Trigger Warning: David Bowie’s Song About His Attempted Suicide

via @Alluurpo | Youtube

In 1975, David Bowie effortlessly created glam rock anthems, building on his fame from the hit ‘Space Oddity’ in the 1960s. Transforming into captivating personas like Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, he charmed the world with his albums. But Bowie’s evolution didn’t stop there.

While making the album Diamond Dogs, he envisioned a dystopian future inspired by glam rock.

Originally based on George Orwell’s 1984, his plans shifted, resulting in his own unique interpretation of the future.

By 1976, Bowie and Iggy Pop moved countries to battle their drug addiction, leading to the creation of the acclaimed album Low. This marked Bowie’s entrance into electronic and ambient styles, delving into darker themes that continued to shape his artistry.

While penningLow, Bowie’s own struggles with depression influenced his work.

The song ‘Always Crashing In The Same Car’ tells a story: Bowie drove his car into a drug dealer he believed had wronged him. This event becomes a metaphor for repeatedly making the same mistakes.

Behind the wheel of his Mercedes, Bowie spotted the suspected dealer and took vengeful action by ramming his car multiple times. After this encounter, he returned to his hotel, driving in circles in the garage. The name ‘Jasmine’ in the song is thought to reference Iggy Pop, who might have been with Bowie during this incident.

In 2001, Bowie openly recounted the incident:

“I wrote [the song] in Berlin, in the mid to late seventies. It was about one of the few very stupidly, badly attempted, thank God, suicide attempts that I tried. The full story is rather alarming. I’m not sure if I should tell it or not.”

He added:

“It involved a coke dealer whose car I saw on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin one day, and I’d got it into my mind that he screwed me over a deal. […] So I was driving that, and I saw this guy, let’s call him Johan, in the car. And I was so crazed I started ramming him in the Kurfürstendamm, in daylight, in, like, 12 o’clock in the day. And I rammed him, and I rammed him, and I was ramming him; he looked around, and I could see he was mortally terrified for his life. I’m not surprised. I rammed him for a good, it must have been a good five to ten minutes, which is a very long time actually. Nobody stopped me. Nobody did anything. And I got out of it, ‘What am I doing?’”.