The problem most Bowie fans online seem to be having with the situation is not that the Thin White Duke is 65, it’s that it appears as though Bowie himself took an early retirement almost ten years ago, at least as far as recording goes. Bowie hasn’t released an album since 2003’s Reality, and hasn’t been onstage since 2006. In a world where Mick Jagger is still prancing around, pouty lips and all, with the truly awful Super Heavy, something about this just doesn’t seem right.
Perhaps Bowie, always the deep thinker, has realized that pop music is a young person’s world, and because of this is graciously stepping aside so that other artists can step up to the plate and take a swing or six. Perhaps Bowie is still concerned about his health after having heart problems back in 2004 that included having a blocked artery surgically corrected.
Or maybe Bowie just doesn’t have much to say right now, at least as far as music goes. Let’s face it-Bowie could toss an album out there in a completely half-assed manner and his fans would gobble it up, if only for the fact that it may indeed be the last album their hero unleashes on the public. Something tells me he won’t though, and the reason is simple:
He doesn’t have to.
Bowie as an artist has always been a master of harnessing the power of hype-the promotional aspect of music making that can breathe life into a song even when you’re not listening to it. He was one of the first artists to not only sacrifice a live chicken in the church of hype, he captained the hype Bullet train into the stratosphere.
So, David Bowie is 65. Stop banging on his door and demanding he entertain you. I think he’s earned a little quiet time, hasn’t he?
Here’s Golden Years, live from the Serious Moonlight Tour, 1983.