Author Michael Cunningham has revealed that Bowie’s Lazarus musical may have had aliens, mariachi bands and a selection of fake Bob Dylan songs.
David Bowie worked with Cunningham on an early draft of Lazarus, which was actually run in New York and London.
According to GQ, Cunningham was called by Bowie to see if he could help write the book to accompany his musical. They met to discuss, and Cunningham began to get a taste of Bowie’s weird, yet wonderful creativeness.
“He admitted he was intrigued by the idea of an alien marooned on Earth. He’d never been entirely satisfied with the alien he’d played in the 1976 film ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’. He acknowledged that he’d like at least one of the major characters to be an alien."
Made in hope of satisfying his previous alien role, Bowie was set in it being a futuristic tale, where the plot “would revolve around a stockpile of unknown, unrecorded Bob Dylan songs”. Speaking about Bowie’s wishes to fake a Bob Dylan song, Cunningham went on to say, “Who could write a convincing fake Dylan song? Well, okay, that would be David Bowie, if anyone, but who (including David Bowie) would want to? And how would the actual Bob Dylan feel about that?”
The Lazarus musical was kept secret until 2015, as Cunningham expresses in GQ, “Do you really think a musical about an alien, a dead Bob Dylan and the work of Emma Lazarus is an idea someone is likely to steal?”
In celebration of Bowie’s 70th birthday (8 January), the BBC aired a new documentary names ‘David Bowie: The Last Five Years’. The documentary revealed that Bowie only found out his cancer was terminal on the Lazarus music video shoot. Over 30 musicians and friends of Bowie’s took to Brixton’s O2 Academy stage to pay tribute to the late musician on what would’ve been his 70th birthday.