I confess I didn't care that much when Elvis died. I remember being in college and so many of my friends going beserk. My younger sister was distraught. Not me. There are about 3 of his songs that I truly like and while I respect his influence on music, he just wasn't my cup of tea. I mourned a life lost too soon but didn't feel connected.
Then there was Michael Jackson. I felt a sadness, mostly for a life that seemed so fraught with trauma and pain that it overshadowed the amazing talent he had. I did like his music, I admired his dance moves. His Thriller album and Billie Jean were sound tracks for a time in my life. Still my feelings didn't run to shock,or real mourning.
But yesterdayI heard that Prince died. His music defined a large portion of my life. He had the funk and soul influences that I love in music, and added a sensuality to things that felt so decadently "cool" to a young person. I played the Purple Rain album till it was worn to death. I knew all the words to When doves cry, and 1999. I guess I liked that he always seemed to be an artist who was true to his own artistic vision--whether it was blatently writing slave on his face during his famous dispute with his label. Much like David Bowie, he was always reinventing himself, exploring new musical vistas.
Because I have been sick the past few days I spent today binge watching Prince videos on You Tube. I relived the really great Super Bowl performance, and so many others. But what I enjoyed watching the most were so many times when he was just jamming and rocking out with other artists. Playing guitar while Cee Lo sang. He did not sing at all but he was having the time of his life. Music flowed through him like a river and it was so clear in every performance.
RIP Prince. All the rain is purple tonight.