Piecing together comments from old friends and acquaintances, and public sightings in local art galleries and book shops, it would appear that Bowie spends his time painting, drawing and reading, and doting on his daughter. Business associates suggest he still takes a keen interest in the exploitation of his back catalogue, which brings in millions of pounds a year. But what he does not appear to be doing is writing new songs and preparing a dramatic and lucrative comeback.
There’s a rumour or two that a newspaper or two polished up their obituaries last week. These sorts of stories do sweep through such places. Could be, I’ve no inside information.
However, I’ve always rather thought that Bowie didn’t see himself as a musician at all, but as an artist. An artist just as much as Damian Hirst is, or even Picasso. Music just happened to be a part of his art, not the art itself.
I have absolutely no inside information on this either, it’s just an impression from the outside.
That he was and is hugely musically talented is irrelevant. It was always about the show, not the songs, about the performance not the music.
And when there’s no artistic comment to make then why bother? There are examples of writers simply stating that they’ve nothing more to say so they stop writing. Of composers doing the same.
OK, OK, this is nonsense on stilts built on foundations of sand. But it does explain why he’s not touring the old songs each year: because the songs were never what it was all about.