Brian Eno, the producer whose collaborations with David Bowie during the singer’s famed “Berlin Trilogy” stands as some of the most innovative music in the artist’s influential canon, remembered Bowie in a statement following the singer’s death on Sunday. “David’s death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him,” Eno said. “I feel a huge gap now.”
Eno first collaborated with Bowie on the rocker’s landmark 1977 LP Low, with Eno providing keyboards and other treatments to the album regarded as the beginning of Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy.” That same year, Eno contributed to “Heroes,” including co-writing the title track, one of Rolling Stone‘s Greatest Songs of All Time. The “Berlin Trilogy” concluded with 1979’s Lodger, which boasted music co-written by Bowie and Eno.
“We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of [British comedy duo] Pete and Dud,” Eno wrote. “Over the last few years – with him living in New York and me in London – our connection was by email. We signed off with invented names: some of his were Mr. Showbiz, Milton Keynes, Rhoda Borrocks and the Duke of Ear.”
In 1995, Bowie and Eno reunited for the rocker’s concept album Outside, with Eno serving as co-writer on nearly all of the LP’s 19 tracks. “About a year ago, we started talking about Outside – the last album we worked on together,” Eno wrote. “We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that.”
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While Bowie’s death came as a surprise to Eno, the producer revealed that Bowie hinted that he knew his time left was short in their last correspondence. “I received an email from him 7 days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, Brian. They will never rot,’ and it was signed, ‘Dawn,'” Eno wrote in his statement. “I realize now he was saying goodbye.”