Bear with me while I try to parse this.
With the reports out of Minneapolis confirmed, it’s official: he’s now “The Former Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.”
What, too soon? We’ll have to agree to disagree on that. I’m firmly in the “laughing so you don’t cry” camp whenever possible. It’s the same principle (no pun intended) that encourages wakes to emphasize music, jokes, and happy memories of the dead. If I’d had an equivalent line on tap for David Bowie back in January, I would have used it just as quickly.
I’ll freely admit that I’ve never been a big fan of Prince’s music; I enjoyed it when I heard it, but didn’t seek it out. But the loss of a unique voice can’t help but diminish the world, and Prince’s was, if you’ll forgive a misuse of the English language, more unique than most.
I just know we’re in for a rehash of “The Year of Death for Rock Stars”. Please, everyone, try to resist the temptation. Yes, we’ve had several more well-known musician deaths. Yes, I know Prince was only 57. But again, a certain number of deaths are statistically expected across any field of endeavor. And, probably more to the point, the media hype has sensitized our brains to deceased musicians. I’ll confidently assert that we’ll lose at least three more rock musicians who can legitimately be described as “famous” before the end of the year. I’d love to be wrong about that, naturally, but the odds don’t favor it–have you looked at last year’s list of deaths on Wikipedia?
But back to Prince.
He’ll be missed, just as we’re missing all of the creators–famous or otherwise–who’ve died, retired, or otherwise stopped creating. And, as always, the proper response is to step up and create something yourself.
And if you’re inspired to do something to memorialize Prince, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. Me, I’d be tempted to go buy a Corvette–red, of course–but the $23.09 in my pocket isn’t going to cut it. On the other hand, I rock a pretty mean beret. Amazon’s got those starting at $0.99.