Latest posts by Aldous Slack (see all)
35 more years, or something like that is apparently what a psychic told David Bowie according to his longtime keyboard player Mike Garson. I like this story because its one of those litmus tests for how open to belief in psychic phenomena people can be. According to Billboard,
Mike Garson, who performed and recorded with Bowie throughout his career, will be publishing an updated edition of his 2015 biography “Bowie’s Piano Man: The Life of Mike Garson” in May, which contains stories he couldn’t tell before. One of them is about Bowie meeting a psychic during the late 70s who accurately forecasted his Jan. 2016 passing. “(The psychic) told him he was going to die exactly when he died,” Garson, who’s preparing to lead the next leg of his all-star Celebrating David Bowie tour in North America, tells Billboard. “There are a lot of psychics who are out of their minds and full of it, but this one was real. David knew it and didn’t doubt it for a second. He told me about (the reading) with certainty, accepted it and planned his future out based on that. He had 30, 40 years to plan out his life.”
The problem with the occult has always been the layers of general tomfoolery and/or just plain bull-shittery you have to go through to get to whats real. Bowie as a practitioner of magick knew this. If you accept that Garson is telling the truth I don’t think it’s any stretch of the imagination to think that Bowie believed this psychic. This just adds another layer of wonder to all the theories about his final album Blackstar. If your unfamiliar with some of the general lines of thought and observations here’s part of a wiki entry on Blackstar,
Bowie’s final album, Blackstar—styled as ★ on the cover—was heavily analysed following his death, and numerous supposed clues about Bowie’s fate were discussed. The album’s second single “Lazarus” includes the lyrics “Look up here, I’m in heaven/I’ve got scars that can’t be seen”, which appeared in numerous news publications after his death. The album’s title was also believed to have symbolised death; it is the name given to a cancerous lesion, as well as the term for the transitional state between a collapsed star and a singularity. It is also reminiscent of the name of a little-known song about death by one of Bowie’s musical idols, Elvis Presley, which features the lyrics “When a man sees his flaming star, he knows his time has come”. A tumblr account which seemingly included images replicated in the yet-to-be-released video for “Lazarus” was speculated to have been created by Bowie, and these images—Bowie retreating into a wooden cupboard, and writing with a skull on his desk—seemed to many to symbolise Bowie’s imminent death.
Other lyrics were also scrutinised; the track “Dollar Days”, for example, featured the line, “Don’t believe for just one second I’m forgetting you/I’m trying to/I’m dying to”. The title and refrain of the album’s final track, “I Can’t Give Everything Away”, was believed by some commentators to refer to Bowie keeping his imminent fate private whilst hinting at it throughout the album, while its use of the harmonica solo from “A New Career in a New Town”—an instrumental track on Bowie’s 1977 album Low which refers to his move to Berlin—was considered a reference to Bowie beginning another new phase of his life.
I for one believe this story, even if it’s ‘only a coincidence.’ Bowie was obviously tapped into something powerful and universal, and even through death he maintained his artistic and magick practices. Who better fitting to have foreknowledge of their own death than an artist who can bring us to that edge with him and remind the world it’s still, like everything else, just a transitory state. If Bowie got privileged knowledge it’s because he deserved it. If and when we can bring people back from the dead, my vote will still be to bring back David Bowie first, if for no reason other than returning the gift of magick he gave us all.