20 Grams of Cocaine a Day in New Mexico in 1975 - Review of “Earth Bound - David Bowie and The Man Who Fell To Earth”


Years ago, I got a book about the making of Blade Runner, which is my favorite movie. It was 500 pages of details about the production: the relationships between the actors, interactions with the crew, issues with funding, directions given to minor characters and extras, lenses used by the cinematographer. It was immense, and I found it fascinating. 

This week, I’ve been reading  Earth Bound - David Bowie and the Man Who Fell To Earth by Susan Compo. There is a similar amount of detail in this book about the production of British art-house director Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth. I’ve learned a few things: the movie was shot in New Mexico with a British crew, David Bowie liked cocaine and would alternate staying up for 3 days and then sleeping for 3 days at a time, Rip Torn was cranky and mean, Roeg was having an affair with the lead actres Candy Clark, and David Bowie really (really) liked cocaine and would do exorcisms in the house he was staying to get rid of bad spirits. 

There is lots more about the author of the original novel, the local New Mexico film scene of 1976, and various small town people who briefly became movie actors. The book is incredibly well-researched, but I have to say its probably only for hardcore lovers of David Bowie, Nicolas Roeg, New Mexico, or cocaine.