Writing is an absolute passion, my love of words forged early in my life as one of those under-the-bedclothes-with-a-torch kids. My influences and interests, both personal and academic, are directly reflected in the subject matter of my books and other writing exploits.
My books range from NZ Society and culture in the 1970s, to critiques of 1970s glam rock and artists including David Bowie and Alice Cooper, through to the first-ever dedicated celebration of NZ women popular musicians and the internationally renowned Dunedin Sound. Oh, and of course there’s also my immersion in the wonderful world of recreational fishing!
My two upcoming titles are David Bowie FAQ, and Scarfie Flats of Dunedin (with Sarah Gallagher). Beyond books, I was the South Island editor and humour writer for Fishing Coast to Coast magazine for ten years and have also had articles published in magazines such as The Listener, Phantom Billsticker’s wonderful Cafe Reader, websites such as the wonderful Audioculture.co.nz, and many newspapers.
ISBN-10: 1442257709, ISBN-13: 978-1442257702
Ian Chapman surveys Cooper’s career through his twenty-seven studio albums (1969-2017). While those who have written about Cooper have traditionally kept their focus on the stage spectacle, too little attention has been paid to Cooper’s recordings. Throughout, Chapman argues that while Cooper may have been rock’s most accomplished showman, he is first and foremost a musician, with his share of gold and platinum albums to vouch for his qualifications as a musical artist.
‘The Dunedin Sound’ is celebrated nationally and internationally as being a unique event in popular music history.
Throughout New Zealand, a generation of youth during the 1980s and early ’90s revelled in the fact that something had been created in Godzone that we could truly call our own — the original Kiwi DIY rock form. There was no aping of foreign sounds or looks; this was home-grown music to the max. Meanwhile, overseas, fans of indie music throughout the UK, Europe and the US recognised that something new and very special was emanating from the most unlikely of places — a small city at the bottom of the world hitherto known only (if at all) for its university, its architecture, and penguins.
With its inseparable connection to the Flying Nun record label, the Dunedin Sound’s impact upon popular music endures to this day.
In Experiencing David Bowie: A Listener’s Companion, musicologist, writer, and musician Ian Chapman unravels the extraordinary marriage of sound and visual effect that lies at the heart of the work of one of the most complex and enduring performers in popular music. Still active in a career now well into its fifth decade, Bowie’s influence on music and popular culture is vast. At the height of the “glam rock” era, Bowie stood head and shoulders above his peers. His influence, however, would extend far beyond glam through successive changes of musical style and stage work that impacted upon wider popular culture through fashion, film, gender studies, theatre, and performing arts. As Chapman suggests, Bowie recognized early on that in a post-war consumer culture that continued the cross-pollination of media platforms, the line between musician and actor was an ever-thinning one. Opposing romantic notions of authenticity in rock, Bowie wore many faces, challenging listeners who consider his large body of work with a bewildering array of musical styles, covering everything from classic vaudeville to heavy metal, glam rock to soul and funk, electronic music to popular disco. In Experiencing David Bowie, Chapman serves as tour guide through this vast musical landscape, tracing his development as a musical artist through twenty-seven studio albums he generated. Pivotal songs anchor Chapman’s no-nonsense look at Bowie’s work, alerting listeners to his innovations as composer and performer. Moreover, through a close look at Bowie’s “visuals”-in particular his album covers, Chapman draws the lines of connection between Bowie the musician and Bowie the visual stage artist, illuminating the broad nature of his art. This work will appeal to not only fans of David Bowie, but anyone interested in the history of modern popular music, fashion, stage and cinema, and modern art.
ISBN: 1317588185, 9781317588184
This book is the first to explore style and spectacle in glam popular music performance from the 1970s to the present day, and from an international perspective. Focus is given to a number of representative artists, bands, and movements, as well as national, regional, and cultural contexts from around the globe. Approaching glam music performance and style broadly, and using the glam/glitter rock genre of the early 1970s as a foundation for case studies and comparisons, the volume engages with subjects that help in defining the glam phenomenon in its many manifestations and contexts. Glam rock, in its original, term-defining inception, had its birth in the UK in 1970/71, and featured at its forefront acts such as David Bowie, T. Rex, Slade, and Roxy Music. Termed “glitter rock” in the US, stateside artists included Alice Cooper, Suzi Quatro, The New York Dolls, and Kiss. In a global context, glam is represented in many other cultures, where the influences of early glam rock can be seen clearly. In this book, glam exists at the intersections of glam rock and other styles (e.g., punk, metal, disco, goth). Its performers are characterized by their flamboyant and theatrical appearance (clothes, costumes, makeup, hairstyles), they often challenge gender stereotypes and sexuality (androgyny), and they create spectacle in popular music performance, fandom, and fashion. The essays in this collection comprise theoretically-informed contributions that address the diversity of the world’s popular music via artists, bands, and movements, with special attention given to the ways glam has been influential not only as a music genre, but also in fashion, design, and other visual culture.
ISBN: 1869508971, 9781869508975
A quirky selection of Kiwis share their take on the passion that is fishing whether salt of fresh water. From trophies, near catches, to foibles, favourite sites and gear, and the philosophies and preoccupations which accompany this gentle art, fisherfolk open up to two obsessive fishermen. Entertaining and highly illustrated, this is the perfect present for those who dream of the ultimate big catch or will settle for the journey itself.
Read a review | Out of print
From Dinah Lee and The Chicks to Bic and Boh Runga, from Sharon O’neill to Ladi6, kiwi rock chicks have never taken a back seat. Strong sheilas with big, soulful voices and even bigger stage personalities have long been a feature of our local music scene, and for the first time we celebrate their contribution to the jukebox in our heads, or the i-tunes on our phones, depending on our age. Sassy, talented, tragic and triumphant, the girls are here to strut their stuff through the pages of their own piece of recording history. Ian Chapman, himself a performing muso and expert on contemporary music, has drawn together a series of profiles and personal recollections from a personal selection of the best of our female modern-music divas. With stunning photographs, insightful commentary and personal contributions from many of the subjects, this will be the rock publishing event of 2010, without a doubt. Competition for inclusion has been white hot, and some may be disappointed – but even more will be delighted to see a fabulous parade of talent and determination. While some have cut it on the international scene, others have been world-famous in New Zealand, providing a consistent counterbalance to the crazy boys and their contribution is finally acknowledged. Kia kaha, wahine toa!
Read a review | Out of print
The Seventies – when we listened to Glam rock, disco and punk, wearing spandex, platform soles, aviator glasses, wide ties, maxis, midis and minis, when going out on the town meant glitter balls, Max Factor and Helena Rubenstein, sequins and safety pins. Kiwis took to the streets against French nuclear tests and US warship visits, and, depending on your politics, Norman Kirk, Rob Muldoon, Marilyn Waring and John Minto were angels or demons. We rode Raleigh Choppers and Healing Dragsters – and drove Ford Capris, Cortinas and Escorts, Holden Kingswoods and Belmonts, Triumph Spitfires and Stags. We watched The Wacky Races, Dr Who, Lost in Space and The Professionals. We loved the 1974 Commonwealth Games, and Starsky & Hutch and Charlie’s Angels. The 1970s were a cabaret of influences …a fragmented, eclectic decade of disparity. And just like a cabaret, the audience could boo, cheer or laugh in disbelief. Except, of course, we weren’t in the audience, we were part of the cast, and we were having fun. Full of brightly coloured memories and glittering things, with contributions from those who were there, let Dr Glam be your guide through the glorious decade to when orange and brown vinyl reigned supreme and too much was never enough.