Decoding David Bowie’s video ‘Lazarus’

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A sudden death of David Bowie, one of the biggest music star in modern history, shook up the entire world on January 10th last year. A very few people knew that he was sick and being very private person he didn’t want public to know anything about it.

It is interesting that Bowie released official music video for the song ‘Lazarus’ on January 7th 2016. Tomorrow, on January 8th, on his 69th birthday, he released his final (25th) studio album ‘Blackstar’. Two days after that on January 10th 2016 he died. People were in shock and many of them said this video was prophecy of his death. Internet was flooded with posts and articles about Bowie and his video ‘Lazarus’, but nobody wrote such an interesting, deep and unique post about this video as Daniel Malecki, long time Bowie’s fan, on his Facebook page.13939526_1346402035371709_7067338376424007238_n

Daniel Malecki – admirer, fan and connoisseur of life and work of David Bowie

Daniel said that he wrote this post immediately after he saw video ‘Lazarus’ on the Thursday morning of 7th of January, three days before Bowie died. He knew the video is coming and he was very excited about it: ‘There was a morning here in Europe. I read news about it night before and I was eagerly awaiting when it will come online. Then once I sat on the bus I started playing it and it made me feel really strange. I didn’t know him personally, neither anybody who was close to him knew (that he was sick).’

Daniel continued that Bowie indeed look thinner at official promo pictures, yet still fresher and younger. But, now in ‘Lazarus’ he looked different. ‘For the first time ever he stopped dying his hair and he visibly lost his weight. There wasn’t make up and all those close ups showed veins on hands and wrinkles. The video looked so real. His pain didn’t looked acted… Watching this it made me feel quite upset’, he said.


Then, as soon as he saw the video, he wrote his famous post. It was Thursday morning of January 7th of 2016. ‘I was on the bus on my way to work and I wrote my post very fast and never edited. It just left it the way it was. I always think first thought is most important…’

Three days after he published his post David Bowie died and Daniel’s post became internationally popular.

‘Urban Culture Tribe’ is presenting Daniel’s post where he, on his own way, decoded symbolism in Bowie’s last video ‘Lazarus’. Please, keep in mind, that English is Daniel’s second language. We are hoping you will enjoy it.


The scene from the video ‘Lazarus’

“I’m all shaken with emotions. So poignant video: painful, truthful and so beautiful, a perfect match to perfect song. It brings tears into eyes. He’s laying on the bed like an crippled aging sick men, so hopeless (close up of his thin beautiful hand with very prominent veins is so significant). Then it’s like he’s longing to something his spirit is raising him up, body has been lifted off the bed…

And he’s wearing his 1976 silver stripes outfit which fits him as well now as it did back then…  He is young man once again, dancing in a way that looks like struggle (I feel it’s deliberate as movements looks like they’re causing him pain).  This is so heartbreaking… He is sitting at the desk and writing with skull beside.  I know song was written to ‘Lazarus’ and it’s Thomas Newton years on from the time he Fell To Earth but…


Daniel Malecki even looks a little bit like David Bowie

I can’t help but guessing now, after watching video for this wonderful, wonderful song, all new dimension about dying, getting old and passing time, about nostalgia to the youth. And although we know he had aged in recent years, lighting and close ups on his face, hands,  the way he moves and expressions of despair and unbearable pain on his beautiful face were all done on purpose.

Then he’s disappearing in the wardrobe,  just like he has realized he’s old again and he became shy of sudden raise of young spirit, dancing…  Not beautifying himself here, not using stupid tricks and tones of  make up and effects: this video is beautifully naked and truthful.


Forgot about women under his bed. Have to watch it over and over again but another great video comes to my mind: ‘Thursday Child’ which is also about getting older version, nostalgia etc.  And there is older women in ‘Thursday Child’ video too. There is close up on his neck with a wrinkles on it, he’s putting contact lenses on, then he sees young himself in the mirror,  mature women is a girl again too. Ah, its all so intriguing and leaves so large field of interpretations…’

Three days after that Bowie died. Daniel’s strange feeling that something is different was right. He said: ‘I am scared of my own comment on ‘Lazarus’ video. l wrote it and posted here on a day this video was released, on the 7th January.  I couldn’t help but thinking it’s about death, but as well as others, I didn’t know he was actually dying… (In that moment)  I read the video more as reflections of aging man whose life was so incredible. At the end of video he’s walking back to this big old wardrobe which is a coffin now.  Saxophone in this song is so mournful and his voice so sad. This is one of hardest days of my life and know you feel same way…’

Daniel's David Bowie books collection

Daniel’s David Bowie books collection

Daniel Malecki is from Poland and he lives in Ireland. He works as a carer at Heritage Homecare in Ireland. He’s for sure one of the biggest David Bowie’s fan as one of the best connoisseur of his life and work. We can even say that his private Facebook profile is some sort of shrine devoted to his idol!  ‘I’ve seen him live just once back in 2003 and I will never forget this day…’ he said at the end of our conversation.

M. Puric


One thought on “Decoding David Bowie’s video ‘Lazarus’

  1. Anne

    The world lost true legend! Bowie was multiple artist, so creative, so inspiring, so different then every other rock/pop star…


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