Placed at the end of the Outside CD are 2 companion songs: "Thru These Architect's Eyes" (discussed in a previous thread) and "I'm Deranged". These 2 songs are buffered together between segues of Nathan Adler. The detective prefaces the songs with "but wait I'm getting ahead of myself, let me take you back to where it all began". They represent the beginning of the Outside story, rather than the end.
As established, Thru These Architect's Eyes is Leon's view and approach to the world of art around him described through architectural and biblical reference. In a similar manner, the song "I'm Deranged" follows the views of The Artist/Minotaur. This is before the murder of Baby Grace.
Firstly, the words "I'm Deranged" is not the Minotaur singing "I am a mental case". This song is about tapping into a psyche that inspires art. During the making of Outside, Bowie visited the artist wing of Gugal Mental Hospital for his own inspiration. It was there he learnt about the character Angel Man. It is no coincidence that Angel Man appears in this song. The Artist calls upon the spirit of this Outsider to enter and corrupt his/her body:
It's the Angel Man
Cruise Me, Cruise Me, Baby
This song is of chief importance because Adler's intent is to solve the crime by nailing the artist's inspiration. He says, "it's my job to pick thru the manure heap looking for peppercorns". His Art-Crime Incorporation are experts in their field: they even proved the Paulus Potter's "The Young Bull" of 1647 was identicle to Monet's grain stack paintings of the 1890s.
Adler's diary reads as a coverage of these gory art crimes, all of which could be an inspiration for the Artist/Minotaur:
The blood rituals of Nitsch
Chris Burden (and his collaborator)
Now for the time and date of "I'm Deranged". In the future (1999), we already know that Leon becomes a suspect when he "jumps on to stage with a criss criss machete and starts slashing around". When Leon "cuts a zero in the fabric of time itself", it means he is drawing reference to another time period. This is why the Outside story jumps around in time. Now look at the dates in Adler's diary - Kreutzburg Berlin, 1977. The Minotaur draws inspiration from many artists and many time periods. Enter Joe The Lion....
From Adler's diary (after mentioning the late 70s and Chris Burden)....
Round this same time, Bowie the singer remarked on a coupla goons who frequented the Berlin bars wearing full surgery regalia: caps, aprons, rubber gloves and masks.
Looking closer at the song Joe The Lion (written in Berlin, 1977 about Chris Burden), we learn that Joe went to a bar, had a couple of drinks, and then became a Lion (a brave artist) by performing the ultimate sacrifice for his art. He crucified himself on his VW and became "like his dreams that night". Again The Artist/Minotaur is inspired:
Thin skies, the man chains his hands held high
Cruise me blond
Cruise me babe
Still not convinced we are in Berlin 77? Have a look at Adler's diary - just before he steps back to this time - he says "but wait, I'm ahead of myself".
Time is an essential factor in this story, and what we can deduce from it, this is why we have a diary. From the start of the album we have an instrumental piece called "Leon Take Us Outside" which is asking Leon - the inspired young artist - to challenge us, through his young architect's eyes. Dates are mumbled across an instrumental piece. In the following song, Leon becomes the valid artist: "it's happening now, not tomorrow, or yesterday". The other time noted in Adler's diary is 1994. This is the time of the "Heart's Filthy Lesson", and the crime of December 31, 1999 already hangs in the air: "I'm already 5 years older, I'm already in my grave". In this song, the Minotaur already "wears the clothes" of the artistes before him. Adler is now aware of this, but still cannot find a motive:
If there was only something between us,
Other than our clothes
He questions his entire approach and even pleads to Patty "I think I've lost my way".
The clothes are part of the physical guise of the Minotaur and are directly linked with the crime. In October 1994, Adler glances at his advanced copy of New Yorker magazine to view an uncompromised photographer who found a "twisty avenue through desire and death celebrating fashion". Straight away he considers it evidence: "one look is all it took". At the end of the diary, a celebrity-artist buys a diamond encrusted umbilical cord "to announce her pregnancy" to a being that would have been 14 years of age. It appears the Minotaur has visited one of Ramona's body-parts jewellery stores. The one of which Miranda is the store operator (Adler asks whose been wearing Miranda's clothes?). This is Bowie's Silence of The Lambs. The Minotaur in itself is a composite being - half man, half beast. (As a side note, Bowie together with Damien Hirst contemplated recreating the Minotaur. An anonymous man had offered them his body after death and the plan was to remove the head and stitch on a bull's head in it's place).
The songs that follow THFL, provide the condition of the murderer - each song progressively more frightening than the previous before culminating in the terrifying "Wishful Beginnings". Leon Blank reappears again in "I Have Not Been To Oxford Town" as the accused (the finger points at me). "As the 20th century dies", his chance to build his tower of iron is looking dim. A tragic story, in it's own right.
Finally, the song "I'm Deranged" celebrates Bowie's own belief in Outsiders. His explaination for visiting mental hospitals is such:
It's quite obvious that these outsider artists don't have the parameters that are placed on most artists....Their motivation for painting and sculpting comes froma different place than that of the average artist who's sane on society's terms. The lesson to learn from Outsider art was that the artist should be primal. Technique or virtuosity didn't matter; that which was unformed and screaming inside of you, waiting to be released, was the real essence of the creativity.
Mental breakdown was so central to Bowie's musical focus, that when brother Terry committed suicide, he could not approach this in his work until some 8 years later. He even attempted to revise his lyric writing: producing - for the first time - songs of political comment, social comment, anti-drug songs and anti-nazi songs.
The Outside sessions were a watershed. Once again, he was able to tap into the spirit that inspired his best work. When "The God of Music" (ref: Einar) re-entered his body, it was more powerful than ever. On one particular day of the recording sessions, Eno watched in awe as Bowie - in a blinding stream of consciousness - invented a set of characters and weaved a story around them. As Bowie devised the narrative, the entire thing was recorded live on mic. Like his more extreme 70s personas, the Outside characters are exaggerated versions of himself and his first hand experiences. Contrasting to "I'm Deranged", is the song "Thru These Architect's Eyes" which represents another strong motivation of Bowie's work: competition. In Thru These Architect's Eyes, Bowie observes the majestic city landscape, and realises he can even outdo Philip Johnson and Richard Rogers. He goes where the "music is Outside", leaving behind his job where "the money is from day to day". This album is his true masterpiece. Like Low and Heroes, it will take the rest of the world another 20 years to realise.
Is small life so manic. Are these really the days?