David Bowie has a lot to say about psychology, some of which has been addressed in our book of Rock Commentaries. Here are two additional notes that come to mind lately. The first is a quote from “All the Madmen,” off The Man Who Sold the World:
Where can the horizon lie
When a nation hides its
In a cellar, Dark and grim?
They must be very dim.
The second is a piece of a reflection on Bowie’s comment on Carl Jung in the song “Drive Inn Saturday,” off Alladin Sane:
Jung the foreman who prayed at work
That neither hands not limbs would burst, its
Hard enough to keep formation
Amid this fallout saturation
Cursing at the Astronettes
He stands ensteeled by his cabinet
He’s crashing out with Sylvian
The Bureau supply for aging men
With snorting head he gazes to the shore
Where once had raged, the sea that raged no more
Like the video films we saw.
The song seems to compare Jung in his older age, as is documented in the book Memories, Dreams and Reflections, to the lover in nostalgia for the love of Drive Inn Saturday. “Where once had raged, the sea that raged no more,” he is an old man gazing over the sea of the collective unconscious that once raged before him in the younger days of his genius. One wonders, too, if there is not a suggestion that the lover that he took on later in life (you know, trying to integrate that anima), she may have been supplied by the Bureau, or may have been a spy. We always liked the album Alladin Sane, and have noted that the title and title song also mean “Who will love a lad insane?” Ah, sweet little Ramona!