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Did David Bowie Have Schizophrenia

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David Bowie And His Hidden Alien Quest

Freddie Mercury about David Bowie

With the first year anniversary of David Bowies death and instant cremation upon us, I thought I would also add to the vast commentaries that have surfaced over that period. One burning question that has, to all intents and purposes, often addressed in a serious tone is could he, indeed, masking perfectly within his interests and portrayal of all things alien, have actually been an alien? The perfect cover? Is such a question, I hear many cry, even valid?

His interest in all things occult is well documented. Here was a soul searching to understand the Mind and in particular that troubled aspect we know so little about, schizophrenia, who took to looking inward by following Buddhist practice, and of course there was the most troubled period of his life mid seventies when his addiction to drugs ought have earned him casualty status.

Id like to take a slightly different angle on this and try and relate how the occult may have worked Bowie, and not the other way around. My commonality with him starts at Samye-Ling the Tibetan Centre-cum- monastery up in Dumfries, Scotland. Note instantly the near proximity in the place name Dumfries and Tony Devries, Bowies once manager. Bowie and his American Producer Tony Visconti visited the Centre, we gather, in 1967, and I was also drawn there ten years later.

Pic 1: David Bowie in his final year.

Pic 2: Ziggy Stardust

Pic 3: Young Bowie with his troubled half brother Terry

Pic 4: The Vajrayana Diamond Vehicle

Pic 7: Aladdin Sane?

What Was The Cause Of David Bowie’s Death

David Bowie died from cancer on January 10, 2016, leaving behind one of the most eclectic catalogs in music history. He’d been a glam-rock star, an arty experimentalist, a dance-pop hit-maker any genre was within his grasp, often because he was reinventing each one of them in his own malleable image.

David Bowie Changed His Name So He Wouldn’t Be Confused With Davy Jones Of The Monkees

David Bowie was born in London on January 8, 1947 as David Robert Jones. But as he readied to embark on his musical career as a teen, there was a problem: Davy Jones, the lead singer of The Monkees, was already a known quantity in the music industry, and the aspiring artist was afraid they might be confused. So David Jones changed his name to David Bowie.

In 1967, 14-year-old Sandra Dodd sent Bowie what would be his first fan letter from America, in which she asked him about his name. Bowie quipped: In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I dont have to tell you why I changed it. Nobodys going to make a monkey out of you said my manager.

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For A Time David Bowie Feared A Wizard Might Steal His Urine

David Bowie alter ego: How many alter egos did David Bowie ...

Four years after his Ziggy Stardust period, Bowie became the Thin White Duke. It was during this period that he struggled with both drug and emotional problems. In David Buckleys book, Strange Fascination: David BowieThe Definitive Story, the author wrote that by 1975, Bowie was “living a cocooned existence , disconnected from the real world. He was apparently subsisting on a diet of peppers and milk, and exhibited some truly strange behaviorslike keeping his urine in his refrigerator so that “no other wizard could use it to enchant him.

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David Bowie’s Brother Was A Major Inspiration For His Music

In 1985, Bowies half-brother Terry Burns, who battled mental health issues throughout his life, escaped from the hospital where he had been admitted and killed himself. In Nicholas Pegg’s The Complete David Bowie, the writer revealed that Burns had quite an impact on Bowies writing. He was reportedly the inspiration for a number of his songs, including Aladdin Sane, All the Madmen, and Jump They Say.

For A Time He Had A Debilitating Cocaine Addiction

“Cocaine,” Bowie biographer Peter Doggett once mused, “was the fuel of the music industry in the ’70s.” If that’s the case, Bowie was well fueled for much of the decade, to almost crippling effect. Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar told the New York Post that Bowie used the drug to stay up late into the night, sometimes all night, sometimes for days in a row. “Its function was to keep you alert,” he noted, “and that’s what was doing. It did not stop his creativity at all.” It did occasionally affect his performance onstage. While careful not to appear “out of it” in front of audiences, Bowie would sometimes forget lyrics, according to Alomar. In these instances, Alomar would abandon singing his own parts and sing Bowie’s, in order to get Bowie resituated in the song.

What cocaine did do, however, was sink Bowie into mental states akin to the schizophrenia other members of his family had suffered. “He spent a decade trying to avoid what his grandmother called the family curse,” Doggett wrote, “and then several more years creating his own form of psychosis with cocaine and amphetamines.” So bad was his addiction and the related mental issues while making the film The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1975 that Bowie claimed to see “demons of the future on the battleground of one’s emotional plane.” Soon after, he moved to Germany to clean up.

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He Was Nearly Blinded In A Fight Over A Girl

In his adolescence, David Bowie’s best friend was George Underwood. They hung out together, played music together, and, in one famous moment, even fancied the same girl. According to Bowie biographer , Underwood had managed to get a date with this girl, but on the day of the date, Bowie convinced him that the young lady had had to cancel. As she had done no such thing, she was left waiting for over an hour before giving up and going home. When Underwood found out, he found Bowie and punched him in the left eye, inadvertently scratching Bowie’s eye with a fingernail in the process.

After it was determined that the eye had sustained an injury mere cold compresses could not cure, Bowie was sent to the hospital. According to one account, doctors noted the muscles in the eye were damaged. He could still see , but for the remainder of his life his left pupil would be permanently dilated a condition called anisocoria. Underwood felt guilty for quite a while afterward, but the injury left Bowie with what he termed “a kind of mystique,” perhaps best seen on such Bowie visuals as the album cover for “Heroes” and the close-ups in his “Valentine’s Day” video, above.

Cancer Took David Bowie Two Days After His Birthday


On January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of Blackstar, David Bowie died. The statement from his family shocked everyone, as the cancer diagnosis had been kept so quiet. In the weeks leading up to his passing, he recorded demos for five new songs, amazing his producer Tony Visconti. According to Rolling Stone, just a week before he died, Bowie told Visconti he wanted to make one more album. It never came to be. “He always did what he wanted to do,” Visconti wrote. “And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life a work of art.”

With Bowie’s death, fans were left to ponder what he’d left behind. He had channeled the tragedies of his mother’s family’s mental illness and that of his brother into the personas that enabled him to express his unique vision and the sounds that accompanied it. He had transcended the accepted attitudes on sexual identity to influence generations. He overcame a crippling drug addiction to find peace in his life and the creation of his art. Even though he should have had more years to live and create, his final work succinctly closed the book on his life as rich and unforgettable a life as one could hope to live.

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David Bowie Was Boyhood Friends With Peter Frampton

Despite Bowie being more than three years older than Peter Frampton, the two struck up a friendship as youngsters. Both attended Bromley Technical High School, where Framptons dad was Bowies art teacher. The two shared a unique bond over music, and remained close friends until Bowies death. “He really introduced me, along with George Underwood, to Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, people I wasn’t aware of at that age,” Frampton once said of his childhood friend. The two would collaborate a number of times over the years.

Dont Forget Youre Making A Movie About David Bowie

Of everything wrong with Stardust, the most egregious offense is making Bowie seem so ordinarytheres no hint of the magic that made him special. In life, Bowie was a confident, self-assured figure who inspired devotion. He helped usher in a new era of rock music. He wrestled with addiction and controversy he killed off previous versions of himself time and time again. There are many reasons why he connected with younger generations in a way that, say, a Robert Plant or Mick Jagger could never. Because of the period it showcases, Stardust couldnt capture all of that, but it could have at least shown why he came to represent so much for so many. Instead the film gives us a paint-by-numbers Bowie, ultimately making something that resembled him less than Velvet Goldmines glam fan fiction.

None of this is to say that making a movie about Bowie is easy: He was a complicated figure whose charisma could never be matched by the person cast to play him. Die-hards may never accept a Bowie biopic, and even the best possible version of the movie might suffer from the problems that plagued Bohemian Rhapsody, wallpapering over some of the more important parts of the story while getting caught up in mythmaking. Those sins are likely just as bad as anything Stardust doesno one was more interested in deconstructing the myth of Bowie than Bowie himself. But as the film stands, it does little for anyone: for fans, for moviegoers, and for Bowie and his legacy.

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The Lifelong Battle Of Recovery

In the second half of the 1970s, Bowies addiction caused numerous slips as he repeatedly tried to get clean. During this period, he experienced guilt, shame and bouts of deep depression, thought to be caused in part by the side effects of cocaine withdrawal.

The trauma of the past few years likely contributed to his growing drinking habit, one that may have led to the liver cancer he would eventually succumb to at the age of 69.

In his later years, David Bowies drug use decreased. Later, he would further limit his vices, with an understanding that compulsive nicotine and alcohol use were unhealthy and could further feed what he acknowledged as an addictive personality.

His concern about his genetic ties to mental health problems is something that is thought to have brought about his awareness of his conduct. According to reports, two of Bowies aunts had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and his brother, Terry Burns, committed suicide in 1985 after spending years in a mental institution.

Aliens Heroes And Brothers

Delusions &  Paranoia: Did Schizophrenia Play A Part In ...

Bowies preoccupation with souls beyond the sky continued throughout his career, to the end of his life. His personas also came and went quickly :

Ziggy StardustThe Thin White DukeThe Blind Prophet

Throwing superstardom aside at the peak of his huge commercial success in concerts and recordings during the 1980s, Bowie didnt want commercial success that came with critical failure.

So he did whatever he wanted instead.

Hoping to find himself once more.

Which he did.

In 1993, he released the song Jump They Say, dealing openly with his brothers suicide and the pressures leading to it. Surprisingly to some, it became a Top 10 hit in the UK.

I say he should watch his assMy friend, dont listen to the crowd,They say jump!’

Jump They Say David Bowie

The same year, he spoke openly about Terry:

I invented this hero-worship to discharge my guilt and failure, and to set myself free from my own hang-ups. David Bowie

But Davids creative way of thinking didnt change.

A character from one of Bowies last works, the musical Lazarus, is an alcoholic alien, who wants only to return to his home planet.

First performed shortly before his death, Bowie wrote the words and music, leaving it difficult to know if hes thinking about himself or his brother.

Look up here, Im in heaven,Ive got scars that cant be seen,Ive got drama, cant be stolen,Everybody knows me now.

Is it about death? A dying star? One thing is clear its a work of art.

Not for David Bowie or Terry Burns.

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He Was The Man Who Fucked The World

Bowie had modeled himself on a pan-galactic Pan of polyamory, and it certainly wasn’t all artifice. During the 1970s, in his pioneering “open” marriage to Angie, he would regularly invite girls he saw at parties to have sex in the bathroom a few moments after learning their names. Even within their marriage, the Bowies were extravagantly open: “Angie and David used to have the most amazing orgies at Oakley Street,”remembered former London socialite Vicki Hodge. “Everybody fucked everybody in the pit. Mick Jagger used to come there and be involved with sexual things. John told me that David watched while he had sex with Angie.”

Susan Sarandon, Tina Turner, Lulu, Ronnie Spector: These are just a few of the Bowie conquests. Nor did he restrict his womanizing to women. He was sleeping with his legendary mime teacher, Lindsay Kemp, and also Kemp’s costume designer, Natasha Korniloff. When the pair realized what he was up to, Korniloff took an overdose, while Kemp cut his wrists. Both survived.

For the early 1980s, Bowie was involved in a three-year thing with Susan Sarandon, and by the late-80s was engaged to a dancer 20 years his junior, Melissa Hurley. But they split, and in October of that year, at a party in LA, he met Iman.

Make The Film Worthy Of Being Unauthorized

Bohemian Rhapsody was famously held up for years as the surviving band members pushed to shape the narrative and make the film more family-friendly. In the end, they got their PG-13 rating at the expense of an honest portrayal of Freddie Mercurys sexuality . Rocketman, an exponentially better film, didnt necessarily sugarcoat any significant portion of Elton Johns private life, but everything that appeared on screen still had to be signed off on by the singer, who executive produced the film. Rocketman may have been a more honest movie than Bohemian Rhapsody, but one mans version of the truth outweighed all others.

Stardust, meanwhile, was beholden to no one, Bowie or otherwise. In the run-up to its release, Flynn said this actually helped the movie. The lack of involvement from Bowies estate may have been somewhat liberating for the cast and crew, but its unclear how they used that freedom. Bowies fluid sexuality is briefly hinted at, but never explored his first wife, Angie, is reduced to a one-dimensional irritant, as the film largely ignores any culpability Bowie had for the marriages failure. Bowies life was complicated, especially in the early years, but Stardust chooses not to engage with some of the more fascinating aspects of it. In the end, the unauthorized tag just means that instead of the famous lightning bolt symbol, we get this:

As my colleague Rob Harvilla points out, another classic rock act may have already authorized that logo.

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David Bowie’s Son Created A Book Club In Bowie’s Honor

In late 2017, Bowies sonfilmmaker Duncan Jonesannounced via Twitter that he would be paying tribute to his fathers love of reading with an online-based book club.

My dad was a beast of a reader. One of his true loves was Peter Ackroyds sojourns into the history of Britain & its cities. Ive been feeling a building sense of duty to go on the same literary marathon in tribute to dad. Time allowing…#Read-ItBignsTheBrain

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