When doves and fans cry…

prince

I will just go ahead and confess that I have been depressed for several days, and that’s why I haven’t posted something new here.

It may not make sense to some people that the death of a musician could make someone so upset.

But the death of Prince has hit me hard.

Maybe his death is hard for me because it follows some other musicians that meant a lot to me, like David Bowie and Scott Weiland.

Then again, maybe it’s because of where Prince’s music fits into my life. I was a teen when I first heard his music, and it had a huge impact on me. The film “Purple Rain” was one of which I and my like-minded friends could not get enough.

I remember my first love happened at about that time, and I clearly recall riding on the back of his motorcycle, thinking about a scene in the movie where Prince and his love were doing the same.

I swear I can smell the air and feel the wind in my hair to this day.

Every time I was on that bike that summer, the song “Take Me With You” ran through my head.

“I don’t care where we go, I don’t care what we do. I don’t care, pretty baby, just take me with you.”

First love combined with young love combined with summer love. Was there anything better?

My life now is much different from those idyllic days. Things haven’t turned out the way I hoped or thought or even imagined. But even when your life goes great, like mine has, I think no one can help sometimes being wistful for a time that was simpler and more innocent.

I don’t know that I can put into words why Prince mattered so much to me, but he did. He mattered a lot.

Because I met so many stars during my newspaper career, my dad assumes I have met everyone. I was at his house this weekend when something came on the news about Prince.

“Did you know him?” my dad asked innocently.

“No. Yes,” I said as tears fell down my face. “It’s hard to explain. I never met him, but he meant a lot to me.”

My dad looked thoughtful for a moment, and then didn’t press the issue.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “It seems like he meant a lot to a lot of people.”

Indeed.

Do you have a special Prince memory? Share it with me. And if this post speaks to you, please share it.

You can mourn someone you’ve never met

graveyard-celebrity deathsIn the past couple of years, I have mourned the loss of several people who I had never met.

Leonard Nimoy (yes, who was Spock of Star Trek but also had success in movies, television shows, in the recording studio and in the art world) died Feb. 27, 2015.

The mercurial, but nonetheless talented singer/songwriter Scott Weiland died Dec. 3, 2015. And even though his death was predicted and “expected” for years, that didn’t make it any less shocking, any less painful for me when it came. I loved Stone Temple Pilots, and I also loved all of Weiland’s side projects. I met him once and made him laugh, and I will carry that image of him forever – his head thrown back in true laughter at something I did that he called “delightful.”

The great David Bowie passed away Jan. 10. Just four days later, actor Alan Rickman died. Both men had cancer, and both were 69 when they died. In this day and age, that isn’t old. And both were vibrant and still performing amazingly well in their chosen careers.

I still recall like it was yesterday sobbing and dropping to my knees when I learned that John Lennon had been murdered on Dec. 8, 1980. I remember right where I was, who I was with, what I was wearing, how I heard the news. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I loved him and his music so much. My teen brain couldn’t make sense of the fact that he was a peace activist and he was murdered. I still want someone to explain that one to me. And there’s the snuffing out of all of the wonderful music he was making and would have made…

When Johnny Cash died, I felt like I had lost a family member. I wept bitterly the day I found out he was gone. My dad played his records when I was a child, and I followed Cash’s music career as I grew up and moved from place to place. Never saw him in concert, never met him, but I truly loved him. Maybe this won’t make sense to some people, but he was like a father figure to me.

Why do celebrity deaths affect us so much? I think there are many reasons. But, mostly, I think it’s that these people gave us themselves and their time, and therefore we spent time “with” them. I knew everything about Lennon, and as a teenage girl I had spent hours and hours talking with friends about him and listening to his music.

Bowie made me feel like being an outsider, a misfit, wasn’t so bad. It was fine to not be like everyone else. In fact, it was cool to be whoever I was, whoever I wanted to be, and I could change and change again and still be cool. I could just be me. And that was all right.

Cash spoke out for the downtrodden, the broken, the wayward people. I felt his music deeply, and felt like he was talking to me in some of the things he said.

As Spock, Nimoy taught me many lessons when I was a child and as I grew up. I also loved his music. And later his art. He seemed a noble person to me.

Rickman made me laugh, and cry. His quality roles are too numerous to list here, and I may have loved him for the ones that were not as famous as others. I wonder if he would find it funny that the first thing I thought when I learned he was dead, while I hadn’t even wrapped my head around Bowie’s death, was, “By Grabthar’s Hammer…” And then I laughed. I think he might have approved.

The bottom line is this: Let people criticize us “commoners” when we mourn the passings of the famous. Love is love, no matter where it is found. Go ahead and love, and mourn, however deeply you need to.

If something in this post speaks to you, please share it with your friends or on social media.