For me, it’s pretty hard to confine myself to only one article, as there are way too many reasons why I consider David to be my biggest inspiration. But what I’ll try to do is to summarise some of the most important aspects for me of David Bowie’s greatness.
What I’m trying to do every single day is to be myself. To not change for anything or anyone; to not follow the ‘mainstream’ or what magazines tell people to do. And that’s what Bowie did as well. He didn’t have a set rule for how to dress or present himself – no, on the contrary. All of his representations were based on his will to transform, not on what others did or what the media wanted to see.
David once said he found it fascinating to put things together that, at first sight, may not seem to be working well, but in the end they created a totally different atmosphere or even world. And that’s what he did regarding his appearance, as well as with his collaborations. He toured with people who were completely different of him, both music and appearance-wise – like Nine Inch Nails. This, and many of his other actions, showed me how completely different his thought process was compared with many other musicians of his time. He didn’t have commercial thoughts of only making money and selling everything in huge masses by giving his fans exactly what they wanted to hear or see, but he really wanted to create high-quality music with substance and meaning. There are many subjects behind his music, such as a specific person, a role he’s playing or a story. What I especially admire about David is the way he wrote music. He had a pretty rough childhood but managed to put all his sorrow and experience into his songs – not only did he let the lyrics speak for him, but more than that… he let the music talk. You can clearly hear that in his albums like ‘Low’, ‘Scary Monsters’ or ‘Outside’ which represent his psyche.
Besides his music, David was, for me, a great philosopher. He was so widely-read, so intelligent and had such a huge knowledge of life that he gave you the feeling that everything flowed together perfectly. Watching documentaries about him still amaze me – the way he philosophised and brought his views on life together; how he predicted future developments. All these different properties together made him special – his humour, his down-to-earth temperament, the way he treated people, his tolerance for everyone, his fascination for individuals and also the different roles he was playing, which slowly disappeared in the end to let him become his true self.
David always stood up for equality in many different kind of ways. He was the one telling MTV to show performances of black musicians. He was the one everybody was speculating about as to whether he was bi or homosexual because of the way he dressed and acted on stage. But he never really cared what people thought. David did his thing, and it didn’t bother him if people thought he was attracted to the same gender, as that was totally fine with him.
In my view, his biggest passion was trying to harmonise a range of completely different things which inspired him, and this makes it so hard to describe David as a person. For instance, he collected texts by his favourite philosophers like Brecht or Nietzsche and applied these to his own art and music projects. Just by listening to his music, you can tell how many difficult situations which affected his psyche he had been through and how he dealt with them, and his songs included many hidden meanings. He had an eye for art and discovered it in everything, even in the least expected things.
What I really have to mention (again) is his album ‘Low’ – my all time favourite (if I reaaaaally had to pick one). I have no words to describe it but the feeling and atmosphere created allow listeners to take a look into his soul; into his psyche. In my eyes – and even more so, in my ears – this is what I would call a revolutionary album. Even if you try, you won’t be able to find a similar kind of vibe to ‘Low’ anywhere else. I highly recommend that everyone should listen to it!
To conclude, I would like to say that behind every single song of his, you can always find a motive, a purpose and a hidden message, if you take your time and really concentrate on it.
David Bowie is not only a legend, but also a mystery.
And of course, my biggest inspiration.