19 David Bowie Quotes That Prove He Was A True Innovator Of His Time

by Lauren Davish
Wikimedia Commons

Last night, one of the greatest musical innovators of our time lost his 18-month battle with cancer.

Success comes short in describing the career of David Bowie.

His story-telling lyrics, eccentric style and overall cultural impact have left us with a music legend, an undoubted idol and an inspiration for musicians -- or anyone, for that matter -- for years to come.

In addition to Bowie's musical influence, his words of wisdom were spoken other than in song.

Here are 19 of his most memorable quotes, quotes that not only solidified his place as a music icon, but showed the depth of the thoughts and soul that created the Starman:

"I find only freedom in the realms of eccentricity."
"Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them."
"I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, 'F**k that. I want to be a superhuman.'"
"I suppose for me as an artist it wasn’t always just about expressing my work; I really wanted more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture I was living in.”
"Make the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere."
"I was virtually trying anything. And I think I have done just about everything that it's possible to do – except really dangerous things, like being an explorer. But anything that Western culture has to offer – I’ve put myself through it."
"I think fame itself is not a rewarding thing. The most you can say is that it gets you a seat in restaurants."
"The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time."
"I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on."
"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. There, in the chords and melodies, is everything I want to say. The words just jolly it along. It’s always been my way of expressing what for me is inexpressible by any other means."
"I’ve never responded well to entrenched negative thinking."
"Sometimes you stumble across a few chords that put you in a reflective place."
"I think it all comes back to being very selfish as an artist. I mean, I really do just write and record what interests me and I do approach the stage shows in much the same way."
"I'm an instant star. Just add water and stir."
“Don't you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.”
“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. I continued designing characters with their own complete personalities and environments. I put them into interviews with me! Rather than be me — which must be incredibly boring to anyone — I’d take Ziggy in, or Aladdin Sane or The Thin White Duke. It was a very strange thing to do."
“I reinvented my image so many times that I'm in denial that I was originally an overweight Korean woman.”
“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.”
"I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring."

And thank you, Mr. Bowie, for not making it anything but that.