The Story Behind “Valentines Day” By David Bowie

The Story Behind “Valentines Day” By David Bowie | Society Of Rock Videos

via David Bowie/YouTube

Not A Love Song

David Bowie released the single “Valentine’s Day” on August 19, 2013. It was also featured on his penultimate studio album, “The Next Day.” Judging by the title alone, it might seem like another love song. But the lyrics and the whole vibe of the track say otherwise.

Written by Bowie himself, it’s about a shooter’s psychology. There were a couple of speculations about the actual event that inspired it – the first one is the Northern Illinois University shooting which happened on February 14, 2008 where Steven Kazmierczak opened fire on 120 people at a lecture hall. He killed five students, and injured 17 others before he shot himself.

The second is the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre on February 14, 1929 where seven mob associates of Chicago’s North Side Gang were shot by four assailants who disguised themselves as police officers.

Co-produced by Tony Visconti, he told NME: “The subject matter is pretty scary. It’s related to people who go postal, about people who acquire a gun and do awful things with it.”

Visconti did admit that “Valentine’s Day” is about a shooting and he also told The London Times that “the issue for him [Bowie] isn’t so much guns but the mental health of the shooter.”

In the music video, Bowie can be seen playing a G2T Hohner guitar.

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