Thursday, April 21, 2016

But I'm Here to Tell You There's Something Else (The After World)

The same year that took David Bowie has now robbed us of Prince. I don't know if these two musicians were associated in life, but I think that death will now link them forever in the memories of music fans, and I think to some extent that's a fair thing. Like Bowie, Prince seemed to have something of the trickster about him, endlessly reinventing himself as well as his music almost as a kind of game. In fact, it could be argued that Prince took the game further than Bowie ever did--Ziggy Stardust was a persona, but Prince was willing at times to shed himself entirely like an old skin.

Prince was also one of those musicians who I always think of as an artist's artist--certainly he had his share of hits for the general public, but it always seemed to me even when he was alive that his greatest legacy would be the way he inspired other songwriters. He always seemed to be so advanced, pioneering whole new ways of thinking about music that others picked up on and worked into their own acts. I think he left a legacy that has forever transformed music.

I suspect he'll also be remembered mostly for that music--by most accounts he was a private, troubled and difficult individual who mostly preferred to keep the spotlight on his work. Even when he did let it shine on himself, it was Prince the persona and not Prince the person who became the focus of attention. For most, the fiction presented by 'Purple Rain' will become the man. That's not such a bad way to be preserved.

Like Bowie, he was someone who died too soon simply because time is not long enough to allow a genius to create. And I'd really like 2016 to stop this now, thanks.

1 comment:

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