By this stage Bowie had practically stopped eating and was subsisting on a diet of milk – cocaine and four packets of Gitanes a day.
He was leading a vampyric existence of blinds-drawn seclusion in his Hollywood mansion – spliced with all-night sessions in the studio.
There were times when he’d start recording in the evening then work all the way through until ten in the morning—and when told that the studio had been booked for another band he’d simply call up for studio time elsewhere on the spot and start work again immediately.
Other times he could vanish altogether: ‘We show up at the studio’ says [guitarist Earl] Slick.
‘Where is he?’
He shows up maybe five or six hours late.
Sometimes he wouldn’t show up at all’.
At this stage Bowie could go five or six days without sleep – the point at which reality and imagination become irretrievably blurred: ‘By the end of the week my whole life would be transformed into this bizarre nihilistic fantasy world of oncoming doom – mythological characters and imminent totalitarianism’.