David Bowie Identified Hitler As The First Rockstar. Here's Why

Most people don't remember watching certain animated movies as children. David Bowie, on the other hand, didn't remember recording an album as a 29-year-old, according to Entertainment Weekly: "I listen to Station to Station as a piece of work by an entirely different person." By that point, he was consuming so much cocaine he had become completely snowblind. 

For the average fan, however, that fact is far less worrying than the more fascistic and seemingly Nazi-sympathizing remarks that once spewed from him. In a Playboy interview, he referred to Adolf Hitler as an early rock star: "Think about it. Look at some of his films and see how he moved. I think he was quite as good as Jagger. It's astounding. And boy, when he hit that stage, he worked an audience. Good God! He was no politician. He was a media artist." One could argue, as one Medium piece does, that this comparison and wording were in terribly poor taste, while also accepting that Bowie was right about Hitler's charisma. Alternatively, one could point to this quote as a sign of a serious fascist flirtation. 

These arguments got louder after Bowie's arrival in Victoria Station: he waved to the crowd, but the photo chosen by NME caught his wave as a Sieg Heil, according to Bowie Bible. Later, Bowie fumed about the scene to Melody Maker: "That didn't happen. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. I waved. I just WAVED. Believe me. On the life of my child, I waved."

Did Bowie glamorize fascism?

Many of Bowie's fans would simply brush these stunts aside as either political naivety, artistic posing ... or, most likely, the mounds and mounds of cocaine. However, it's worth wondering where the interest came from, and how seriously he held it. After this phase ended, Bowie told Brett Anderson in an NME interview that his interest sparked from the mysticism that posthumously grew around the Nazis, and said that he previously hadn't understood what he was talking about: "The irony is that I really didn't see any political implications in my interest in Nazis. My interest in them was the fact that they supposedly came to England before the war to find the Holy Grail at Glastonbury and this whole Arthurian thought was running through my mind ...The idea that it was about putting Jews in concentration camps and the complete oppression of different races completely evaded my extraordinarily f-ed up nature at that particular time."

While this doesn't excuse the enthusiasm, it does make sense, when considered next to his interest in the occult, e.g. "Quicksand," or the time that NBC News reported that he had secured his urine against wizards, as well as his established interest in Nietzsche's Übermensch, exhibited in songs like "The Supermen."

Fortunately, after he weaned himself off of cocaine, all the fascination in fascism seemed to disappear, leaving the new Bowie who, as Ultimate Classic Rock points out, called out MTV for lack of racial diversity, instead.