Posted by: suek2001 | April 24, 2016

“…and the songs they used to play”….

It is a cold..windy..rainy Sunday afternoon as I write this….and I’ve just watched another tribute to Prince…

It’s been four days and I still cannot believe he’s dead…What kind of world is it that doesn’t have Prince???

I wrote something sorta profound on the day he died…on FB..

>>>>Dearly Beloved..we are gathered here to get through this thing called life….
Music is life..and Prince gave a lot of life in his 57 years…I may not be a die hard fan but his impact is forever on the sound of pop, funk and rock and roll…He made his guitar sound like sex..he sang about sex…his music was a groove to sex….Some may have taken issue with it but if there’s one thing he did, he added more love, more joy..and more thought to music than a lot of his peers combined….
He was a Minnesota boy through and through….put the club First Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis on the map..Before the 80’s, only Mary Tyler Moore did MORE for Minneapolis…he changed the 80’s sound..he changed the 80’s videos…He made a film that became an anthem and quiet time piece for the city…He not only was a Minnesota boy..He was a PROUD Minnesota boy..and he would open his studios in Chanhassen to fans…for tours…for shows…for anything….He gave BACK tenfold what he took from all of us…He gave us one of the greatest Super Bowl Half Time shows..He paved the way for Justin Timberlake..Bruno Mars and so many others..Many tried to imitate him but they couldn’t..He wasPrince…His music will live on the radio…and in collections around the world…..John Denver once said “Music makes pictures and often tells stories, all of it magic..all of it true”..Prince did it all…and transformed it all…The music world has lost something irreplacable…and here’s a sample….
Prince put out a song in 1985 called “Rasberry Beret”..I loved it at first…but then I listened to the B Side…and loved that to death…It is my favorite Prince song…His music is hard to come by online but here’s a live performance of it..

I posted a link to the song I was referring to:

 

Meanwhile, so many have written about his legacy..his music…his style…and his Minnesota connections….

 

I am not sure I can add to that..so my thoughts will be a bit more personal..

The year was 1984…I would turn 13 years old….I was still a proud John Denver fan but pop music was everywhere…and Thriller had taken over the radio for a time….At the time, I was a bit of a snob..I thought I was better than most because I avoided modern pop music and preferred the intellectual superiority of John Denver..I was just TOO cool to listen to it…

My best friend, Tamara saved  up her money and bought the cassette soundtrack, Purple Rain… she brought it to our art class at Dunbar Middle school..the school was urban and filled with black kids mixed with poorer white kids….so, the music leaned more towards that…Micheal Jackson..Whitney Houston..the Commodores…and Prince…so I was used to hearing that type of style…played in the gym and elsewhere on campus…

Mr Laney was our art teacher…and he wanted to be hip to what the kids were listening to every day…so, Tamara brought in her Purple Rain tape….and played it…every day…no one else brought in music..so for a whole semester, I heard Purple Rain every day in 5th period art class…I got soooo sick of that soundtrack that it took me years to even tolerate the music after that…I would turn the radio dial whenever “When Doves Cry” came on..as it was such an earworm…that was my introduction to Prince…

A few years would go by..and I started listening to more pop radio..as John Denver albums became sporadic…and I found myself grooving to “Kiss”..and “Rasberry Beret”…

A few weeks ago, I was in a thrift store and heard that unforgettable drum machine of “When Doves Cry”…my first instinct was to tune it out..and run for the door..but I stayed in the store..and continued shopping…Pretty soon, I was doing my white girl shuffle in the aisle…Maybe after all these years, I can learn to really like that soundtrack…

..and then someone at work told me he died..it had to be a hoax..Minnesota cannot be without Prince….the music world cannot be without the brash funk that Prince created…

Yet, it is true….so where does Minnesota go from here? Where do Prince fans go from here?

I have no idea…but the outpouring of grief…and celebration has been an amazing sight…

I know someone close to me who loved Prince…with all their heart…and it saddened me as I know what that’s like..to lose a musical hero…and I see shades of fan reaction now as I did when John Denver died….Prince fans are a bit more blessed..in that there are many more recordings that may see the light of day….John Denver fans have gotten a few live albums and some random studio tracks…almost 19 years after his passing…

I thought of how hard it was to listen to John Denver for a few years after my Aunt died…and how going to the Kingston Trio Fantasy Camp changed all that…I pray the same thing happens for Prince fans..as all they have is each other now…

Earlier in the week, I read where an accomplished musician..who toured with Richard Thompson passed away…His name was Pete Zorn…I would have written more but my knowledge of his music is music is limited(although Richard Thompson does a killer cover of “Season of The Witch”) ..I know he has a brother who is in the current lineup of The Kingston Trio….My heart hurts for Bill Zorn…as once that musical brotherhood is taken away, it can be hard to get it back, let alone appreciate the music the same way again…

Music gives life…in so many genres…and so many ways…and when someone we love that either creates music  or shares in the music we love, passes away….that music can change…and become too painful a reminder of what is lost…

My prayer today is that those who mourn..be comforted…those who sang the songs be with the Giver of all music…God…and those of us left behind…rejoice in the gift that was given to us….and most importantly, share that gift…

Music is NOT meant to be internalized but shared….and as some folkie friends gather in Atlanta this weekend, I know the music lives on…and I know that as people rush to see Purple Rain one more time in theatres, that they will be encouraged to share their love with others…

For in the wonderful gift of music, we give ourselves…and Prince knew that…and I’m sure Pete Zorn knew that…

It is truly our legacy to carry forward now…

For my last thought, I will share a song from the Kingston Trio’s latest album..sung by Bill  Zorn..a beautiful piece about passing on the gift of music…I played it a lot this week…

 

 

 

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