Bowie in quotes: ‘I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir’

‘I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human’

David Bowie performs in Spain on July 12th, 1996. Photograph: EPA/Stringer

David Bowie performs in Spain on July 12th, 1996. Photograph: EPA/Stringer

 

Part of David Bowie’s enigmatic appeal was how he rationed his interviews and left people wondering what he really thought about a range of subjects.

He once said: “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.”

He also said: “I’m always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don’t even take what I am seriously.”

Here are some more of his best-known quotes:

- “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

- “I think fame itself is not a rewarding thing. The most you can say is that it gets you a seat in restaurants.”

- “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.”

- “I’ve always felt bemused at being called the chameleon of rock. Doesn’t a chameleon exert tremendous energy to become indistinguishable from its environment?”

- “I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir.”

- “I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.”

- “Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.”

- “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.”

- “The source of all my frustrations is hammering away at the same questions I’ve had since I was 19, this daunting spiritual search. They’re continual questions and they seem to be the essence of what I’ve written over time. And I’m not going to stop.”

- “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.”

- “As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?”