David Bowie: ‘Britain could benefit from a fascist leader’

After the first of two concerts in Stockholm, Sweden, David Bowie was interviewed by a Swedish reporter, to whom he made some notorious remarks on fascism.

As I see it I am the only alternative for the premier in England. I believe Britain could benefit from a fascist leader. After all, fascism is really nationalism.
David Bowie

David Bowie holding a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, 26 April 1976

The remarks were renounced on many subsequent occasions by Bowie, who attributed them to his prodigious drug intake at this time. However, he had been making references to Nazism for some time, and earlier in April 1976 had been stopped at the Russia-Poland border where Nazi literature and memorabilia were confiscated by officials.

On 2 May, additionally, he was photographed at London’s Victoria Station appearing to give a Nazi salute, a regrettable occurrence in which he appeared to have been a victim of unfortunate timing. Bowie was mortified by the image, yet there is little doubt that his public image had suffered at his own hands during this time.

That didn’t happen. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. I waved. I just WAVED. Believe me. On the life of my child, I waved. And the bastard caught me. In MID-WAVE, man. And, God, did that photo get some coverage… As if I’d be foolish enough to pull a stunt like that. I died when I saw the photo. And even the people who were with me said, ‘David! How could you?’ The bastards. I didn’t… GOD, I just don’t believe in all that.
David Bowie
Melody Maker, 29 October 1977
Last updated: 17 October 2023
Live: Kungliga Tennishallen, Stockholm
Live: Kungliga Tennishallen, Stockholm
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