|March 7, 2016
It’s now almost two months since David Bowie died. It came as a shock for everybody except his closets family, and it created an emotional uproar around the world. The release of the Blackstar album with its strange songs, Blackstar and Lazarus not least, was praised by critics, but no one saw it as an explicit prediction of his own death … not until two days later.
Not known to the public was that he had battled with cancer for more than a year. So on that Sunday, January 10, 2016, the world was shaken by the message that David Bowie had left the land of the living. One could hardly believe it, it was eerie, it was a cold frozen feeling. How could anyone do a thing like that, staging his own death? He’d always been a master in self-staging, but this … No one had ever done a thing like that before.
But did he actually foresee his own death at that specific moment? According to his co-producer and longtime friend, Toni Visconti, the answer is no. In the weeks leading up to his death Bowie had worked on five new songs for a follow-up album and simultaneously planning a setup of a musical stage production called Lazarus.
Visconti was thrilled by the plans, and though he was one of the few who knew that Bowie was very sick, he believed - and so did Bowie - that there would be at least a few months left to work on these projects. In Visconti’s words: "Obviously, if he's excited about doing his next album, he must've thought he had a few more months. So the end must've been very rapid. I'm not privy to it. I don't know exactly, but he must've taken ill very quickly after that phone call."
He evidently did, and we shall miss him.