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David Bowie didn't know he was dying, documentary reveals

January 6 2017 at 9:03 AM
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tintoy  (Login tintoy)
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tintoy
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last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 9:06 AM 

It includes rare and never-before-seen footage of Bowie and interviews during his Ziggy Stardust characterisation . . .


Here we go again - Ziggy Ziggy bloody Ziggy. last 5 years??? I'm tired of the whole Ziggy thing - there was so much more to him than that.

 
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Sonofsilence
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 9:24 AM 

"Here we go again - Ziggy Ziggy bloody Ziggy. last 5 years??? I'm tired of the whole Ziggy thing - there was so much more to him than that."

I hear ya!! happy.gif

 
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Anonymous
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 10:05 AM 

I think we all knew that. He was diagnosed with the big C, but underwent treatment and went into remission at some point in 2015 and things looked up, but then it returned with a vengeance and the end came sooner than anyone would have anticipated as he still had plans. The timeline is hazy, but I don't think the remission coincided with the writing of Blackstar nor how it could be interpreted. Perhaps it coincided with him being able to film the videos and develop Lazarus.


EDIT: Just read the piece and the headline is misleading as Jonathan Renck said Bowie knew it was terminal and ceased treatment just after they filmed the video Lazarus. That's not the same as not knowing he was dying. This whole flurry of activity and tying up of loose ends seems to be a reaction to how little time he thought he had left. When Bowie went into remission he told those aware not to get too excited. So, to me it seems clear that Blackstar was written and recorded when Bowie knew time was running out.


Hope the documentary doesn't intrude too much on his private / personal life during 2004-2012 and focuses on his music. I know they both inform each other and are entwined, but if chose to keep a low profile then I'd prefer to just leave it at that.

Loved hearing band members speaking on the last documentary. An hour or 2 of people like Donny McCaslin, Gerry Leonard, Tony Visconti & Edna Walsh talking about The Next Day, Blackstar and Lazarus would be good, rather than the documentary delving into his publicly absent years.


    
This message has been edited by BenderRodriguez from IP address 85.211.54.182 on Jan 6, 2017 10:15 AM


 
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sam
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 12:50 PM 

Best article in a long time, thank you. Good to know Lazarus refers to the Biblical character, rising again.

 
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Michael.
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 1:02 PM 

The loudest voice is the quietest one. Corinne knew Bowie better than anybody, yet she's either not being invited to give interviews, or she's declining them. I believe that only SHE knows the truth about the entire matter. The rest of them are chopping and changing their opinions depending on what day of the week it is. I don't take any of them seriously.

Mist.
'When I saw the result, I threw up. My body rejected it.'

 
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Anonymous
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 1:05 PM 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-38528722

Links to a bbc clip

 
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Ena
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 4:35 PM 

If the documentary is basing this earth-shattering "revelation" only on what Renck was told, then it's simplistic and badly researched. It's become abundantly clear that Bowie told different people about his illness at different times strictly on a "need to know" basis. The key collaborators on the development of the 'Lazarus' stage show were told something very different at a much earlier date - they knew there was an urgency to the project. The idea that 'Blackstar' is not about impending death when everything from the album title to the lyrics of every single song says otherwise is arrant nonsense. None of us are privy to Bowie's medical records, the documentary makers admit that they did not speak to his family (I bet they asked and were politely declined), so the dates of diagnosis, remission and relapse (even the precise, specific nature of the illness) are all sheer conjecture based on fragments of gossip which may or may not be accurate. But I think it's pretty safe to say that Bowie was living under the cloud of a potentially life-threatening illness for quite some time - most likely the whole time that 'Blackstar' was being written and recorded. So to try to suggest that this album is not a meditation on impending death is simply not correct. Now the album may not have been conceived as "a farewell gift to the fans", but Bowie never said it was, nor did Visconti. Who did? Wasn't it the media who tried to spin that sentimental bullshit in the immediate aftermath of Bowie's death, using misrepresentations of a couple of Visconti's comments as evidence? I don't think Mist is necessarily right to say that everyone's opinions "chop and change" - my interpretation is that different people were told different things at different times and therefore they don't always tally. But Mist is absolutely correct to say that, outside Bowie's family, only Coco knows the true story and the real timeline. And I very much doubt her silence/loyalty will ever be broken. Which is exactly how it should be.
"I feel I may be the subject of The Prettiest Star"

 
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AnAlligator
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 4:45 PM 

I'm really curious to see what the shape of this doc will be - I'm wondering what footage / audio content they'll have to fill it. I'll be surprised if it is prurient or scandalous, after the original Five Years was go good. But that one had some great archive to play with. Just one more day and we'll find out I guess...

When I first heard the title ages ago, I was hoping for another five years to be dealt with, including 1969, 1993, 1997, maybe 2012. I'd much rather see that!

 
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Dash_Away
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 5:32 PM 

Exactly what Ena said. And Mist.

Outside of his family, only Coco probably knows the exact truth. And she ain't telling. Personally, I have no doubt Bowie knew his time was limited well before the making of the Lazarus video. Most likely he was trying to stay as positive as possible - and that's totally understandable. But the whole of Blackstar - with it's themes of death, mortality, longing and goodbyes - suggests that he knew alright. It's there. Simple as that.



 
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Michael.
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 7 2017, 12:15 AM 

Well, I disagree with Ena. I don't get 'death' from the album, as I've said before, it contains plenty of clues that Bowie was planning to disappear, but not dying. In fact thinking about it, he addressed that question with 'The Next Day' when he declared 'Here I am, not quite dying'.

TV said a while back that it seemed to him that Bowie was living his life in reverse in that he started out very famous, then gradually withdrew from it all and became just normal David Jones. My feeling is that he was planning on disappearing completely and that's what I get from Blackstar, a man who's just said 'That's it, I'm outta here'.

Of course, this is only my interpretation but you have to agree that it's a very ambiguous album, especially for a final one.

Mist.
'When I saw the result, I threw up. My body rejected it.'

 
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Muzz
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 6 2017, 11:59 PM 

Well said ena. Amen ( from an agnostic)

 
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J
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Re: last 5 years documentary

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January 7 2017, 6:08 AM 

I agree with Mist. The stories are changing with every interview.
Alomar, Visconti and Nile Rogers are the worst offenders. I have read so much over the last year (and over 40 years as a fan anyway) and Alomar gets the dates and tours wrong and seems to come across as resentful! As far as Nile Rogers goes, Bowie didnt have a career before Lets Dance which Rogers produced, played and WROTE it seems! Visconti seems on a mission of mis-information it seems to me.

The latest story regarding Bowie having wrote Blackstar before ne knew he was dieing! If you read till the end he says "Thats what could be true" and not the sensationlist headlines.

I think some of these people are on a mission to kill any mystery or depth to the works. Lots af great musicians contributed to Bowie's music the same way they contributed to many other artists work. The way he contributed to their work on many occasions and that side always gets left out.

Sorry for the rant.
Jx

"I looked in her eyes, they were blue but nobody home"

 
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Anonymous
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Re: David Bowie didn't know he was dying, documentary reveals

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January 7 2017, 7:03 AM 

Who gives a shite! Let the man rest ffs!
It's turning into an Elvis style freak show with all this bolloxology speculation.


 
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Anonymous
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Re: David Bowie didn't know he was dying, documentary reveals

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January 7 2017, 9:15 AM 

Normally when I watch a documentary about anything I expect to learn something new. What's depressing is that in the case of this Bowie documentary I'm unlikely to learn anything new. The abiding truth is that Bowie has been so successful at controlling news from his camp for so long that we literally know nothing about 10 recent years of his life and we only know what he chose to tell us about the recording of the albums and such. I find that truly remarkable given that he lived in one of the most populous cities in the world. Think of all the people he must have met and engaged with. That suggests that he kept a very small band of close and loyal friends and family (coco, Iman, Duncan, Lexi) and engaged with everyone else only in terms of his projects which famously included non- disclosure agreements. He also kept a tight control of his image from about 1979 onwards which lapsed only with the odd dull papparazzi snap in the last few years. This documentary will likely be stitched together from the very little we can glean from the patchwork accounts of colleagues, some of whom he only worked with for a week or less on his last two albums. As Mist and others have said, we know nothing really about his illness, death or for that matter his life, save what he chose to disclose. What's also remarkable is that the BBC green light a documentary about Bowie without any significantly illuminating contributors. Imagine how different a Joe Strummer or Leonard Cohen documentary would be. You could say of course that this documentary isn't for Bowie officionados like us, but for more casual fans. But then how often do we hear ourselves saying that with every compilation release and reissue? Getting a bit tiring on almost every front, searching for scraps.

 
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Em
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Mr. Bowie And Mortality

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January 7 2017, 5:22 PM 

Death was his subject and obsession for his entire creative life. I'd put a fiver on him knowing the clock was running.

 
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Gabor
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Re: David Bowie didn't know he was dying, documentary reveals

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January 8 2017, 12:53 AM 

So: the documentary/Renck did not said that at all.

 
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