It would have been David Bowie‘s 70th birthday over the weekend if the world had not lost the innovative pop star last year to terminal cancer. To celebrate this date, Sony and Columbia released a posthumous EP No Plan containing songs which were recorded during the Blackstar sessions and first appeared in the Broadway musical Lazarus.
In a wonderful tribute video posted over the weekend, the title track on the EP “No Plan,” receives the visual treatment. In the video, a crowd gathers around an old electronics shop called Newton Electronics, and watches as the lyrics to the song appear on television screens interspersed with geographical images and video of Bowie himself. Zombie-like the onlookers become absorbed in the flickering TV screen as the ghostly instrumental and opaque singing of Bowie caress the ears of the listener.
Additionally, in a piece originally for GQ, the Pulitzer Prize winning writer Michael Cunningham, who worked with Bowie on the musical Lazarus revealed that the original version of the play was somewhat different than the final that is performed. Originally, the play centered around an alien, the poet Emma Lazarus and a mariachi band and featured a suite of fake Bob Dylan songs written by Bowie himself. Much of the original premise was lost according to Cunningham, and the final version bears little resemblance to what the writer worked on with Bowie.
Watch the chilling tribute video “No Plan” and read the lyrics below. As you watch, ponder the potential of what a Bowie-penned Dylan song would sound like. Perhaps these two legends trade songwriting tips over whiskey straight at the bar from beyond the grave:
Here, there’s no music here
I’m lost in streams of sound
Here, am I nowhere now?
Wherever I may go
All of the things that are my life
Here is my place without a plan
Just out of view
Is no traffic here?
All the things that are my life
Nothing to regret
This is no place, but here I am
This is not quite yet