David Bowie died at a secret home about 100 miles north of New York City. A new report details where the iconic musician spent his final months before succumbing to cancer.
The Sun reports that Bowie sought refuge in a remote area not far from Woodstock. It was in the Catskill Mountains where he, Iman, and their daughter, Lexi, stayed. It was far from the urban life Bowie typically indulged in.
A friend of David’s shares that he was extremely private and wanted the same thing in death. It’s unclear where his ashes will be scattered, but he gave his family specific instructions.
Bowie was taken aback by the Catskill Mountains area of New York 15 years ago while recording his Heathen album. It was just two hours from his penthouse in Manhattan and had a serenity and peace to it that he found appealing. He also enjoyed the fact that he could “zip around the country lanes in his convertible Mustang.”
David Bowie, his wife, and daughter were said to have been actively involved in the community near their secret home. They frequented local shops and restaurants. In fact, Bowie would even make a point of introducing himself to neighbors by shaking their hand, saying, “Hi, I’m David.”
David and Iman were known to work out at the local fitness center called 28 West Gym. Daniel Craig and his wife, Rachel Weisz, had also been members there.
Bowie’s ashes bound for Woodstock? Rumors abound about Catskills ceremony. https://t.co/YKLAlq6Ru9
— Jesse McKinley (@jessemckinley) January 20, 2016
According to the report, public records show that David Bowie had gone to great lengths over keeping the Catskills home a secret from fans. Public records show Bowie had gone out of his way to keep his purchase of the mountain getaway a secret from fans. His previous property purchases were made under his legal name, David Robert Jones, but he used a limited liability company to buy the Woodstock property in 2011. At the time, he paid nearly $2 million for the three-bedroom mountain property with 50 acres. He eventually added two more bedrooms and bathrooms. There are floor-to-ceiling windows all around the home, which allow for surreal views.
Bowie spent all last summer planning a garage annex and artist studio. The singer was a talented painter and was excited about adding his own art studio, but his health was getting worse at that point.
David Bowie’s hush-hush hideaway had extensive ground with several “keep out” signs and security cameras.
Ironically, David Bowie wasn’t always a fan of country living.
“I went to Woodstock once and I hated it. It was just too cute for words,” Bowie said in 2002.
When he saw the Catskill area, he felt differently about it.
“This is not cute. It’s stark and it has a Spartan quality about it,” he said.
— Watershed Post (@watershedpost) January 19, 2016
Michael Hague runs Catskill Art and Office Supply and said David visited often. He was shocked that he recognized the store owner’s tattoo tribute to Black Flag, a California punk band.
“You don’t expect someone like David Bowie to even know about Black Flag but he was full of surprises,” Hague said.
Hague recalled a time when one of David’s songs started playing on the radio when he was with him at the store. He said the legendary star “burst out laughing.” Hague added that David Bowie had a “great sense of humor and was always telling jokes. But he was so low-key people would always do double-takes.”
Bowie purchased an easel from the art store in August, the last time Hague saw him. He said he helped Bowie with the easel into his two-seater Mustang. He said they both “fell about laughing” while trying to get the large easel inside the small car.
When David learned that his cancer had spread in November, he told his family that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered. No funeral or memorial was in the plan because he wanted to avoid a fuss. His way of saying goodbye was through his album, Blackstar.
Bowie was good at pulling off surprises, so having a secret home in the Catskill Mountains seems fitting for the late musician.
To see images of where David Bowie spent his final days, check them out here.
[Photo by Terry O’Neill/Getty Images]