No artist has ever so carefully stage-managed a death as well as we saw with David Bowie and his Blackstar album. As soon as he died, it became very obvious that he was trying to tell us something with the songs, the lyrics and the video for “Lazarus.” But what, exactly?
Yes, the “Lazarus” video made for some interesting and obvious hindsight viewing. But what other clues and hints did Bowie drop? He knew his cancer was terminal–a diagnosis that was confirmed in November–but he had no idea that he was going to die two days after Blackstar was released. It’s easy to imagine Bowie sitting back in his New York apartment watching people slowly deconstruct the album as his health slowly decline. Alas, he never got the chance.
People have been pouring over the album for hidden messages. Examples:
- What’s the significance of a “black star?” Yes, there’s the cancer lesion theory, but is there more?
- Is there an Elvis connection?
- What’s the “villa of Ormen?”
- What does Norway, an old girlfriend and a Tumblr have to do with it?
- Can we infer anything in the fact that this is the first Bowie album not to feature his image on the cover? What about t
- What about the design of the vinyl edition? Is there a Unicode message in plain site in the album artwork? (Hint: ★ means something to coders.)
- Does Aleister Crowley pop up somewhere?
- We’ve seen that smiley face on the astronaut’s jacket in the “Lazarus” video before. But where?
So far, we have more questions than answers. But this article in The Guardian goes a little ways towards explaining some of these mysteries. Anyone want to weigh in?