Tony Visconti's life "hasn't been the same" since he learned his friend David Bowie had cancer.
The 71-year-old producer was called into a meeting with his pal last January and was convinced the 'Absolute Beginners' hitmaker - who died earlier this month - was going to fire him, only to be hit with a bigger bombshell.
He recalled to Mojo magazine: "He called me for a meeting and it sounded like I was getting the sack.
"David said, 'I have something to show you', and pulled his woolly hat off. He was completely bald and he said, 'I have cancer'.
"My life has not been the same since."
Tony admits it was hard not only keeping the 'Absolute Beginners' star's final album, 'Blackstar', secret but also his pal's illness.
He added: "We were keeping the album secret but this added an extra burden. It's been hard to live with."
The producer has previously spoken of how David's hair loss meant he was unable to keep his health problems hidden from the musicians working with him on 'Blackstar'.
He said: "He just came fresh from a chemo session, and he had no eyebrows, and he had no hair on his head.
"There was no way he could keep it a secret from the band.
"But he told me privately and I really got choked up when we sat face to face talking about it."