David Bowie's “Heroes” Cover Shoot, 1977 (3)
You guys, Bowie's feeling just a little bit bonkers.



Bowie Announces a 'Bonkers' New Album + Most Bonkers Moments

The joy that any David Bowie fan feels about the rocker’s current musical output is still exceedingly high. After breaking his decade-long musical silence with 2013’s The Next Day, the legend has just announced his upcoming 25th album Blackstar, to be released this January on his 69th birthday.

In a firestorm of reports about the details of this album, some of which have been disputed by his camp, everyone seems able to agree on one detail: this new album is going to be ‘bonkers,’ a word that has been used in nearly every piece of press coverage regarding Blackstar . Yet in a career filled with some of the most wildly insane moments in musical history, just how bonkers can his latest be? To get an idea, we’re taking a look at David Bowie’s Most Bonkers Moments.

When He ‘Quit Music’ to Study Mime

Breaking into the music industry is no easy task, so a bit of stress is understandable. But after shuffling through a series of bands that were no match for his unstoppable creativity, Bowie was feeling lost and helpless; abandoned without any fellow musicians or managers that could possibly begin to understand him. So naturally, he said he would leave pop music behind forever to become a mime. At a mime school. Though he ended up learning a great deal there that would come to good use, the thought of Bowie being some guy we ignore on a street corner in Europe is almost too much to bear.

Putting his degree in mime to work.

When He Moved Away from LA Because Satan Was Living in his Pool

Like many rockstars in the 70’s, Bowie did a lot of cocaine, which as we have learned, is one helluva drug. His addiction reached such a point in 1975 that he became convinced he was being hounded by a coven of witches, one of whom wished him to impregnate her with the child of the Devil. This seems slightly counterintuitive, given that Bowie was making late night phone calls to his wife in fear of Satan himself living in his swimming pool. ‘How much cocaine could one possibly do to get in this mindset?,’ you might be wondering. Which brings us to…

Wait, this man hung out with witches? That seems unlikely...
Wait, this man hung out with witches? That seems unlikely…

His Cocaine Diet

While there is no exact figure as to how much cocaine Bowie was using during his peak, there are several facts that are truly alarming. For one, he has no memory to this day of writing his 1976 album Station to Station, which spawned the massively successful hit Golden Years. But what’s truly bonkers is his physical diet, a regimen that consisted solely of cocaine, milk, and red and green peppers. The fact that he has even alive today is something of a miracle. Things only turned around when the extremity of his addiction began to be noticeable in his TV appearances.

His Love Affair with Iggy Pop

This isn’t so much a ‘bonkers’ moment as it is wishful thinking, but there is a distinct group of us in the world who know that David Bowie and Iggy Pop experienced something more beautiful than we’ll ever understand (see Velvet Goldmine for proof). But regardless, the facts are that the two spent a lot of time in Europe together. Bowie played keyboards in Iggy’s live shows, produced both of his legendary solo records, and they shared an apartment in Germany. There’s also this TV appearance where Bowie is mostly silent and simply holds Iggy’s hand. That’s real love.

The Album ‘Low’

Is it cheating to put an album as a bonkers moment in a post meant to decipher how bonkers an upcoming album is going to be? I don’t really care. This 1977 album is less a piece of rock music and more of a transmission from aliens we’ve still yet to decipher. I recently put on some songs from the album when friends were over, and they asked me, “Who is this band? I haven’t heard of them.” This record is a true mystery. It was built with what Bowie’s producers called “synthesizers that fucked with the fabric of time.” Roll up a joint, put this on, and just try to tell us that this isn’t the most bonkers damn thing you’ve ever listened to.

‘Blackstar’ is set to be released on January 8th. 

Lead image by Masayoshi Sukita. 

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