Has it already been four days since David Bowie died at the age of 69? It still seems like yesterday, especially with all of the still-emerging news about Bowie’s battle with cancer and the supposed fact that he approached the production of Blackstar, released last Friday, knowing it would be his last album. But that wasn’t necessarily the case, according to longtime producer Tony Visconti.
Rolling Stone has word from Visconti that Bowie had actually been in the studio demo-ing new tracks just days before the release of Blackstar. So, it would seem that Blackstar and its videos — particularly the one for “Lazarus” — while certainly foretelling and symbolic of Bowie’s death, were not the artist’s highly staged farewell that some have suggested.
I thought, and he thought, that he’d have a few months, at least. 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.
The Rolling Stone article has a lot more from Visconti, who says that Bowie had even been taking boxing lessons in recent months. This news does nothing to lighten the weight of Blackstar‘s intense look at impending death, but it does hammer home the fact that, until the end, Bowie was one of the hardest working men in rock music.