So I’m going to go off topic this week. Yesterday Prince died. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am basically a child of the 80’s. I was born in 71 to young parents so there was some pretty great music and entertainment around me as a small child but it wasn’t until the 80’s that I really discovered music, books, and movies. These were my formative years and while some may say that the 80’s sucked as far as music is concerned and, don’t get me wrong, there was a whole lot of crap that came out in that decade but it also brought us some monster innovators in the industry. I remember getting my first Prince cassette, ask your parents about them if you don’t know, for my thirteenth birthday. It was Purple Rain and it was awesome. I listened to that thing over and over again. My thirteen-year old brain enjoying the way the music made me feel even if I didn’t really comprehend the genius that was Prince.
It wasn’t until I was in high school, taking all of the music classes I could, that I started to really appreciate what true musical genius is. It was here that I was fortunate to have inspirational music teachers that really wanted us to know about music and the art that it is and not just how to hit the proper notes with the correct finger positions. Maybe it was because they were just out of college themselves and still enthusiastic but they wanted us to learn as much about the inspiration of music as they did the mechanics of it. We learned about jazz, soul, and R&B, alongside the classical and traditional. We listened to Tower Of Power, Miles Davis, Maynard Ferguson, Earth Wind and Fire, The Beatles, and so much more.
Sorry, I’m reminiscing a bit. Anyway, the main point of my ranting this week is that 2016 really just needs to quit taking away my childhood heroes. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Fry, Sir George Martin, Garry Shandling, Maurice White, and Abe Vigoda. Seriously, Abe was in a ton of stuff that I loved. These were all people I looked up to as a kid. I wanted to be an entertainer and even if I wasn’t able to live out the dream of performing for a living, I have been lucky enough to perform for fun in some pretty cool places and a lot of that has to do with the people who inspired me during those formative years.
If I had my way, I would make a giant hermetically sealed compound and move Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Sir Elton John, Cindy Lauper, Sir Patrick Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Sir Ian McKellan, Christopher Moore, Eric Clapton, and probably a few more that I’m just forgetting right now, into it so that they can be safe and healthy until 2017. We can live without these folks doing what they do for seven months, can’t we? It’s been a rough four months for the entertainment world and I, and I’m sure a lot of other folks, am done with our bigger than life stars leaving us. We need them to keep entertaining us and inspiring us. So knock it off 2016.