A heart attack not long after the final show at Germany’s Hurricane Festival nearly drove him to retirement. And when he began the album The Next Day, he became increasingly secretive — to the point of having his musicians sign non-disclosure agreements.

Other topics covered by producer Tony Visconti and other longtime associates:

  • The politically themed song “Valentine’s Day.”
  • His lifelong interest in jazz as reflected in using the Donny McCaslin Band as his backups on Blackstar.
  • The video for “Blackstar” and its allusion to his character Major Tom.
  • The decision of George Orwell‘s widow that kept him from his dream of turning the novel 1984 into a musical.
  • How he turned his attention to his musical Lazarus instead.
  • His hesitancy to use “Heroes” as the closing song in Lazarus.