David Bowie opens up about ‘being David Bowie’ in a classic interview from 1973
David Bowie’s career trajectory changed forever following the birth of his Ziggy Stardust at the beginning of 1972, a time which saw Bowie become the most iconic artist on the planet and who had tapped into the psyche of what the world had been pining for. Within the space of one whirlwind year, he had gone from a cultish figure to international icon.
This television appearance on ITV’s Russell Harty Plus Pop programme, which was created as a rival for Michael Parkinson’s groundbreaking late-night celebrity chat show, would see the host interview a different celebrity guest each week. He welcomed guests such as Mark Bolan, The Who, Claude François, Tony Curtis and Rita Hayworth but it was his episode with Bowie in ’73 which would mark his legacy.
Bowie’s performance aired on 17th January and also saw him premiere ‘Drive-In Saturday’. However, it would be the conversation that took place which pricked the ears of pop fans around the world. More specifically, it was the moment Harty asked musician about ‘being David Bowie’ that provoked the most fascinating section of his appearance.
Dressed in full Ziggy gear like you would expect, Bowie looked taken aback for a moment when probed with the question before providing the following heartfelt answer: “Well, okay, I find that I am a person who can take on the guises of different people that I meet. I can switch accents in seconds of meeting somebody and adopt their accent.”
He continued: “I’ve always found that I can collect, I’m a collector and I’ve always seemed to just collect personalities and ideas. I have a hotch-potch philosophy which is very minimal.”
Harty then asks Bowie if he is a religious man who believes in God which elicited this response: “I believe in an energy form, I wouldn’t like to put a name to it.” This question is then followed up by him probing Bowie about whether he involves himself in any form of worship and Bowie poignantly states: “Life, I love life very much indeed.”
After discussing how Ziggy splits opinion, Harty then asks him if he receives a lot of attention from his fantastical following and for an insight into the abundance of fan mail he receives: “It’s very sexy, I seem to draw a lot of fantasies out of people in the fan mail I get. A lot of it is awfully nice, asking ‘how’s your baby?’, ‘how’s your wife?’ and ‘what’s your mum’s name?’ but some of them are worth framing.”
It truly is a fascinating interview that offers a staggering insight into Bowie so soon after achieving vast fame and how well he is coping with the success he has accomplished, almost as if he was born to do so.
Watch the incredibly candid interview with David Bowie, below.