Once an artist, always an artist. David Bowie was ready to make music until the very end.
The legendary rocker had reportedly been preparing a follow-up record to his album "Blackstar," which was released just two days before he lost his battle to liver cancer at the age of 69.
In an interview for Rolling Stone published online on Wednesday, longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti said his friend and colleague reached out to him regarding another collaboration the week before his Jan. 10 passing.
the music mag, Bowie was "anxious
to return to the studio one last time" despite his condition, and had
written and recorded five new demo tracks.
"At that late stage, he was planning the follow-up to 'Blackstar,'" Visconti said. "And I was thrilled."
Given the musician's enthusiasm, Visconti said he was hopeful that Bowie had plenty of time to complete the project.
"I thought, and he thought, that he'd have a few months, at least," the producer said.
Adding, "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."
Visconti first worked with Bowie on the icon's groundbreaking effort "Space Oddity" in 1969, and the duo continued teaming up intermittently throughout the subsequent decades.
He told Rolling Stone he was "thrilled" about Bowie's prognosis until his cancer returned with a vengeance in late 2015.
"He was optimistic because he was doing the chemo and it was working," Visconti said, "and at one point in the middle of last year, he was in remission. … And he continued the chemotherapy. So I thought he was going to make it. And in November, it just suddenly came back. It had spread all over his body, so there's no recovering from that."
While his shock over
Bowie's deterioration was palpable, Visconti said he had already realized his
pal's motives after taking a closer listen to "Blackstar."
"You canny bastard. You're writing a farewell album," Visconti recalled telling Bowie.
-- Erin Biglow