It is an anonymity that David Bowie has increasingly come to love.
While it is six years since his last public performance, the once prolific star has apparently not written a song since 2003.
Little wonder his closest associates now openly say Bowie has retired for good from a music world that still fetes him as one of its greatest and most individual talents.
Bowie’s biographer Paul Trynka told me: ‘Although my heart tells me David will be back, my head tells me he won’t, and I don’t think we will see him tour again. None of the musicians David worked with have heard from him. He feels he’s made his mark and he’s content with that.’
Others in the know agree. Recently, his long-time tour promoter John Giddings admitted he, too, believes Bowie will not make a return.
Instead, Bowie — whose last album, Reality, came out nine years ago — seems to be content to see out his years in self-imposed obscurity.
Bowie, it seems, is happy to spend his Golden Years far from the public gaze he once craved.
The Mail, 9 January 2013:
He stunned the world by announcing the release of his first new music in 10 years - but David Bowie has in fact spent the past two years recording in secret, it has been revealed.
The reclusive star chose his 66th birthday on Tuesday to announce his new album,The Next Day, and the release of a single, Where Are We Now?, which is already at the top of the UK iTunes chart - beating Taylor Swift - and will chart this weekend.
And on Tuesday, his longtime producer Tony Visconti revealed he had been working in secret on the 'contemplative' disc with the 'happy and healthy' superstar, saying: 'I've been listening to this on headphones, walking through the streets of New York, for the past two years.'