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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince: 07JUN58 - 21APR16

My favorite Prince moment.

It seems that absolutely everyone has weighed in on the passing of this rock icon. I'm not the overly-emotional type that feels the need to express my grief over the death of complete strangers yet I have found myself unable, incapable, unwilling, and not-quite-ready to accept the fact that Prince won't be around to reinvent himself yet another time. I was just warming up to the new piano and microphone version, Prince as a crooner. I think that he probably had an opera or two in him somewhere. Maybe he left one behind to be discovered.

This article asks why Prince, in spite of being a virtuoso, didn't base his career on the guitar. I don't think they answered it entirely or entirely satisfactorily. I never quite understood that myself. Granted, he was loaded with talent not only as a musician but as a song writer and performer but, damn, the guy played the guitar like it was a part of his body. It just seemed like he could do absolutely anything he wanted with a guitar to a degree I’ve only seen in Hendrix. There are lots of great guitarists out there but Prince had a sense of rhythm that few possess, like he could step in and out of the groove effortlessly and turn a song in a completely different direction at will. 

Although I admired the hell out of him I wouldn't say that I was ever a huge fan of Prince yet for some reason that I can't explain I'm taking the news of his death rather hard. For many years of my life Prince was the soundtrack. His music was ubiquitous in the bars and dance clubs in Greece where I passed some of the best years of my 20s, if not my entire life. I liked all his music but it was like his stuff couldn’t be contained within the confines of whatever little apartment I called home at the time; his tunes where meant for wide open spaces. His songs never counted among my favorites yet I had a respect for everything he did and every weird piece of clothing he wore.

When Michael Jackson died it was sad but it wasn't a huge surprise. David Bowie's passing at age 69 was also sad but although 69 isn't old few people would consider that "cut down in his prime." Prince always seemed the picture of health and vitality. How could he play a piano concert one night and then drop dead a few days later? He left behind a bunch of questions as well as an entire encyclopedia of music to be rediscovered.

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