Documentary about David Bowie’s last years

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What we learned from the documentary “bi-Bi-si”, dedicated to the most mysterious period in the life of a musician

8 Jan 2017 David Bowie would have turned 70. A year after the death of the great musician “bi-Bi-si” has produced a documentary dedicated to the most mysterious period of his life — the last five years, when he was secretly recorded albums, and raised the musical and was fighting cancer. “Medusa” I saw the film The Last Five Years and says, as Bowie returned to music — and why the last album, in spite of our understanding of it, was not designed farewell.

Farewell to glory

David Bowie in an early interview said that he is not going to be a rock star: music and world fame for him only a tool to be able to do what you want. The reality was slightly different. Bowie has ceased to be a person who is on everyone’s mind, only in 2004 — after a concert tour on the occasion of the release of the album Reality.

As they say in the documentary channel BBC2 musicians with whom Bowie competed in the tour of 2004, these concerts seem to have been the happiest in his life. He enjoyed the songs and performances, goofing around while traveling from town to town (in the film show the relevant archival footage: Bowie puts on a flashing icon in the form of musical instruments). Guitarist Garry Leonard notes that Bowie seemed to have decided to remove the mask — for the first time that he knew the musicians, he went for himself and for them and for the public. The tour ended June 25, 2004 due to a heart attack, which happened at Bowie directly during a speech. Since then, musician never gave full concerts and have practically ceased to appear in public.

Familiar Bowie say that he thoroughly reviewed the views on creativity and his own life and drifted away from music. Bowie practically ceased to communicate with the musicians in his group, limited to rare letters. Producer of many albums by Bowie and Tony Visconti, it was recognized that after a heart attack and about to 2011 David music are generally not interested; the same was said and the musician Peter Gabriel.

Autobiography in music

In 2011, the musicians with whom Bowie went to Reality Tour, received an unexpected letter from David: he was interested in, not whether they will be able to take part in the recording of the new album. The only condition is that the strictest secrecy: Bowie was forbidden to talk about the new album to someone, and even forced to sign documents to disclose, what not to do ever in my life. Tony Visconti in the documentary suggests that Bowie is trying to get rid of pressure from the music industry and release the album when all the songs will be brought to mind and is fully finished.

The entry was very different from how Bowie worked on albums in the old days. At exactly six in the evening — and sometimes before — the musician just got up and left, noting that at present the work is finished. He often spoke ironically of his age, and walked around the Studio in his Slippers, which were brought from home.

Unexpected was not only the fact of the return of Bowie to the music and themes of the new album The Next Day. Bowie is first and foremost known as an innovator who never looks back — but on this disc he was referring to the past, as in music and in lyrics. Song Where Are We Now, as you know, devoted to the Berlin years, Bowie spent in this city: says Visconti, a close friend of the musician and producer to more than a dozen of his albums, David had never indulged in nostalgia. “I never thought he would look back. This is something new for him,” says Visconti.

Nostalgic was the cover The Next Day. Bowie invited the artist Jonathan Barnbrook as inspiration one of my concert photos 1970s After much deliberation Barnbrook began to Refine other iconic photos of the musician and the old cover of his albums, covering parts of squares. Eventually The Next Day came one of the most famous images of Bowie, a picture from the cover of Heroes, where the face of the musician closed white square.

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The fight against cancer

As follows from The Last Five Years, Bowie knew about cancer, when in October of 2015 working on the last album, Blackstar, and called Lazarus, based on his own songs — but he did not think that the disease cannot be defeated. Bowie told about the disease and the musicians with whom he recorded a Blackstar (his permanent group Bowie was changed to the band of jazz saxophonist Donny McCaslin), and the company of the musical, however, did not attach much importance.

Blackstar was perceived by many as the farewell with Bowie died two days after the release of the album; many of the songs from the album touches on themes of death. Unambiguous and video for the song Lazarus: Bowie lying in a hospital bed, and in the end of the video gets into the wardrobe. While familiar Bowie, with whom he worked on the album, sure that he wasn’t going to say goodbye, he said he wants to do another musical — and he’s got sketches for new songs.

As told in The Last Five Years a Director of videos and Lazarus Blackstar Johan Renk, about the first song from Bowie’s had a lot of reasons, including he is the author of the image of the man with button eyes; the musician is also proposed to include in the video the scene with the skeleton of an astronaut (an obvious allusion to Major Tom). However, in the case of Lazarus Bowie was hoping for the usual clip with the musicians — without any plot. Renk, however, disagreed: the song is called Lazarus, it refers to the biblical story; therefore, the Director insisted that the man with button eyes in the movie lay on the hospital bed. “From my point of view, it was in the biblical aspect of the song… the Clip has nothing to do with the fact that he was sick,” explains Renk.

David Bowie — Lazarus

Renk later learned that the week when they filmed the clip, David Bowie announced the transfer of disease in the terminal stage. The album had already been recorded.

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