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David Bowie: The Last Five Years (2017) Poster

Quotes

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David Bowie, Himself: Always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you can manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you co-exist with the rest of society.

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David Bowie, Himself: People either really accepted what I do or they absolutely sort of push it away from them. I guess that's what I am, you know. But, I would love to feel that what I did actually changed the fabric of music.

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David Bowie, Himself: Even though I seemed to superficially change such a lot, that a style does come through.

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David Bowie, Himself: By virtue of the fact that I'm getting older, its given me quite a scope of what I can draw from within my own catalog of albums.

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David Bowie, Himself: Hello, hello, hello. It's your lucky day.

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David Bowie, Himself: I had this poetic, romantic, kind of juvenile idea that I would be dead by 30, suddenly your 30, your 40, then your 50 and 57 and all that and its a new land, you know, a pioneer.

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David Bowie, Himself: I'm not really very keen to put on much of a theatrical show, you know, in terms of big sets and elephants and fireworks and things like that. Of course, it doesn't mean that I won't go back on my word; because that's, you know, part and parcel of what I do for you. Its part of my entertaining factor - is lying to you.

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David Bowie, Himself: I'm much more interested in the process of life and what is it that we're uncovering with our every move. The celebrity side of it, I couldn't give a bad sausage.

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David Bowie, Himself: I just wanted to make a really big name for myself. I wanted to make a mark.

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David Bowie, Himself: It took me all the 60s to try to do everything that I would think of, to find out exactly what it was I wanted to do anyway. But, just about the end of the 60s, it just started to come together.

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David Bowie, Himself: Through circumstances I'd run into a drummer called John Cambridge and Toni Visconti and Mick Ronson and we put together a band called Hype. It was probably my first costume band. As far as I'm aware, that was the very first, so-called, glam rock gig.

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David Bowie, Himself: I was always a quite shy kid and I didn't come alive on stage. I just got even shyer. But, I found I didn't get so shy if I sort of adopted a character. So, it was a convenience - as well as a very bright theatrical idea. Ha ha.

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David Bowie, Himself: I'm not content to be just a rock-n-roll star all my life. I am trying to be one at the moment because I need it for a particular reason: so that I can get off and do other things.

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David Bowie, Himself: You know that feeling you get in the car when somebody accelerates very, very fast and you're not driving. You get that thing in the chest when you're being forced backwards and you think, "Oh", and you're not sure if you like it or not. It's that kind of feeling. That's what success was like. The first thrust of being totally unknown into being what seemed to be very quickly known. It was very frightening for me.

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Reeves Gabrels, Himself: Did David enjoy being a star? I would say what he said to me: "It's great when you want to get tickets for a concert, when you want to get backstage and see your friends or if you want a good table at a restaurant. But, the rest of the time, it's a pain in the ass." And I think that's pretty much a verbatim quote. I watched him deal with it, too many times. That was his view on it.

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David Bowie, Himself: [singing] Is it any wonder, you're far to cool to fool? Fame.

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David Bowie, Himself: I've done such a lot of work in 40 years. It's only recently that, maybe, I've started to write in a kind of autobiographical way. And this maybe has something to do with age and the way that one matures.

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David Bowie, Himself: Berlin. This was the first freedom I'd had. All those so-called trappings of celebrity and my own problems. Really, I'm quite fond of that freedom that it gave me.

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David Bowie, Himself: I put myself in a very anonymous situation in a quite working class part of Berlin. A Turkish area. And started to live a different life. I tried to distance myself from the very drug oriented lifestyle that I'd been leading.

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David Bowie, Himself: It was just a tremendous place to be and the music was some of the most rewarding for me, as an artist, in my life.

[singing]

David Bowie, Himself: I, I will be king, And you, you will be queen, Nothing will drive them away, We can beat them, For ever and ever, We can be heroes, Just for one day, I, I can remember, Standing by the wall...

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David Bowie, Himself: Her name was Hermione Farthingale and I absolutely adored her. I mean, she was the real first love in my life. She was a ballet dancer and a very good little singer. And she played a little bit of bed sitting room guitar. You know, that kind of folk guitar that every girl could look beautiful playing. I don't know why, but, all the beautiful girls could play a little bit of acoustic guitar. She was doing a film called "Song of Norway" and she fell in love with one of the actors on on it and she left me for him. Gone! I didn't get over that for such a long time. It really broke me up.

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David Bowie, Himself: I think because of my orientation towards the apocalyptic, I think it rather hones that low level anxiety. Especially the event of a new child, my daughter, really sort of focused my fears and apprehensions. I mean, what a disappointing 21st century this has been, so far, you know.

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David Bowie, Himself: I'm not an original thinker. What I'm best at doing is synthesizing those things in society or culture, refracting those things and producing some kind of glob of how it is that live at this particular time.

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David Bowie, Himself: I'm not a Dylan. And I'm not somebody who can sit down and stoically write a clear picture of what's happening, you know. But, I can leave a very strong impression of how I feel about it.

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David Bowie, Himself: It's very hard to not continue to readdress the same subject matter endlessly. I mean, I have a certain niche that I work in. A lot of it, until recently, tends to be about alienation and being on the outside of things.

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David Bowie, Himself: That tends to be where I feel more comfortable as a writer. But, I think one keeps readdressing that situation, trying to address it in a different way. I guess that's what I do.

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David Bowie, Himself: I think it's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people's expectations. If you feel safe in the area that you're working in, you're not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being. Go a little bit out of your depth and when you don't feel your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting.

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Carlos Alomar, Himself: Oh, let me play that again. Duh-Duh-Duh-Duhhh. Oh, boy, man, I'm feelin' low. Brian Eno's methodology is a little bit different than any methodology I've ever encountered. That's not rock-n-roll. Rock-n-roll is, "Hey, man, I got this great riff. Listen to this: Whaaaa!" You know. But, when you start experimenting with soundscapes, which is what they were doing, it makes other things come to light. David was listening to a few German bands, back then, that were at the epicenter of electronic music and I think that the e-e-lec-tro-nic gu-par was too much. That's why he had a R&B, a black rhythm section, being: you want a machine, let me give you a funk band. But, I'll add all the electronic stuff on top of that. Otherwise, he might take the chance of sounding like European electronic music - which he did not want to reproduce.

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David Bowie, Himself: I'd gotten into the idea of real experimentation in music with the new sounds of Europe and it was this kind of hybrid that appealed to me so much. The idea of mixtures has always been something that I found absolutely fascinating.

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David Bowie, Himself: When I was around 17 or 18, what I wanted to do more than anything else was write something for Broadway. I wanted to write a musical. I had no idea of how you did it or how the music was constructed; but, the idea of writing something that was rock-based for Broadway, really intrigued me. I thought that would be a wonderful thing to do.

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David Bowie, Himself: I really had it in my mind to do a musical of 1984. It was a book that I'd loved all through my youth. But, of course, I didn't really take into account the second Mrs. Orwell who, when she got wind of what we were doing, absolutely put her foot down and said "We're not having a rock-n-roll Beatle work on my late husband's great piece of work."

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David Bowie, Himself: Major Tom still means a lot to me. It was the first time I'd been able to create a character that was very credible, I think.

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David Bowie, Himself: I would dream of gettin' on a spaceship. It would scare the shit out of me.

[laughs]

David Bowie, Himself: I have absolutely no interests or ambition to go into space, whatsoever.

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David Bowie, Himself: It's an interior dialogue that you manifest physically.

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David Bowie, Himself: [singing] Something happened on the day he died, Spirit rose a meter then stepped aside, Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried, I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar

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David Bowie, Himself: [singing] Look up here, I'm in heaven, I've got scars that can't be seen, I've got drama, can't be stolen, Everybody knows me now.

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David Bowie, Himself: It's been an incredibly full life and, apart from the drugs in the 70s, I think little of it has been wasted, in terms of I've been able to harness every moment of it. I'm a really lucky chap.

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[last lines]

Interviewer: And legacy. What? How would you like your legacy written?

David Bowie, Himself: I'd love people to believe I really had great haircuts.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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