BOOK REVIEW: Dusty – An intimate portrait of a musical legend

August 25, 2016


An intimate portrait of a musical legend

Karen Bartlet

It’s easy to forget how unusual Dusty was for her time; being white, lesbian and having a dark and borderline sadistic sense of humour that gradually evolved into the rollercoaster emotional turbulence that we associate with her later life and relationships but she was also wholly her own women.

The first female pop performer to come out as bisexual and only a year into her career she was deported from South Africa for refusing to play to a segregated audience. Strong, determined, principled and talented Dusty never knew how to do dull.

523210455Bartlett has done some seriously good research and brings us lots of new material from friends, lovers colleagues and people who knew the performer and the woman well, there’s also a lot of well placed re-contextualised material which gives us familiar stories from a fresh perspective, particularly around her addictions and struggles with her sexuality, something which she grappled with all her life, and her peculiar attraction for throwing food.

However, this book also takes us back, far back into her own childhood and early days, when she stunned America and the UK with her soulful clipped sophisticated music, shows us a delicate talented girl grasping her potential and steering herself a clear path into the world class performer still impressive now almost 50 years later.

With a strong local connection recognized by having a city bus names after her, with her family ( and her for a while) living in Wilbury Road Hove and often being seen around town in her pink Thunderbird with her black girlfriend, you can read more of her Hove & Brighton history here. 

10801317746_32610fa099_bNever simple, always passionate this is a seriously good biography for all lovers of Ms Springfield.

Out now

Paper back


More info or to buy the book see: The Robson Press