I've always regretted that I never was able to talk openly with my parents, especially with my father. I've heard and read so many things about my family that I can no longer believe anything; every relative I question has a completely different story from the last.
The humanists' replacement for religion: work really hard and somehow you'll either save yourself or you'll be immortal. Of course, that's a total joke, and our progress is nothing. There may be progress in technology but there's no ethical progress whatsoever.
I'm very at ease, and I like it. I never thought I would be such a family-oriented guy; I didn't think that was part of my makeup. But somebody said that as you get older you become the person you always should have been, and I feel that's happening to me. I'm rather surprised at who I am, because I'm actually like my dad!
Heathenism is a state of mind. You can take it that I'm referring to one who does not see his world. He has no mental light. He destroys almost unwittingly. He cannot feel any Gods presence in his life. He is the 21st century man.
Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. So it's like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You'd better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that's really the only unique situation that's going to be left.
What I do is I write mainly about very personal and rather lonely feelings, and I explore them in a different way each time. You know, what I do is not terribly intellectual. I'm a pop singer for Christ's sake. As a person, I'm fairly uncomplicated.
The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it's not going to happen. I'm fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years.
There's a good television programme called 'Disco 2.' It's quite good but again it's average, average. It's all on a down play. You know we've got this thing in England to be hip is to speak very down - like John Peel. And that just about sums up England. They don't realize when they talk like that, then that is what they represent - absolutely.
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.
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.
I don't have stylistic loyalty. That's why people perceive me changing all the time. But there is a real continuity in my subject matter. As an artist of artifice, I do believe I have more integrity than any one of my contemporaries.
Some make you sing and some make you scream. One makes you wish that you'd never been seen. But there's a shop on the corner that's selling papier mache, making bullet-proof faces, Charlie Manson, Cassius Clay. If you want it, boys, get it here, thing.
One day in Berlin ... Eno came running in and said, 'I have heard the sound of the future.' ... he puts on 'I Feel Love', by Donna Summer ... He said, 'This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.' Which was more or less right.
I haven't changed my views much since I was about 12, really, I've just got a 12-year-old mentality.When I was in school I had a brother who was into Kerouac and he gave me On The Road to read when I was 12 years old. That's still been a big influence.
I'm in awe of the universe, but I don't necessarily believe there's an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic.
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. The rock stars have assimilated all kinds of philosophies, styles, histories, writings, and they throw out what they have gleaned from that.
I've always been very chauvinistic, even in my boy-obsessed days. But I was always a gentleman. I alwaysd treated my boys like real ladies. Always escorted them properly and, in fact, I suppose if I were a lot older - like 40 or 50 - I'd be a wonderful sugar daddy to some little queen down in Kensington. I'd have a houseboy named Richard to order around.
I'm a phallus in pigtails, and there's blood on my nose, and my tissue is rotting where the rats chew my bones. And my eye sockets empty, see nothing but pain, I keep having this brainstorm about twelve times a day.
I hate albums that are really happy. When I am really happy, I don't like to hear happy albums, and when I am really sad I don't wanna hear happy albums... and I tend to gravitate towards the lonely and isolated anyway when I write.
People are so fucking dumb. Nobody reads anymore, nobody goes out and looks and explores the society and culture they were brought up in. People have attention spans of five seconds and as much depth as a glass of water.
They're the salt of the earth, those girls. They don't sit each night and compare notes on groups, criticising lyrics, asking if it's valid. They just play the record... yeah, and maybe they dance. I love them. I love them dearly
And I saw the sax line-up that he had behind him and I thought, I'm going to learn the saxophone. When I grow up, I'm going to play in his band. So I sort of persuaded my dad to get me a kind of a plastic saxophone on the hire purchase plan.
There's a schizoid streak within the family anyway so I dare say that I'm affected by that. The majority of the people in my family have been in some kind of mental institution, as for my brother he doesn't want to leave. He likes it very much.
Always drawn to the theatric, Bowie also performed in stage productions of "The Elephant Man" and just recently collaborated on "Lazarus," an off-Broadway musical that's a sequel to his 1976 role in the film "The Man Who Fell To Earth."
It's much easier for me to say that, the kind of music I didn't listen to was pretty much that. I mean everything, from jazz to classical to popular. And Tibetan horns were a great part of it in 1966, '67.
It always felt like you were trying too hard to look like the audience or something. That whole thing about the artistic integrity, which, of course, I've never bought into - with any artist. It's just not a real thing.
For here, am I sitting in a tin can, far above the world. Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do... Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles, I'm feeling very still - and I think my spaceship knows which way to go. Tell my wife I love her very much.
I'm looking for backing for an unauthorized auto-biography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I will play everybody.
I suppose for me as an artist it wasn't always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go.
I'm well past the age where I'm acceptable. You get to a certain age and you are forbidden access. You're not going to get the kind of coverage that you would like in music magazines, you're not going to get played on radio and you're not going to get played on television. I have to survive on word of mouth.
I've made over 25 studio albums, and I think probably I've made two real stinkers in my time, and some not-bad albums, and some really good albums. I'm proud of what I've done. In fact it's been a good ride.
Questioning my spiritual life has always been germane to what I was writing. Always. It's because I'm not quite an atheist and it worries me. There's that little bit that holds on: 'Well, I'm almost an atheist. Give me a couple of months.'
That's the shock: All cliches are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God - so do I buy that one? If all the other cliches are true... Hell, don't pose me that one.
Since the departure of good old-fashioned entertainers the re-emergence of somebody who wants to be an entertainer has unfortunately become a synonym for camp. I don't think I'm camper than any other person who felt at home on stage, and felt more at home on stage than he did offstage.
If you feel safe in the area youâre working in, youâre not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel youâre capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you donât feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, youâre just about in the right place to do something exciting.
On "Tonight" I think I was torn dreadfully between writing what I wanted to write, but keeping it in a style that would follow up what I had just done. That's where I feel I was untrue to myself as an artist . . . that album and, to a lesser extent, "Never Let Me Down."
One day I realized that I really needed to stop losing myself in my work and in my addictions. What happens is you just wake up one morning and feel absolutely dead. You can't even drag your soul back into your body. You feel you have negated everything that is wonderful about life. When you have fallen that far, it feels like a miracle when you regain your love of life. That's when you can begin really looking for a relationship. When you can appreciate the whole concept of giving to someone, not just taking.
The Internet is merely a new means of communication, that's all it is. It serves the purpose of getting information, which it is fantastic at. I mean, I live by the Internet in terms of research and it's incredible - there's nothing that you can't find out about. It's not stopped me going to bookshops but I must say that I don't go into as many because any book I want...
I had very deep concerns about my financial status because I found that up until "Let's Dance" I was virtually broke again. I had been so irresponsible in how I dealt with my financial affairs. I take full responsibility for that.
You can't put down anybody. You can just try and understand. The emphasis shouldn't be on revolution, it should be on communication. Because it's just going to get more uptight. The more the revolution goes on, and there will be a civil war sooner or later.
[While] my life started taking on all the problems of addiction. So that took me off into an area where relationships were absolutely impossible to handle on any real level. . . . Even communicating with other people was impossible.
When we decided to marry, we had two ceremonies - one was more bureaucratic for the sake of the Swiss authorities,then a church service in Florence, and I wrote the music for the church service. The challenge in that was that Iman's [Abdulmajid] family are Muslim and mine are Protestant. I had to be careful about the prayers that we chose and the music I wrote because I didn't want to offend either side.
I think every time I said, "I'm working with Nile [Rodgers]," the reaction was, "Oh, great. I love 'Let's Dance.' " I think that's pretty expected. I'm not sure Nile and I went in consciously not to make "Let's Dance." We just wanted to work together again.
We see each other [ with Iman Abdulmajid] a lot. I couldn't stand to be separated for months. It became quickly apparent to me that I needed to find a balance between my absolute work obsession and a private life that we could share without my disappearing all the time.
A mutual friend knew that we were both [with Iman Abdulmajid] on our own, with broken marriages and with children. We were brought to dinner one night. . . . It was absolutely instantaneous. I couldn't get her out of my mind . . . sleepless nights - real 18-year-old stuff.
By the mid-'80s, it was really apparent to me that I really needed to stop losing myself in my work and in my addictions. What happens is you just wake up one morning and feel absolutely dead. You can't even drag your soul back into your body. You feel you have negated everything that is wonderful about life. When you have fallen that far, it feels like a miracle when you regain your love of life.
It took me a long time to reach the bottom and it went through various stages. I went from drugs into an alcohol stage. For a while, one feels, "Ah, I've kicked drugs," but what I discovered was I had another addiction instead.
I think the first experience scared the hell out of me. Within months of my initial marriage [on Angela Bowie], I realized I had done a really naive and rather stupid thing. . . . I don't think either of us had any real resolve about being together. The result was it made me wary of relationships.
I think I quite desperately wanted to have that kind of special companionship [like marriage ] . . . a special relationship, yet I hid from it for many, many years and pretended to be cynical about it.
I'm really quite bipolar, and the depressed times, when everything felt like night, sometimes you get to such a low point that you physically beat at it until it bleeds - as you would say - bleeds till sunshine.
I couldn't stand to be separated with my wife for months. It became quickly apparent to me that I needed to find a balance between my absolute work obsession and a private life that we could share without my disappearing all the time.
There's just some dysfunctionalism with artists. There are good things and bad things about being an artist, and the good thing is, sometimes you get an inside line on what's really happening. You develop these strange antennae that clue you in to what's really going on.
If I hadn't had my children, I would have been discouraged a lot quicker. It would have been much more easy for me to say, "You know what, let the whole thing go. Have a good time, because these people, this place - it's just not worth it." You know? I can't do that anymore. I look into those eyes and they look at me so trustingly that I'm gonna make sure that [they're thinking], "Hey, you did a good thing bringing me into the world, daddy. I'm going to have a great life!"
Since early middle ages when people generally taking away the barbarity of their like, were pretty content. Although it was all an illicit contentment, what with the slave systems all over the world, in England especially, the peasants and the master, etc. People were incredibly content.
There have been times when I've written something and it goes out and it comes back in a letter from some kid as to what they think about it and I've taken their analysis to heart so much that I have taken up his thing. Writing what my audience is telling me to write.
Nature Boy There was a boy A very strange enchanted boy They say he wandered very far, very far Over land and sea A little shy And sad of eye But very wise Was he And then one day A magic day he passed my way And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings This he said to me âThe greatest thing Youâll ever learn Is just to love And be loved In return
I had enormous self-image problems and very low self-esteem, which I hid behind obsessive writing and performing. It's exactly what I do now, except I enjoy it now. I'm not driven like I was in my twenties. I was driven to get through life very quickly.
I have to take total control myself. I can't let anybody else do anything, for I find that I can do things better for me. I don't want to get other people playing with what they think that I'm trying to do.
My particular thing is discovering what can be done with media and how it can be used. You can't draw people together like one big huge family, people don't want that. They want isolation or a tribal thing.
You write down a paragraph or two describing several different subjects creating a kind of story ingredients-list, I suppose, and then cut the sentences into four or five-word sections; mix em up and reconnect them. You can get some pretty interesting idea combinations like this. You can use them as is or, if you have a craven need to not lose control, bounce off these ideas and write whole new sections.
Style is about the choices you make to create the aspects of civilization that you wish to uphold. I will buy a chair for my house. What style of chair are you gonna buy? Everything we look at and choose is some way of expressing how we want to be perceived. I mean, why bother choosing a chair because it looks a certain way? Because there's gonna be something about that chair that says something about you.
Rather than really have, like a close relationship to anything that's coming out today, people are just, they've got it on as background music. It's kind of the same way the cabdrivers use music; it's very disposable.
My son's full real name is Duncan Zowie Haywood. As a toddler he was called by his second name Zowie. But it was such an identifiable name during the Seventies that if I called him loudly in public places, everyone would turn to stare, so I started calling him Joey to take the pressure off. It has the same sound and number of syllables as Zowie. And Joe stuck for most of his childhood. Now he has reverted to his real name, Duncan. Haywood was my father's name.
David Bowie emerged as a rock star in the late '60s. And as Ken Tucker wrote, "In the face of the hippy era's sincerity, intimacy and generosity, Bowie presented irony, distance and self-absorption. His song 'Changes' announced the arrival of a new counterculture," unquote.
I was told that it was cool to fall in love, and that period was nothing like that to me. I gave too much of my time and energy to another person and they did the same to me and we started burning out against each other. And that is what is termed love...
There's a thing that just as you go to sleep, if you keep your elbows elevated that you will never go below the dream stage. And I've used that quite a lot and it keeps me dreaming much longer than if I just relaxed.
[David] Bowie had a genius for continual change himself, reinventing his sound and his image throughout the decades. Each album seemed to find Bowie in a different persona, with a new sound to match his new look.
The world that I inhabit in reality is probably very different world than the one people expect that I would be in. It is quite sedate. It's far removed from a lot of what they would feel to be the limousine traveling rock existence, or whatever.
Trying to tart the rock business up a bit is getting nearer to what the kids themselves are like, because what I find, if you want to talk in the terms of rock, a lot depends on sensationalism and the kids are a lot more sensational than the stars themselves.
TV has eaten up everything else, and Warhol films are all that are left, which is fabulous. Pork could become the next I Love Lucy, the great American domestic comedy. It's about how people really live, not like Lucy, who never touched dishwater. It's about people living and hustling to survive.
I don't think I did anything that my contemporaries didn't; it was just that I was the only one who talked about it. In the Sixties anyone who had a sense of style seemed to be gay. I wanted to indentify with that.
Critics I don't understand. They get too intellectual. They're not very well-versed in street talk; it takes them longer to say it. So they have to do it in dictionaries and they take longer to say it.
I kind of miss that "becoming" stage, as most times you really don't know what's around the corner. Now, of course, I've kind of knocked on the door and heard a muffled answer. Nevertheless, I still don't know what the voice is saying, or even what language it's in.
I never really got the book together for the thing, so I had all the songs and the characters. But by the time we'd gotten it on the road and I'd been doing it for 18 months, oh God, I couldn't wait to move on to something else.
I started playing around with local rock band swith the alto. And then, in a nutshell, somebody fell ill one night, the lead singer of one of the bands, and they knew I could sing, so they asked me if I would stand in. And I quite enjoyed it, actually, I must say, at 14. It was a real trip to have girls wave at you and smile and everything just because you opened your mouth and sang.
If I wasn't going through a thing where I was also being my characters offstage, uh, I'm much happier just wearing the most low-profile things that I can come up with just so I can get down the street....
And it's always the same kind of artist, I think, who has more enjoyment being slightly on the outside of things, who doesn't want to be sucked into the tyranny of the mainstream. Because once you get sucked into that, you're dead as an artist.
I never heard so many kids talk about just doing anything to be famous. I mean, yeah, fame is part of the deal when you're a kid and you think, I wanna go into music, but everybody that I knew was really doing it because of their love for it. I don't see so much of that anymore.
Having not really written any generational songs - I think maybe two or three of the songs that I've ever written have any bearing on the age of the listener. My stuff tends to be far more concerned with the spiritual and with subjects like isolation and being miserable.
You can't go on stage and live - it's false all the way. I can't stand the premise of going out in jeans and a guitar and looking as real as you can in front of 18,000 people. I mean, it's not normal!
When the musical keyboard was created in the 1970's, you had electronic geeks that had no background in music created these devises and gave them to musicians that had no background in electronics. The result was some of the wierd sounds that came out in the '70s.
We were terribly excited, and I think we took it on our shoulders that we were creating the 21st century in 1971. That was the idea. And we wanted to just blast everything in the past, rather like the vorticists did at the beginning of the century in the Britain or the dadaists did Europe, you know. It was the same sensibility of everything is rubbish, and all rubbish is wonderful.
Some of us, I think, us small, pompous arty ones probably read too much George Steiner and kind of got the idea that we were entering to this kind of post-culture age and that we'd better do something postmodernist - quickly, before somebody else did.
I'm wary of the word glam because I think that became the all-inclusive term with for any bloke with lipstick on, which is fine, you know, and that's what it is when it comes down to the public level.
A lot of people that I know are bugged with the idea that they have got to have an audience, or they have got to be liked. I think the more that you fall into that trap it makes your own life harder to come to terms with, because an audience appreciation is only going to be periodic at the best of times.