So Prince died a couple of days ago. Meh.
Back in January, I wrote a post about the deaths of David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Paul Kantner. I was a little upset that some twit who writes for the New York Daily News used the occasion of Frey's death to write an unflattering article about The Eagles. (As an aside, my Uncle John worked his entire working life for the Daily News. He wrote a column called "The Inquiring Photographer". If he were alive today, he'd be horrified at what a rag the Daily News has become.)
But anyway, here it is 3 months later, and Prince is dead. And I find myself uncomfortably with a more sympathetic feeling for the Daily News twit.
Here's the thing. As I've said previously, music is the most important thing in my life, other than my family. And Prince's entire career basically ran through the prime of my life. And never once was I moved to purchase even one Prince album. That might sound like a small thing, but I literally own thousands of CDs. There aren't a whole lot of major artists I've totally snubbed.
Now Denise likes Prince. And that was enough for me to sit through the entire film Purple Rain at least once, and to sit through parts of it a few more times. (Forget about Under the Cherry Moon, though. I could never handle more than about 10 minutes of that).
Our friend Chip Sciacca, of the late great local band This Island Earth, used to do sound for Prince at some of his live shows. And Chip always spoke of him in a complimentary way.
But I just never got what people saw (and heard) in Prince. He had a few songs I though were decent, most notably "When Doves Cry".
I think part of it was because it seemed like the guy took himself so seriously, but he was so unrelentingly goofy. A few examples: 1) When she was getting started, he tried to talk Vanity into using the stage name "Vegeena". Vageena? really?; 2) Remember when he changed his name to Squiggle (or whatever the hell that stupid symbol was supposed to be)?; and 3) "Oooo, Vicky Vale!". He always just seemed like a guy who a living, breathing caricature of a pretentious pop star. 'Nuff said.
Anyway, if you're one of the many to whom Prince and his music meant something, my apologies to you, and my condolences for your loss. I really feel bad about being the kind of butthole who has to piss on someone's memory of an artist they loved. With so many fans who loved his music, I accept there must have been something there.
I was just never able to hear it.