I can’t wait to read your book. I think.”
Rick Wakeman “Having had the great pleasure of performing with Dana (in the musical sense of the word I hasten to add), I only wish I had played on more of her recordings. Introduced to me by her producer and mutual friend David Bowie, playing with her (again I mean musically so as to avoid any confusion) on the famous Trident Bechstein Grand was so enjoyable, and since then our paths have crossed more than a few times… including us both playing at the same blues festival in Ticino where her voice was truly amazing and better than ever. A real talent with everything she has ever done …..I can’t wait to read the book! A beautiful artistic lady in every sense of the word.”
Marc Almond “Dana is fearless. She treads all over PC preciousness with some of the most funny and scandalous anecdotes I’ve heard of a life outrageously lived. And if that wasn’t enough, she sings the blues with a sauciness that’s chilli hot and ripe with erotic innuendo that can only come from a lady of full experience . A treasure, a legend, the Queen of cleavage and the last Empress of Bohemia.”
Aimi MacDonald “Such joyful memories of working with Dana in Pantomime; a very cool and focused, talented lady.”
Angie Bowie “YES, IT IS THE DANA GILLESPIE MEMOIR!
Dana Gillespie is a Goddess among Women.
What a Thrill! DANA GILLESPIE in her element regaling, revealing, reliving all the stories, all the adventures, all the music: live and producing 70 albums, the songwriting, the shows attended and performed.
Dana Gillespie has enjoyed a jam-packed, creative and professional life with time for artistry and attention paid to spirituality and her inner life. Her remarkable collaborations with Jorg Huber include album covers, art exhibitions and their book, ‘Mirrors of Love’.
Dana has performed and travelled internationally to support the teachings of Sai Baba. She organized the talent and the details of the festival in Mustique for 20 years. And then there is the passion and Love, the boyfriends, the partnerships, the audiences, the travel, the recording, the backstage gossip and Feel the Heat!”.
Julian Clary “From David Bowie to Alf Garnett… They say that variety is the spice of life, and Dana’s life has seen more spice than most. What a life! What a woman! What a book!”
Cherry Vanilla “What an amazing career. You were there with David and Defries before any of us were around. Keep making music, writing, and being the sensual, beautiful woman that you are.”
Phill Brown “Dana Gillespie, with her entourage and band, could be described with justification as the epitome of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. The sessions I worked on with Dana went to further extremes than any I worked on during the whole of the 1970s.”
Tony Defries “When I met Dana half a century ago, we formed an instant bond of mutual adoration. In all those years, time has not tempered nor distanced nor dimmed That Loving Feeling. She is exotic, adorable, uninhibited, beautiful, funny, erudite and smart. Whether speaking or singing, her voice wraps around every note with ease, while shades of caramel, toffee, and chocolate come to mind. Her delivery and fabulous phrasing is effortless and relaxed, and she is one of the most honest, generous, unassuming and unaffected artists I have ever worked with.”
Do you remember “My White Bicycle” and “Excerpt from a Teenage Opera”? As Sir Paul McCartney said: ““What I take the influence back to, was Excerpt from a Teenage Opera, a record in the late 60s, by Keith West that was episodic.”
Learn all about the era-defining work – and beyond – of the legendary Keith West. Thinking About Tomorrow – Excerpts from the life of Keith West
So many of the oustanding images in Dana’s book were taken by Gered Mankowitz.
Gered has a fabulous new book out – Goin’ Home With The Rolling Stones ’66. Click on the cover image to check it out!