Yesterday, I arrived at the airport for a quick work trip to LA. I was feeling quite good and relaxed, having given myself plenty of time to get there. Not only that, but I had the “pre-check” icon on the right corner of my boarding pass, allowing me to breeze past the snaking line of people lugging overstuffed carry-ons, faces hung over their phones like ornaments on a christmas tree.
I was still basking in the sweet story my young UberX driver told me during our ride, of how he was moving to Iowa in a few weeks with his bride he met eight months ago. She was a passenger in his Lyft car, and they connected but could do nothing about it (very against policy for drivers to hit on passengers, obvi) but she brilliantly hit the “left something in his car” link and there you have it. Because I was so engrossed by his story, and my journey through airport security was so swift, I hadn’t checked my phone for 45 minutes.
And there it was. Alert after alert after text that Prince was dead.
Another artist that I grew up with, that was part of the musical soundtrack of my life, was gone.
First Bowie, now Prince?
During the one year I was a High School Cheerleader (I know, I know), I remember when his second record came out, Prince, and how “I want to be you lover” would boom over the PA system during halftime of football games. I remember dancing to 1999 on New Year’s eve during my Sophomore year at San Jose State. And then there was Morris Day and The Time (Day was in a high school band with Prince) produced by Prince, on popular rotation in the South Bay dance clubs I’d frequent. Prince’s influence was everywhere.
My Facebook “friends”, most in my age range, erupted in a giant gush of “RIP Prince” along with heartfelt tales of the role Prince played in their life, from “I got engaged at a Prince show” to “seeing him live was ‘life-changing'”.
None of us knew Prince (obviously), yet his passing was personal in that his music was part of our formative years, part of our story. Music has that power to transport us, to make us feel.
And clearly, Prince’s passing made people feel sad, and remember parts of their lives where his music made them happy or sad or moved them to dance their asses off.
Another friend posted “Will younger generations mourn Benji Madden?”
I’m guessing that would be a big fat no.
Nothing against Mr. Madden, but now that most popular singers and bands are “man-made”, they won’t survive the years like those made of real and lasting stuff: true talent, heart and soul.
So RIP Prince. You were the real deal.
More about how Prince influenced fashion in our next post.