Twelve Questions For David Bowie

Posted December 12, 2013

In my Google Alerts this evening, there was curious link that promised to be an exclusive (new) interview with David Bowie. Topics included were purported to be The Next Day, the “c” word (which I refuse to put on this blog), and his dislike of a certain musician who recently released his autobiography in “Penguin Classic” form.

Really? I thought. Really? Really? His first interview in god knows how long — well, save the work plan for The Next Day that introduced me to the word “chthonic” — and he chose to rehash old, uninteresting topics? I clicked the link and it went nowhere, so it was either never meant to be up, wasn’t meant to be up yet, or never actually existed.

But. Since it’s winter. And I’m hibernating. And I’m procrastinating. And I’m here, in a kind of rock star fantasy mode. It makes me think. If I could interview David Bowie, what would I ask? Here’s what I am making up, in my head, at the risk of sounding like an eager undergraduate interrogating a patched-elbow professor whose intellectual prowess is really less illuminating than the wisdom that comes from simple life experience (read that four times):

      1. Why are you choosing to do an interview now? Why did you stop? Were you tired of talking about yourself?
      2. Does David Bowie still exist, or did you shelve him sometime after 2004?
      3. Is popular music still an appropriate forum for challenging social norms? Do you still believe in challenging social norms? Were you ever really bisexual? If not, why use sexuality in particular to challenge social norms? Did you have an interest in the imposition of gender roles? Or did you just think your glam rock colleagues were really cool?
      4. Why do you like to paint?
      5. Do you think you’re a good painter?
      6. To be an artist, do you have to be objectively good at what you do, or is passion enough?
      7. Did you like the V&A exhibit? Is it strange to see artifacts of your creation arranged and analyzed by others? Do any of those objects — like the Berlin apartment keys or the “c” spoon — invoke certain memories in you?
      8. What do you think makes a meaningful life?
      9. Do you regret never having received more formal education? Would you like to have pursued university degrees? In what? What do you think they would have taught you?
      10. What is the meaning of spiritual pursuit? Do you consider yourself spiritual? Are you religious? What is the difference between religious and spiritual? Does it matter?
      11. What is the most profound aspect of aging?
      12. Are you a feminist? Have your views on women changed over the course of your life?

Just some thoughts. And my envisioned response, to most, if not all of these: “I don’t know. What do you think? I’m kind of tired of talking about myself. I’d rather go home and read a book.”

(Merry Christmas, Mr. Jones.)