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David Bowie quotes on fashion, songs, creativity, friendship, death, choices, etc.

137 Inspiring Quotes By David Bowie

Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Born On: January 8, 1947
Died On: January 10, 2016
Born In: London, England
Founder / Co Founder: Bewlay Bros.
Died At Age: 69

David Bowie was a distinguished English singer-songwriter and actor. Considered to be one of the most noteworthy musicians and leading figures of the 20th century, he was acclaimed, specifically for his unconventional work during the 1970s by various musicians and critics. In 1996, he was inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.’ While he was alive and kicking, his record sales estimated more than ninety millions across the globe, making him one of top-selling artists of all time. We bring to you a treasure trove of popular quotes by David Bowie on songs, music, fashion, civilization, dream, environment, looks, children, truth, time, journey, art, woman, belief, experience, loyalty, work, youth and more.

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The Americans at heart are a pure and noble people; things to them are in black and white. It's either 'rawk' or it's not. We Brits putter around in the grey area.

David Bowie

When it comes down to it, glam rock was all very amusing. At the time, it was funny, then a few years later it became sort of serious-looking and a bit foreboding.

David Bowie

All Montreal bands have around nine members, I believe.

David Bowie

I would dream. I focused all my attention on going to America. The subculture, James Dean, the rock n' roll, the beat writers.

David Bowie

I knew that I was 'interesting' at 18 because I was aware that I could get away with doing things on stage.

David Bowie

When I was 18, I thought that, to be a romantic, you couldn't live past 30.

David Bowie

I wanted to imbue Ziggy with real flesh and blood and muscle, and it was imperative that I find Ziggy and be him.

David Bowie

I think Mustique is Duchampian - it will always provide an endless source of delight.

David Bowie

I'm very good at what I do, and I don't turn my hand to something unless I'm very good at it, frankly.

David Bowie

I'm wallowing in the whole idea of just being a guy out there with a band, with songs. It's a real enjoyment.

David Bowie

Being shoved into the top-40 scene was an unusual experience. It was great I'd become accessible to a huge audience but not terribly fulfilling.

David Bowie

The truest form of any form of revolutionary Left, whatever you want to call it, was Jack Kerouac, E.E. Cummings, & Ginsberg's period. Excuse me, but that's where it was at.

David Bowie

I was born in London 1947, after the war. A real wartime baby. I went to school in Brixton, and then I moved up to Yorkshire, which is in the north of England. I lived on the farms up there.

David Bowie

I cannot with any real integrity perform songs I've done for 25 years. I don't need the money. What I need is to feel that I am not letting myself down as an artist and that I still have something to contribute.

David Bowie

I don't crave applause. I'm not one of those guys who comes alive on stage. I'm much more alive at home, I think.

David Bowie

From my standpoint, being an artist, I want to see what the new construction is between artist and audience.

David Bowie

I think, generally, I just cannot really envision life without writing and producing records and singing.

David Bowie

I've always tended to write songs prolifically.

David Bowie

I could imagine at a certain age, when I have no vocal cords left, that I would find a young man who could sing my parts for me. But I don't see why I would stop.

David Bowie

The name Zahra was to have been lman's own name at birth, but a senior member of the family changed it to lman at the last minute.

David Bowie

I don't like to read things that people write about me. I'd rather read what kids have to say about me because it's not their profession to do that.

David Bowie

Now I realize that from '72 through to about '76, I was the ultimate rock star. I couldn't have been more rock star.

David Bowie

Frankly, if I could get away with not having to perform, I'd be very happy. It's not my favorite thing to do.

David Bowie

I think much has been made of this alter ego business. I mean, I actually stopped creating characters in 1975 - for albums, anyway.

David Bowie

My father worked for a children's home called Dr. Barnardo's Homes. They're a charity.

David Bowie

With a suit, always wear big British shoes, the ones with large welts. There's nothing worse than dainty little Italian jobs at the end of the leg line.

David Bowie

I think in the '70s that there was a general feeling of chaos, a feeling that the idea of the '60s as 'ideal' was a misnomer. Nothing seemed ideal anymore. Everything seemed in-between.

David Bowie

There are times when I prefer a cerebral moment with an artist, and I'll just enjoy the wit of a Picabia or a Duchamp. It amuses me that they thought that what they did would be a good way of making art.

David Bowie

My mother was Catholic, my father was Protestant. There was always a debate going on at home - I think in those days we called them arguments - about who was right and who was wrong.

David Bowie

I have all the admiration in the world for somebody like Bono, who really puts himself on the line and tries actively to do something about our world situation.

David Bowie

Radio in England is nonexistent. It's very bad English use of a media system, typically English use.

David Bowie

I rate Morrissey as one of the best lyricists in Britain. For me, he's up there with Bryan Ferry.

David Bowie

When you think about it, Adolf Hitler was the first pop star.

David Bowie

When I heard Little Richard, I mean, it just set my world on fire.

David Bowie

Tony Visconti and I had been wanting to work together again for a few years now. Both of us had fairly large commitments and for a long time we couldn't see a space in which we could get anything together.

David Bowie

Nearly all the synth work on Heathen is mine and some of the piano.

David Bowie

I felt I really wanted to back off from music completely and just work within the visual arts in some way. I started painting quite passionately at that time.

David Bowie

But I've got to think of myself as the luckiest guy. Robert Johnson only had one album's worth of work as his legacy. That's all that life allowed him.

David Bowie

But I'm pretty good with collaborative thinking. I work well with other people.

David Bowie

Dance music is no longer a simple Donna Summer beat. It's become a whole language that I find fascinating and exciting. Eventually, it will lose the dance tag and join the fore of rock.

David Bowie

I'm not very articulate.

David Bowie

I never really felt like a rock singer or a rock star or whatever.

David Bowie

Once I've written something it does tend to run away from me. I don't seem to have any part of it - it's no longer my piece of writing.

David Bowie

The Internet carries the flag of being subversive and possibly rebellious and chaotic, nihilistic.

David Bowie

Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.

David Bowie

Being a hybrid maker off and on over the years, I'm very comfortable with the idea and have been the subject of quite a few pretty good mash-ups myself.

David Bowie

There are half a dozen subjects that I return to time and time again, and that doesn't bother me. Because most of my favorite writers do that, to hunt down the same topic or theme from different directions each time.

David Bowie

I'm rather kind of old school, thinking that when an artist does his work, it's no longer his... I just see what people make of it.

David Bowie

I was never particularly fond of my voice.

David Bowie

It would be my guess that Madonna is not a very happy woman. From my own experience, having gone through persona changes like that, that kind of clawing need to be the center of attention is not a pleasant place to be.

David Bowie

However, there's no theme or concept behind Heathen, just a number of songs but somehow there is a thread that runs through it that is quite as strong as any of my thematic type albums.

David Bowie

GYBE are among my, erm, two favourite Montreal bands, Arcade Fire being the other.

David Bowie

Pixies and Sonic Youth were so important to the eighties.

David Bowie

I had to resign myself, many years ago, that I'm not too articulate when it comes to explaining how I feel about things. But my music does it for me, it really does.

David Bowie

I don't profess to have music as my big wheel and there are a number of other things as important to me apart from music. Theatre and mime, for instance.

David Bowie

Songs don't have to be about going out on Saturday night and having a good rink-up and driving home and crashing cars. A lot of what I've done is about alienation... about where you fit in society.

David Bowie

The skin of my character in 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' was some concoction, a spermatozoon of an alien nature that was obscene and weird-looking.

David Bowie

I couldn't have written things like 'Low' and 'Heroes,' those particular albums, if it hadn't have been for Berlin and the kind of atmosphere I felt there.

David Bowie

I went through all the musicians in my life who I admire as bright, intelligent, virtuosic players.

David Bowie

I wish myself to be a prop, if anything, for my songs. I want to be the vehicle for my songs. I would like to colour the material with as much visual expression as is necessary for that song.

David Bowie

I would drive to gigs in my tiny little Fiat. I would shoot up and down the M1 to play at various places.

David Bowie

It's amazing: I am a New Yorker. It's strange; I never thought I would be.

David Bowie

When I'm stuck for a closing to a lyric, I will drag out my last resort: overwhelming illogic.

David Bowie

I'm responsible for starting a whole new school of pretension.

David Bowie

I don't have a problem with ageing - in fact, I embrace that aspect of it. And am able to and obviously am going to be able to quite easily... it doesn't faze me at all.

David Bowie

Even though I was very shy, I found I could get onstage if I had a new identity.

David Bowie

If I had a talent, it was for looking askew at everything, possibly more than my contemporaries. But I had to really push myself to be a writer.

David Bowie

Age doesn't bother me. So many of my heroes were older guys. It's the lack of years left that weighs far heavier on me than the age that I am.

David Bowie

I thought that I wrote songs and wrote music, and that was sort of what I thought I was best at doing. And because nobody else was ever doing my songs, I felt - you know, I had to go out and do them.

David Bowie

I realized the other day that I've lived in New York longer than I've lived anywhere else. It's amazing: I am a New Yorker. It's strange; I never thought I would be.

David Bowie

I think it all comes back to being very selfish as an artist. I mean, I really do just write and record what interests me and I do approach the stage shows in much the same way.

David Bowie

I never could get over the fact that The Pixies formed, worked and separated without America taking them to its heart or even recognizing their existence for the most part.

David Bowie

To not be modest about it, you'll find that with only a couple of exceptions, most of the musicians that I've worked with have done their best work by far with me.

David Bowie

Funk, I don't think I have anything to do with funk. I've never considered myself funky.

David Bowie

I was very into making the Big Artistic Statement - it had to be innovative; it had to be cutting edge. I was desperately keen on being original.

David Bowie

I guess it's flattering that everyone believed I was those characters, but it also is dehumanizing.

David Bowie

I'll tell you who I absolutely adore: Ian McEwan.

David Bowie

These are all personal crises, I'm sure, that I manifest in a song format and project into physical situations. You make little stories up about how you feel. It's as simple as that.

David Bowie

There, in the chords and melodies, is everything I want to say. The words just jolly it along. It's always been my way of expressing what, for me, is inexpressible by any other means.

David Bowie

Frankly, I mean, sometimes the interpretations I've seen on some of the songs that I've written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in.

David Bowie

Strangely, some songs you really don't want to write.

David Bowie

I'm just an individual who doesn't feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I'm working for me.

David Bowie

I wanted to prove the sustaining power of music.

David Bowie

I believe that I often bring out the best in somebody's talents.

David Bowie

I'm always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don't even take what I am seriously.

David Bowie

It is amazing how a new child can refocus one's direction seconds after its birth.

David Bowie

I'm an early riser. I get up between five and six, have coffee, and read for a couple of hours before everyone else gets up.

David Bowie

I've never responded well to entrenched negative thinking.

David Bowie

Everything I read about hitting a midlife crisis was true. I had such a struggle letting go of youthful things and learning how to exist and have enthusiasm while settling into the comfort of an older age.

David Bowie

Sometimes you stumble across a few chords that put you in a reflective place.

David Bowie

Anxiety and spiritual searching have been consistent themes with me, and that figures into my worldview. But I tend to make my songs sound like relationship songs.

David Bowie

For me, the world that I inhabit in reality is probably a very different world than the one people expect that I would be in.

David Bowie

I'm not one of those guys that has a great worldview. I kind of deal with terror and fear and isolation and abandonment.

David Bowie

For me, often, there's such a cloud of melancholia about knowing I'm going to have to leave my daughter on her own. I don't know what age that is going to be, thank God. It just doubles me up in grief.

David Bowie

Confront a corpse at least once. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have.

David Bowie

It amazes me sometimes that even intelligent people will analyze a situation or make a judgement after only recognizing the standard or traditional structure of a piece.

David Bowie

I guess, taking away all the theatrics or the costuming and the outer layers of what I do, I'm a writer... I write.

David Bowie

You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.

David Bowie

On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.

David Bowie

Art was, seriously, the only thing I'd ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way that I feel in the mornings.

David Bowie

A song has to take on character, shape, body and influence people to an extent that they use it for their own devices. It must affect them not just as a song, but as a lifestyle.

David Bowie

I change my mind a lot. I usually don't agree with what I say very much. I'm an awful liar.

David Bowie

All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience. My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.

David Bowie