Bowie's Thin White Duke persona, smoking a Gitanes cigarette, 1976.
Bowie's Thin White Duke persona, smoking a Gitanes cigarette,1976.Andrew Kent
Bowie's Thin White Duke persona, smoking a Gitanes cigarette, 1976.
Two super-fans Trixie (L) and Polly (R) who attended nearly every show on the North American Isolar tour, react to Bowie on stage in Los Angeles,1976.
Bowie performing on stage prepares to make a lunge into Kent's camera.
Bowie gets his face into the lens during the Isolar tour, 1976.
Bowie celebrates his birthday and the end of the Isolar tour at L’ange Bleu in Paris with (from left to right) Iggy Pop, Romy Haag, Coco Schwab, and Pat Gibbons.
Bowie's limo is surrounded by eager fans seeking autographs and handshakes as he arrives at his hotel in Helsinki, Finland. His assistant, Coco Schwab, in on the left.
Rolling Stone magazine's 18 year old reporter Cameron Crowe holds a sign he wrote stating, " Sorry I'm not David Bowie". He created the sign for the fans that were attempting to access their icon at the hotel in Seattle.
Bowie and his wife, Angela, with President Gerald Ford’s son, Steven, at a party in Los Angeles celebrating “Fame” being certified a gold record.
Five year old Zowie (Duncan Jones) plays with his  action figure in an airport lounge between stops on the Isolar tour.
Bowie pauses in front of an armed guard, during a walk around East Berlin, 1976.
Bowie prepares his makeup in his Paris hotel suite prior to an impromptu photo. shoot.
Bowie called Andrew Kent to his hotel suite at L’Hotel in Paris for an impromptu photo shoot in the street outside.
Bowie has a glass of white wine and a cigar on the balcony of his suite at L’Hotel in Paris, 1976.
Bowie reading in bed at L'Hotel in Paris, France, 1976.
Bowie performs in the persona of “The Thin White Duke.”
Bowie on stage during the Isolar tour, 1976.
Bowie runs off stage towards his crew, during a stop on the Isolar Tour at Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, 1976.
Iggy Pop blows out the candles on his birthday cake as Bowie and Pat Gibbons look on at a restaurant in Basel, Switzerland train depot prior to departing for the Soviet Union.
Iggy Pop flashes a Polaroid he'd just taken in Moscow's Red Square. Bowie and his tour manager, Pat Gibbons, are in the background.
Bowie takes a walk around Moscow's Red Square at sunset.
Bowie and Iggy Pop as they make their way unnoticed through a market off Moscow's Red Square, 1976.
Hundreds of dedicated fans waited for hours anticipating Bowie's arrival into Victoria Station, London, U.K.
Bowie returned to London from Paris by train arriving into Victoria Station. The local superstar was welcomed by throngs of fans hoping to catch a glimpse or get their records signed.
Bowie  at Wembley Auditorium during the European leg of his "Station to Station" tour, London, U.K. 1976.
Bowie's Thin White Duke persona, smoking a Gitanes cigarette,1976.
Andrew Kent
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When David Bowie Was the Thin White Duke

Dec 26, 2016

2016 got off to a sad start when David Bowie, the legendary musician and artist, died on Jan. 10.

Music photographer Andrew Kent is paying homage to Bowie with a new book, David Bowie: Behind the Curtain, that chronicles two years of the artist's early career, when he assumed the persona of the Thin White Duke.

After being introduced by Rolling Stone magazine's reporter, Cameron Crowe, in 1975, Kent travelled around the globe with Bowie during his Isolar tour in support of the Station to Station album in 1976. Kent’s pictures capture not only the showman in public, but the rare private moments of solitude and candidness of the young ever-morphing Bowie.

Andrew Kent is a music photographer. His book, David Bowie: Behind the Curtain is available now.

Michelle Molloy is a senior photo editor at TIME.

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