23 David Bowie Quotes That Are as True Now as They Were Then

David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, lived from January 8th, 1947 until January 10th, 2016. David Bowie’s one of those larger-than-life figures who left a mark on the world as an English singer, songwriter, musician, and actor, that will echo into eternity itself. Bowie is looked upon as one of the inarguably most influential musicians throughout the 20th century. Bowie receives praise in particular from critics and musicians alike for all of his groundbreaking work during the 1970s. Bowie was committed to the creative process of never settling and continuing to reinvent. We’ll take a look at some of the most memorable David Bowie quotes that make the rounds to this day.

1. On trusting the process

A person with light-colored hair and a serious expression is seated in a chair, wearing a tan suit jacket, blue shirt, and striped tie against a backdrop of vertical blue blinds.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

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

2. On life’s journey

A person with medium-length, tousled hair and round sunglasses is seated indoors, wearing a teal and brown patterned shirt. The background includes a window with blinds and a torso sculpture on a stand.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.”

3. On the midlife crisis

A person with short, orange hair is wearing a button-up shirt, a patterned tie, and suspenders. The individual is looking slightly to the side with a serious expression, and the background features vertical lines with some small, bright lights.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

4. On music itself

A person with shaggy hair wearing round sunglasses and a patterned shirt is speaking indoors. The background features a torso mannequin and large windows with blinds.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

5. On not people-pleasing

A man with short, styled hair is sitting on a sofa. He is wearing a dark turtleneck sweater with red accents on the sleeves. Behind him, there is a framed photo of another individual singing passionately, displayed on the wall. A lit table lamp is also visible.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

6. On changing your mind

A person with short, light-colored hair is looking slightly to the side while speaking. They are wearing a light-colored button-up shirt and are in front of a blurry, dark background.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

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

7. On being curious

A person with short, styled hair is sitting indoors, scratching their head with their right hand. They are wearing a dark jacket over a collared shirt and appear to be speaking or deep in thought. The background is softly lit and includes a wall and part of a lamp.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“What I have is a malevolent curiosity. That’s what drives my need to write and what properly leads me to look at things a little askew. I do tend to take a different perspective from most people.”

8. On judging a situation

A person with styled hair and a neutral expression sits on a floral-patterned armchair. They wear a black jacket. The background appears to be a dimly-lit room with soft lighting.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

9. On the ghosts that haunt us all

A person with short, styled hair, wearing a light-colored shirt, is looking down while standing in front of a gray, corrugated background. A large light with a reflector is positioned behind them.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

10. On being an early riser

A person with short, light blonde hair is sitting and talking. They are wearing a light-colored shirt over a striped t-shirt and have their hands together in front of them. The background appears to be a storage area with various equipment and cases.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

11. On Madonna

A person with short, light-colored hair and an earring is seen in a close-up shot, looking slightly towards their left. They are wearing a dark jacket and the background is softly blurred with red and dark tones.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

12. On negativity

A person with short, styled hair and an earring is touching their chin thoughtfully in a computer-filled room. The background features colorful lighting and a computer screen displaying content.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“I’ve never responded well to entrenched negative thinking.”

13. On fame

A person with light-colored, medium-length hair sits in a chair, smiling slightly. They are wearing a beige jacket over a striped shirt. Behind them are several metallic and equipment cases, suggesting a backstage or studio setting.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

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

14. On the inner world

A person with blond hair, wearing a red plaid shirt over a grey t-shirt, is seen indoors. The background includes a tree trunk with an unusual textured bark. The person is looking slightly to the side with a pensive expression.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

15. On art

Two performers on stage, one in theatrical makeup with black eyeshadow intensely leaning towards the other, who has blonde hair and is singing into a microphone. The background includes musical instruments and stage lighting.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“All art really does is keep you focused on questions of humanity, and it really is about how do we get on with our maker.”

16. On glam rock

A person with bright orange hair is wearing heavy blue eyeshadow and dramatic makeup. They have a pale face and are looking directly at the camera with their mouth slightly open. The background is white.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

17. On anxiety

A person with light brown hair is singing into a microphone. They are wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and loosely tied blue tie. The background is dark, suggesting a stage or performance setting. The person appears to be smiling or in mid-speech.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

18. On stylistic loyalty

A person with short, styled hair is standing in front of a white background, wearing a navy blue shirt with partially visible white text that reads "Song." The individual appears to be looking slightly to the left with a neutral expression.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“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.”

19. On pretension

A person with short, light brown hair is sitting indoors against a purple and blue background. They are wearing a grey, high-neck sweater with a red stripe. The person appears to be in mid-conversation or making a speaking expression.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“I’m responsible for starting a whole new school of pretension.”

20. On artistic boundaries

A person with light-colored hair is smiling while sitting indoors. They are wearing a dark blue and white striped shirt. The background features dark drapes and a window with diffused light coming through.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“I don’t see any boundaries between any of the art forms. I think they all inter-relate completely.”

21. On adolescence

A man stands at a microphone, dressed in a dark suit with a white collar, against a backdrop featuring the word "Awards" in yellow and red text, and the phrase "Music Club" partially visible. He has styled brown hair and is looking to the side.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

“As an adolescent, I was painfully shy, withdrawn. I didn’t really have the nerve to sing my songs on stage, and nobody else was doing them. I decided to do them in disguise so that I didn’t have to actually go through the humiliation of going on stage and being myself.”

22. On the alter ego

A person with styled, voluminous hair and a serious expression is looking directly at the camera. The background is dark, and the lighting emphasizes the person's facial features.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

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

23. On the power of a few chords

A person in a dark suit stands smiling at a microphone on a stage, against a backdrop featuring the text "Awards 96" and "Britannia Music Club." Other figures and images are partially visible in the background.
David Bowie/Via YouTube.com

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

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