Under The Ivy: The Life And Music Of Kate Bush
Often compared to friend and mentor Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush is as unique a musician in her own right. Having burst onto the UK music scene while still in her teens, the beguiling, yet reclusive Bush became one of England’s best-selling artists and music video provocateurs, as well as an innovator and European treasure — all without ever truly breaking through in the United States.
Bush has influenced so many modern day artists, both male and female. She’s worked with such luminaries as Prince, Eric Clapton, Gabriel and David Gilmour. The Pink Floyd guitarist also had a big hand in her discovery. The singer’s story is as rich as her music, and all perfectly portrayed in Graeme Thomson’s biography, Under The Ivy: The Life And Music Of Kate Bush.
For a musician as private as Bush, the wealth of information Thomson uncovers from others who played and worked with the lady is priceless. Bush’s rather well-to-do upbringing has been extensively documented and often mocked by critics who have said she is nothing more than a rich girl playing at being musician. In this book, however, Thomson lays out the trajectory of the woman’s career, which took years to cultivate.
The author gets in deep with each one of her albums and many of the individual songs. Interviews with Bush and many of the accompanying musicians give their takes on how some of the tracks were developed. There’s also a great section on Bush’s first and only concert tour, The Tour Of Life. Most captivating is how she and her collaborators go on to explain why Bush never toured again.
Thomson pulls no punches on his subject — someone he obviously adores. We learn about Bush’s pot smoking, her dogged determination to get her way (often times, at her detriment), and her romantic life. Though linked to everyone from Gabriel to Gilmour, Bush has been quite monogamous as she was with Del Palmer for 15 years, and has since been with Danny McIntosh, with whom she has a son.
Anything you need to know about Kate Bush is in Graeme Thomson’s sprawling entertaining read Under The Ivy: The Life And Music Of Kate Bush. It proves to be a great read, especially when you’re spinning “Wuthering Heights” or “Hounds Of Love” in the background.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.