April 21, 2016

Prince has died!

"Prince's body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota early Thursday morning. Multiple sources connected to the singer confirmed he had passed. The singer -- full name Prince Rogers Nelson -- had a medical emergency on April 15th that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois. But he appeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay. His people told TMZ he was battling the flu."

Oh, my God. So shocking. So sad. I knew he'd had the flu. Such a great, talented star. He was 57. What a terrible loss.

I'd embed something, but I know he didn't like people putting his things up on YouTube.

ADDED: John collects some video and quotes Rolling Stone:
He played arguably the greatest power-ballad guitar solo in history ("Purple Rain"), and his solo on an all-star performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" during George Harrison's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2004 had jaws on the floor. But he can also bring the nasty funk like Jimmy Nolen and Nile Rodgers (listen to the groove magic of "Kiss") or shred like the fiercest metalhead ("When Doves Cry").... Prince gets a lot of Hendrix comparisons, but he sees it differently: "If they really listened to my stuff, they'd hear more of a Santana influence than Jimi Hendrix," he once told Rolling Stone. "Hendrix played more blues, Santana played prettier." To Miles Davis, who collaborated with the Purple One toward the end of his life, Prince was a combination of "James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye... and Charlie Chaplin. How can you miss with that?"
AND: Just last month — when we heard Prince had signed a deal to write his memoirs — Meade and I were discussing the meaning of "Just look for the purple banana 'til they put us in the truck":
I say it was what was a typical Prince message: Live it up because you're going to die. The banana is obviously the man's penis and the truck is the hearse that takes you away. Meade says the truck is the vagina. He agreed about the banana.
The song was "Let's Go Crazy" — the one that begins like a funeral:
Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Prince sang about "the after world/A world of never ending happiness/You can always see the sun, day or night." And "instead of asking... how much of your time is left," you should ask "how much of your mind" you've got left. That's the song where he said "if the elevator tries to bring you down/Go crazy, punch a higher floor."

He punched a higher floor.

AND: I wrote that before seeing that Prince was found dead in at his home in the elevator.

PLUS: I blogged about the elevator lyric and the afterlife back in 2011, in a post titled "'And if the elevator tries to bring you down/Go crazy (Punch a higher floor!)'":
Prince lyric, which just occurred to me in the context of the feminist-in-the-elevator-at-the-atheist-convention incident. Prince was telling us to live now, because we're all going to die, which he sometimes said clearly — "You better live now/Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door" — and sometimes said absurdly — "Let's look for the purple banana/Until they put us in the truck." He also expressed a clear belief in the afterlife. ("In this life/Things are much harder than in the afterworld/In this life/You're on your own.") He's no atheist. How he behaves in an actual in-this-life elevator, as opposed to a metaphorical elevator, I have no idea. I bet he silently occupies his corner and avoids eye contact, in classic elevator etiquette, and waits for his floor.

209 comments:

1 – 200 of 209   Newer›   Newest»
AllenS said...

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune --

"We're currently conducting a death investigation and there isn't much I can say," said Jason Kamerud, chief sheriff's deputy for Carver County.

MadisonMan said...

He's not much older than I, and people my age do die of natural causes, and it's shocking, but not that shocking.

mccullough said...

Great musician.

FullMoon said...

A neighbor in her late thirties caught a flu six or seven years ago, did not seem extraordinary. Did not even go to see a doctor. She died at home in bed within a week..

Prince seemed like a decent guy. Funny thing to say, but I hope it was the flu, and not drugs

Carol said...

Seems like when they go at 57, they're doing something wrong.

Grant said...

He was definitely one of the finest (popular) musicians in my lifetime. Only Joni Mitchell rivals him as someone who had talent in every creative dimension and used it all well.

jelink said...

Doves are crying.

Giovanna said...

How will we go on living?! OMG!

Robert Cook said...

The flu is not something to take for granted. I've heard people get the sniffles and become a little congested and say, "Oh, I must have a touch of the flu." It's not just a another term for a cold, and it's not as comparably mild as a cold. In the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, tens of millions of people died worldwide, (more than were killed by WWI).

AllenS said...

To me, Prince always looked frail.

Paul Snively said...

It's a weird catalog of weird: he was only seven years older than me, which means when my friends were going nuts over him in high school he was all of 23 or so, and he was preceded in death by one of those high-school friends, a dangerously beautiful brunette.

RIP, Lori and Prince.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Jim Henson also died in his 50s from what appeared to be the flu.

http://www.angelfire.com/me3/muppets/HensonInfection.html

Prince was an awesome guitarist and incredibly talented.

rhhardin said...

I've heard of him, via his name, but could not say a thing he's done.

rhhardin said...

There are concerts and crowds and it all sounds like noise to me. Who pays to hear this? So Prince wasn't anything notable either.

Nonapod said...

Good lord. How many music icons have died in the past 6 months?! So far 2016 sucks for a number of reasons, but this is a big one.

JT said...

I'll be surprised if it was actually the flu that killed him. April 15 – when his plane landed for that medical emergency – was nearly a week ago, and he'd apparently cancelled two shows even before that date. That seems like a lengthy bout with the flu to me. I'm betting it was something else.

Rick said...

But he appeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay. His people told TMZ he was battling the flu."

A friend of mine had "walking pneumonia" last week. Yesterday he had a stroke and is in ICU. When you don't feel well get yourself checked out, and don't fall for the doctor's subtle pressure that it's nothing and you're a hypochondriac. Unless you are one of course.

rhhardin said...

The former artist known as prince.

Mark said...

Another big musical loss this year.

Incredible talent. Was never a huge fan, but it was not to appreciate his skills instrumentally, as band leader, and as a songwriter with big ears.

traditionalguy said...

Probably something to do with his lungs. Breathing is not appreciate as much as it should be.

LarsPorsena said...

Cocaine flu? Meth flu? Heroin flu?

Darrell said...

He was Mozart living among us and few noticed.

Discuss.

Freeman Hunt said...

The flu is a bigger deal than is generally appreciated.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

I guess this means Harriet Tubbman is off the $20 now.

Robert Cook said...

"He was Mozart living among us and few noticed."

Prince was a very talented writer and performer of popular songs, but he was hardly a Mozart. Talent is too often today equated with genius, but even great talent almost always falls short of genius.

Nonapod said...

Hopefully Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Mick Jagger will survive 2016.

Freder Frederson said...

I've heard of him, via his name, but could not say a thing he's done.

So you use the sad occasion of his death to proudly display your ignorance?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rhhardin said...

I've heard of him, via his name, but could not say a thing he's done.

He's died. Come on, pay attention.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Clearly very talented, never cared much for his music. Feel the same way about the Rolling Stones and Adele.

coupe said...

They say the days of antibiotics are almost over, so it will be pandemics from here on out.

My dads sister died of the flu at age 8 in 1918.

Bob R said...

Amazing guitarist. I won't link, since Althouse is honoring his wishes, but if you haven't seen his performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, it's well worth your time.

Roughcoat said...

Holy smokes, the Reaper is really applying his scythe to the Baby Boom generation of musicians. All that hard partying must be catching up to them.

AReasonableMan said...

My goal is to outlive Keith Richards. It seemed a simple enough goal a few decades ago, now it looks like it will be a close run race.

Gabriel said...

Nope. Not till I see the body.

Carried up to heaven by God in a fiery purple chariot, I could believe that. Flu, no. He is not dead. He has ascended.

Amexpat said...

Heard this on CNN. Wolf Blitzer is oddly rhapsodizing about how great Prince was - incorrectly mentions "Purple Haze".

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
I've heard of him, via his name, but could not say a thing he's done.


Me too and me neither, 'cept for a "here's a bunch of famous guys playing a song" where somebody said his guitar solo was amazing but I thought it was boring.

Freder Frederson said...
So you use the sad occasion of his death to proudly display your ignorance?


Yes.

Limited blogger said...

As Ann notes you can't find much of his stuff on UTube. But go search for Prince Super Bowl, and Prince Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You'll get clips from 2 of his stand out performances.

He played the halftime show for a Super Bowl 10 years ago, and it ranks as one of, if not the best of all the modern half time shows. He peforms in a monsoon, live, with all his electronic gear, and lays down a fantastic set.

The RNR HOF performance was the jam after inducting George Harrison into the Hall. A super group plays 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', and Prince's solo steals the show.

Roughcoat said...

Concerning the influenza pandemic of 1918-19: I find it interesting that the young were more vulnerable to dying from the flu than older people. Many more younger people who got sick died; older people and the elderly tended to get well.

Why was that the case? Can anyone here explain this?

Gabriel said...

@Freeman:The flu is a bigger deal than is generally appreciated.

Flu, like measles, is a risk that most people seriously underestimate. Most people when they say "I think I have the flu" didn't have it, just like people who say their having migraines far outnumber the people who are actually having it.

What's the big deal about measles and flu, the ant-vaxxers say? Well, they kill children and old people, that's the big deal. We think these are not serious because when they were common childhood illnesses it was frequently a plot point in fiction and the fictional children usually got over it.

I Callahan said...

So you use the sad occasion of his death to proudly display your ignorance?

So you use the sad occasion of his death to proudly display your anger at the ingorant?

Gabriel said...

@Roughcoat:Many more younger people who got sick died; older people and the elderly tended to get well.

Why was that the case? Can anyone here explain this?


Because strains of flu are not identical. But your characterization is false. Death rateswere highest with young children and the elderly. Middle-aged people did a little worse than people SLIGHTLY older or younger.

Ann Althouse said...

I'd like to hear from people who genuinely loved him and his music. If he didn't matter to you, maybe there are other posts where you can find things that do matter to you. This is a very sad day. Prince meant a lot to me and a lot to many people.

AprilApple said...

He was a ground-breaking one of a kind artist.

Sad news.

Fernandinande said...

AReasonableMan said...
My goal is to outlive Keith Richards.


If I die before Keith Richards I'll be pissed off to the max

Ann Althouse said...

This is also a good occasion to remember that you can die of the flu. You can decline very rapidly, even if you are young and healthy.

coupe said...

Roughcoat said......Why was that the case? Can anyone here explain this?

I heard it was because the lungs are not fully developed yet. I believe at age 5 the development of air sacs doubles, and then again at 19 (sorry, I'm remembering this from college many ions ago).

So any health problems with the lungs, is going to be double trouble with kids.

Freeman Hunt said...

Concerning the influenza pandemic of 1918-19: I find it interesting that the young were more vulnerable to dying from the flu than older people. Many more younger people who got sick died; older people and the elderly tended to get well.

Why was that the case? Can anyone here explain this?


Because it was a different sort of flu. Roughly, it ramped up the immune system so much that a person's immune system could kill him. So if you had a strong immune system to begin with, you might have been in for a worse time of it.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Patty Duke, Garry Shandling, the artist formerly known as formerly known as Prince - people are dying who never died before.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Roughcoat said...

Why was that the case? Can anyone here explain this?

If I had to guess I say that the particular strain going around then might have been similar enough to a strain that went around 20+ years earlier, so older people could have had partial immunity due to the earlier exposure. But that is just a guess.

Crimso said...

"Why was that the case? Can anyone here explain this?"

Off the top of my idiot head, I would guess that it was because the so-called Spanish Flu, while distinct from other flu strains, shared enough antigenic determinants with more common forms of flu that older people were more likely to have at least a small bit of immunity from previous bouts.

Roughcoat said...

Gabriel:

Okay. But the spike in deaths for ages 25-34 strikes me as significant. I mean, one would expect the very young and very old to die in large numbers. One does NOT expect people ages 25-34, presumably in the prime of their lives and the at the peak of good health, die in large numbers.

So my question stands: why? And don't tell me it's a matter of different strains. That's not an answer. What is it about the strain that proved exceptionally lethal to people in the 25-34 range?

Roughcoat said...

In other words: what is it about the strain that was able to kill strong young people in otherwise good health?

dreams said...

"People were just mesmerized by him," CNBC contributor Jon Najarian on his high school classmate and talented musician, Prince."

He was a high school classmate of OptionMonster founder Jon Najarian who said he was also a great athlete too though he was small but his brother was 6'4" also a good athlete.

Limited blogger said...

Will make a note to re-watch 'Purple Rain' again soon.

Good movie, or was it a documentary? Seems to track pretty close to Prince's actual circumstances. It's kind of like Eminem's '8 Mile', a stylized version of the actual story. Prince was a very talented artist.

Rest in Peace, Prince.

Nonapod said...

A personal favorite of mine is Raspberry Beret. It was this odd combination of funk, pop, psychedelic, and baroque sounds that seemed pretty unique at the time. I read somewhere that the album it was on was sort of a weird tribute to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper.

StephenFearby said...


Sharyl Attkisson (an inconvenient reporter...at least in the eyes of CBS):

Govt. Researchers: Flu Shots Not Effective in Elderly, After All

November 10, 2015

"An important and definitive “mainstream” government study done nearly a decade ago got little attention because the science came down on the wrong side. It found that after decades and billions of dollars spent promoting flu shots for the elderly, the mass vaccination program did not result in saving lives. In fact, the death rate among the elderly increased substantially.

The authors of the study admitted a bias going into the study. Here was the history as described to me: Public health experts long assumed flu shots were effective in the elderly. But, paradoxically, all the studies done failed to demonstrate a benefit. Instead of considering that they, the experts, could be wrong–instead of believing the scientific data–the public health experts assumed the studies were wrong. After all, flu shots have to work, right?..."

https://sharylattkisson.com/govt-researchers-flu-shots-not-effective-in-elderly-after-all/


Roughcoat said...

"So any health problems with the lungs, is going to be double trouble with kids."

I'm not talking about kids. I'm referring to the 25-34 age group: men and women with fully developed lungs and, possibly, immunities, who nevertheless died in disproportionate numbers.

Freeman Hunt's explanation makes sense to me, and I seem to recall reading about it.

Freder Frederson said...

Prince was a very talented writer and performer of popular songs, but he was hardly a Mozart. Talent is too often today equated with genius, but even great talent almost always falls short of genius.

Prince was more than a "very talented writer and performer of popular songs." His influence in the last quarter of the twentieth century was up with the all time greats of popular music. If he was not a genius, he was about as close as you can get in modern music.

dreams said...

Also young people didn't have the immunity protection from past flu epidemics, maybe.

Giovanna said...

"Because it was a different sort of flu. Roughly, it ramped up the immune system so much that a person's immune system could kill him. So if you had a strong immune system to begin with, you might have been in for a worse time of it."

It's called a cytokine storm. That's what killed those who had the Avian flu in 1918.

coupe said...

Roughcoat said...What is it about the strain that proved exceptionally lethal to people in the 25-34 range?

It may be that there was just more people alive in that age group. As far as I know it wiped out who towns, without regard to age.

They say it was just a particular strain that the body had no defense for. The only reason people stopped dying, was the strain probably morphed into some other strain.

The real deal, was there was no viable treatment. Like syphilis, doctors just did voodoo on the victims, and the doctors died at about the same rate.

Bob Boyd said...


Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others -- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Skip ahead to 3:28 for great Prince guitar solo.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y

Roughcoat said...

By the time most people reach the age of 25 they've had the flu several times. Many times, actually. In my case, e.g., just about once a year every year of my life.

Which means that the spike in deaths in the 25-34 age group was taking people who should have had fully developed immunity to many strains of the flu.

Ficta said...

Wow. What an amazing musician and composer, capable of writing and playing at the highest levels in so many styles. And he just made music constantly. Unlike many musicians who die in their 50s who were great talents, but appeared to be mostly done producing, I would not have been surprised to see Prince have a later career with dozens of great new works. What a shame.

FullMoon said...

Darrell said... [hush]​[hide comment]

He was Mozart living among us and few noticed.

Discuss.


Discuss? DISCUSS?!? Commenters here do not follow orders. So, shut up.

Coconuss Network said...

Prince was our high school. The movie too. Our dressing, our hair styles. Boy George, Prince, and George Michael & Wham, and of course Madonna. All the hits. It's a very sad day. I got a flu shot, as per usual, in October, and I still got bronchitis for 5 weeks. And I have a very healthy immune system. Prayers that Prince's memory stays alive, and prayers to his family. Rest in Peace Prince.

Carol said...

I liked him because he wrote some great party music, and his style was trans-racial like that of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. He took part in all pop music and not just some surly black-ghetto part of it.

Unknown said...

Roughcoat and Freeman Hunt:

Yes, Freeman is right, in that that's the current most likely guess from the mainstream best-informed public health / influenza experts. My grandmother's brother died in that epidemic, in Boston. He was around 30, extremely healthy otherwise. Got sick and died in ONE DAY. Current thinking is, if you had a good, strong immune system, what overwhelmed you was fluid effusion into the lungs--you drowned in your own immune response, and it happened extremely fast.

My grandfather (her future husband) was, at that time, flying fighter planes in France for the U.S. (My guess is that this was after we officially entered the war, not in the Escadrille period--although, like many of the Escadrille, he was a rich kid amateur pilot who shipped over to France for "adventure," got his fill, and lived tamely and quietly for the rest of his life.) Anyway, he got the flu, lay feverish and sick for a week in a muddy field in France wrapped in a blanket we still have (kept it as a talisman, yuck, it must have been covered with literal shit and god knows what germs), and survived. He claimed that eating nothing but the asparagus sprouts he could crawl to in the field cured him. Maybe it was the foul conditions, instead!

Anyway, par for the course. As for antibiotics (ineffective against flu, of course, though sometimes given to prevent/cure opportunistic pneumonia subsequent to lung-weakening flu), the older sister of that same grandmother died of strep throat as a 20-something-year old. Ah, the good old days.

dreams said...

I'm 71 and I remember getting the flu one time as a child when there was a local epidemic of flu.

coupe said...

...Which means that the spike in deaths in the 25-34 age group was taking people who should have had fully developed immunity to many strains of the flu.

I suspect it started out as a war weapon of mass destruction, and through negligence it escaped the lab and went into the public.

The best weapons are those that affect military age men.

The devised a virus with the genes lined-up in just the right way, to cut right through the immune system.

So, basically, it was a conspiracy by the imperialist capitalists.

[sip]

AllenS said...

I wonder if Prince died of sepsis.

Susan said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytokine_storm

Char Char Binks said...

coupe said...
They say the days of antibiotics are almost over, so it will be pandemics from here on out.

Maybe, but influenza is caused by viruses, so antibiotics do nothing for it.

FullMoon said...

Bob Boyd said...


Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others -- "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Skip ahead to 3:28 for great Prince guitar solo.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y


Nice.

coupe said...

Char Char Binks said......but influenza is caused by viruses, so antibiotics do nothing for it.

I believe the 1918 flu (don't trust me on this, I'm pushing aside many synapses) developed a form of Bacterial pneumonia. I'll have to look that up on the inter-tubes...

coupe said...

AllenS said..I wonder if Prince died of sepsis.

Maybe goiter...

Darrell said...

Commenters here do not follow orders. So, shut up.

You are one conflicted, contradictory son of a bitch, aren't you?

Tank said...

My totally layman impression is that we slim guys, as we get older, are more susceptible to slipping away quickly from the flu or pneumonia. Prince falls into that category of guitarists (like Jeff Beck for example) who are great to listen to when they're playing the guitar, but whose music I mostly don't care for.

Great chops though, loved that Harrison song, and it's always dangerous to step in where greatness has been, but he pulls it off easily, showing just how capable he is.

Gabriel said...

@Roughcoat:By the time most people reach the age of 25 they've had the flu several times. Many times, actually.

The hell you say. People get sick with what they CALL flu. How many of them actually had it? No one really knows but it's only between 5 and 20% per year who actually get it: the uncertainty due to the small number actually tested for it. At 5% incidence most people (64%) are not going to have it more than once by the age of 25

Fabi said...

As fine a guitar player as has ever lived. Full stop.

rhhardin said...

If he didn't matter to you, maybe there are other posts where you can find things that do matter to you.

What if music matters to you?

Was Prince a 3-chord guy or a 5-chord guy?

David said...

Way too young. Not being an aficionado, when I first heard of him I did not realize that he was such a small man physically. That greatly surprised me. Big talent though. And dignity. Somehow he took all that flamboyance and made it tasteful and dignified.

rhhardin said...

Celebrity or music, which matters here?

rhhardin said...

The news is playing snippets. It's aggressively awful. Maybe he has good moves.

Fabi said...

Eat shit, rhhardin.

Gabriel said...

@David: I first heard of him I did not realize that he was such a small man physically.

What does it say on autographed 8" x 10" photos of Prince? Actual size.

What, too soon?

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
I've heard of him, via his name, but could not say a thing he's done.


Just to be fair, from "List of best-selling music artists", I can say the same about Michael Jackson, Madonna, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, AC/DC, Whitney Houston, ABBA, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Eminem, Billy Joel, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Jay Z, Adele, Bruno Mars, Lil Wayne, Britney Spears, George Strait, Backstreet Boys ... (in order of # records sold). I know I've heard at least one song by Michael Jackson and Madonna and probably others, but they weren't memorable or even worth listening to all the way to the end.

Then there are (fairly unpopular) songs you can't forget and want to listen to over and over - Now listen, people, everybody say they don't like the blues

rhhardin said...

Sheryl Crow performing My Favorite Mistake with Eric Clapton, her ex-lover, was good.

Musically, rhythmically and relationshipwise.

You've got to judge them as they come.

rhhardin said...

Imus says that even people who perform bluegrass hate bluegrass.

rhhardin said...

My preference is for abrupt internal key changes, if they work out the voice leading smoothly.

mgarbowski said...

I loved that he excelled at so many varieties of popular music: funk, pop, r&b, ballads, hard rock, dance. I love how he sometimes mixed them in one song in ways you never expected. I love how when he performed pure rock nobody even considered pigeonholing him as an oddity, the black rock star. I loved his generosity in sharing his stage with his friends, putting them in his movies and helping to launch other careers: Morris Day and the Time, Sheena Easton, Sheila E., Jimmy Jam, Vanity, Appolonia, Tevin Campbell, Carmen ELectra, and others.

Steve Uhr said...

He was two weeks older than me. When I felt old I could think of him.

Steve Uhr said...

Rhhardin. -- assuming you have friends (a big assumption I admit), some of them may have cared a lot for him and his music. Does that matter to you? Your attitude is inappropriate and unbecoming.

Robert Cook said...

"By the time most people reach the age of 25 they've had the flu several times. Many times, actually. In my case, e.g., just about once a year every year of my life."

Are you sure you're not confusing the flu with a common cold or some other similar ailment? I have never had the flu in my life, and, as far as I know, most of the people I know have never had the flu.

As far as flu shots go, I never get them; there are many strains of flu out there, and the flu shots they give each year vaccinates against only one strain, whichever strain is expected to be the most prevalent in the upcoming a year, (always just an educated guess). As even my doctor admits, if you get a flu shot and are infected with another strain, you'll get the flu anyway. I think they promote these annual flu shots merely as an attempt to mitigate unnecessary deaths among infants and young children and older people whose immune systems are weak.

Robert Cook said...

"...I think he was a Wisconsinite...."

Prince was a Minnesotan.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The New Girl: Nick & Jess Meet Prince

BudBrown said...

My grandmom's sister was an army nurse died of the flu in 1918.
Cause of death tho listed as pneumonia. Maybe part of the age disparity
is because a lot of soldiers got it.

Thing I had with Prince is the name thing. I mean, pleeze. But I remember
liking his stuff in the early 80s. Then not much til the superbowl... wow,
he was good.

JaimeRoberto said...

He's one of the few artists I would pay big money to see. Him and Bowie. I missed out on Bowie. Thankfully I saw Prince just last month, and he was awesome. Too soon.

David said...

"Prince was a Minnesotan."

The Minnies had Prince and we have Weird Al Yankovic. For once Minnesota won. But only because Les Paul is dead now.

Robert Cook said...

"Thing I had with Prince is the name thing. I mean, pleeze."

That was his given name, not an affectation, just as Madonna is Madonna's given name.

BudBrown said...

And jimi Hendrix would only be 73 if he'd lived.

rcommal said...

I've been playing our (extensive) collection of Prince's work this afternoon in tribute and in memorium. He's a contemporary, and honestly I can't figure out if I feel old or young just now.

And why are people talking about drugs? Unless something's changed really recently, Prince has been the n quite a different path and for a very long time. For pete's sake!

Francesco Antognini said...

Prince was simply the greatest talent in modern pop music. As a songwriter, as a guitar player.

I am 52 he has been in my playlist since the 1999 single. That
was in 1982: I was not even 20.
When it seemed that his talent had hit a wall he always came back with something else. Cream with New power generation being an example.
In the last ten years I somehow lost track of him, but every now and then I still listen to his old and newer stuff.

He was so great that he even has something for law professors: his fight against warner music (I think) to keep his name Prince was quite an achievement.

Unknown said...

He did an SNL appearance about 10 years ago that I caught by chance. The song was pretty good but he was playing a guitar solo, and, as a guitar player myself, it was the only time I've actually said "wow" out loud when watching a guitarist play on TV.

I've tried a few times to hunt down the performance, but only half-heartedly. I'd hate to see it again only to realize it was just a great guitar solo rather than transcendent.

There are lots of technically great players and a fair number who marry technique with signature style. But very, very few can do something that make you rethink an instrument you know pretty well. Prince certainly had that talent.

FWIW, my favorite guitar solo ever remains Andy Cohen's ranging solo in Silkworm's "Grotto of Miracles" (no, not that Andy Cohen). In reference to what I wrote above, Cohen's solo is neither technically good nor especially stylistic, but I was raised in the era that approached art as indifferent ugliness.

Sharkcutie said...

I have been sad at the loss of some of the greats but Prince's death today makes me teary as did Robin William's death. I cannot say why. I am listening to 1999 right now and will soon go to this link http://v6.player.abacast.net/2098 to listen to all of his other music.

rhhardin said...

Rhhardin. -- assuming you have friends (a big assumption I admit), some of them may have cared a lot for him and his music. Does that matter to you? Your attitude is inappropriate and unbecoming.

Cared for Prince how? Is it a celebrity thing? Like the woman at Chock full o' Nuts Jean Shepherd described lamenting the romantic misfortunes of Liz Taylor? Not positively described, either. No life, was more or less the tone.

As for music, we have a serious divide here, I'd say.

Maybe separate the two aspects, have a music review event and a celebrity death event.

If they merge, like the Angel and the Lamp in Maldoror, what's going on?

Birches said...

ARM,lol. That was a good laugh.

"Raspberry Beret" was my favorite Prince song. So good.

rhhardin said...

I played lute (more or less a 12 string guitar with a slightly altered tuning) so can recognize what would be good classical technique. No popular guitarist is anywhere close.

Lots more than 5 chords too.

Somebody has to explain to me the function of loud and overmodulated in music.

rcommal said...

I really, really enjoy Prince's own versions of Nothing Compares 2 U, which he wrote but originally became famous due to Sinead O'Connor. I wonder how many people remember that it's really his?

Birches said...

Just watched the YouTube video. Why is such a little man so sexy? And holy cow, Dhabi Harrison is the spitting image of his father. Where was Clapton?

rhhardin said...

As a kid doing homework, I'd play Monteverdi's Orfeo, not because I liked opera - I don't - but because there were a half dozen spots where it was really good, in the interludes.

I judge romantic comedies the same way - how good is the best moment.

coupe said...

rhhardin said...Somebody has to explain to me the function of loud and overmodulated in music.

I could explain it, but you'd have to pay me $250 for the course.

Matt said...

Very sad. Too young. Great musician and performer. Check the comments on Metafilter. Lot's of emotion and memories.

[Let me add, why is it so predictable that some right wing conservatives always have disparaging things to say about rock musicians when they die? If you really think Prince had no musical talent and that he merely made noise with a guitar then you have absolutely no sense of music at all and must certainly hate music. Period.]

Rumpletweezer said...

Being 61 myself, I find myself saying "He was only [57 or 63 or 65]" a lot lately when somebody has died.

Coconuss Network said...

A full moon in Germany tonight for Prince.

rcommal said...

Birches:

Hah! As I read your 3:06 comment, Prince's "Sexy M.F." came up in our playlist. : )

Such a hot horn section on that track, btw ...

Robert Cook said...

rhhardin:

Okay, everyone gets that you're quite erudite about classical music, and that the charms of crude, loud, simple pop music elude you. But what's the point of belaboring that here? If he is nothing to you at all, why comment?

(I think Prince was very talented--not a genius, as few ever are, though many are hailed as such--but very talented. I wasn't a fan, as such, in that I didn't pay a lot of attention to what he was doing most of the time, but I owned a couple of his albums and I enjoyed many of his popular hits.)

Yancey Ward said...

I wanna party like it was 2015.

Paul Snively said...

Another nice bit by Prince. It doesn't get much more 80s than this.

rehajm said...

Made more people move than James Brown.

Bigger than genres.

The chicks with guitar licks.

Bigger than politics.

That 'aint Lake Minnetonka.

Bigger than names.

You don't have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude.

rcommal said...

While not a Troll, rhhardin is just trolling today. Everyone needs a hobby now and then... .

Yancey Ward said...

The initial reports that it was the flu sort of hit me- in just the last day I had read two comments on other sites about people who had been hospitalized for over a week with a particularly virulent strain of the flu, neither of whom were all that old.

Laslo Spatula said...

I did this piece just a month ago, when I figured the man was going to be around for decades.
Prince's Autobiography: an Outline.

From an Althouse post about Prince writing his life story.

R.I.P.

I am Laslo.

Bob Boyd said...

"Somebody has to explain to me the function of loud and overmodulated in music."

When the girls stopped throwing their panties to lute players, it was evolve or perish.

Paul Snively said...

BTW, while I was struck by Prince's solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," it was Dhani Harrison's obvious delight with it that brought tears to my eyes.

Bob Boyd said...

@ Paul Snively

I saw that. Delighted is the right word, at the virtuosity and Prince's showmanship.
I loved the guitar toss at the end.

Widmerpool said...

So sad. My age too. A personal playlist:

Lady Cab Driver
Pop Life
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
I Wanna Be Your Lover
1999
If I Was Your Girlfriend
Little Red Corvette
I Could Never Take the Place of You
When Doves Cry
Let's Go Crazy
Purple Rain
I Would Die 4 You
Raspberry Beret
Kiss
Sign O' The Times
International Lover
Irresistible Bitch
U Got The Look
Alphabet Street
Thieves in the Temple
Gett Off
Cream
Diamonds and Pearls
Money Don't Matter 2 Night

Mary Beth said...

Many more younger people who got sick died; older people and the elderly tended to get well.

If you graphed it, instead of a U-shaped line that shows a high number of deaths among the young and old with more survivors in the middle, it had a W-shaped line because it was also killing adults between 20 and 40.

There's a YouTube Yale Courses series on epidemics with a lecture on the flu. (Skip to around 24 minutes for the 1918 epidemic.) This page also has a link to the transcript, if you would prefer to read it.

Smilin' Jack said...

My girlfriend knew him personally. Many years ago she had some serious (and expensive) health problems, and he was very generous in helping her out.

Somebody has to explain to me the function of loud and overmodulated in music.

It keeps people like you away.

Sebastian said...

rhhardin type here. So (apologies), not having heard any of the guy's music as far as I know, if I wanted to understand why some people consider him a good musician and why this is such a sad day, what are the 2 or 3 best pieces I should sample?

Lem said...

Governor Walker is causing some waves for quoting Prince...

Link

MayBee said...

I picture myself ironing a shirt at the end of the hall in my sorority house, as my friends played "Delirious" over and over on their record album.
He was the soundtrack to getting ready for parties. We saw Purple Rain over and over. He was such a big part of my college days.
We loved him.

MayBee said...

Sebastian- my favorites are Delirious and Purple Rain. A lot of people like "When Doves Cry"

But surely you've heard "But tonight we're going to party like it's 1999", a line from 1999. That's his creation and it worked its way into our lexicon.

sunsong said...

Such a great loss. Rest in peace dear Prince.

traditionalguy said...

This man had a great sensitivity, that he could express using a brilliant mind. Nothing so special if you are the one born on this earth with it.

His talent became the best argument against abortion ever seen.

rhhardin said...

Lute players do okay with babes.

rhhardin said...

rhhardin:

Okay, everyone gets that you're quite erudite about classical music, and that the charms of crude, loud, simple pop music elude you. But what's the point of belaboring that here? If he is nothing to you at all, why comment?


Is it a celebrity post or a music post?

As for erudite, it's just liking. If needed, I can explain this or that about this or that piece that's particulary good because that's what I hear.

I've always been able to play by ear including harmonies. There's nothing to play by ear in this genre as far as I can tell.

Birches said...

Seb, "Little Red Corvette"

Bob Boyd said...

"Lute players do okay with babes."

"Please, young people ... rh has left the building. He has gotten in his car and driven away ... Please take your seats"

rcommal said...

I like this quote of Prince's, from a 1994 Rolling Stone interview but reprinted in today's Washington Post obituary:

"People think I’m a crazy fool for writing ‘slave’ on my face,” he told Rolling Stone in 1996. “But if I can’t do what I want to do, what am I? When you stop a man from dreaming, he becomes a slave. That’s where I was. I don’t own Prince’s music. If you don’t own your masters, your master owns you.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/04/21/authorities-investigating-death-at-princes-paisley-park/

Anthony said...

Well, he wasn't my cup of tea, but it;s always sad when someone dies that young. I was in Madison at the time 1999 came out and have memories of dancing to it at The Bottom Line which was over by The Plaza. I remember thinking 199 was sooooo far away.

Anyway, Influenza: See here:
"In summary, we hypothesize that mortality risk after infection with the 1918 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) strain depended on the number, nature, and diversity of prior infections with influenza virus and respiratory bacteria. Specifically, mortality rates during the lethal second wave were highest among persons with prior exposures to heterosubtypic influenza strains that enhanced immunopathogenic effects when a person was infected with the 1918 pandemic strain and had limited exposures to other respiratory infectious agents. In such persons, infection with the pandemic strain caused high viral loads, dysregulated and pathogenic cell mediated immune responses, and transient increases in susceptibility to invasive bacterial infections. If such influenza virus–infected hosts were subsequently exposed to bacterial strains to which they had no protective antibodies, they were at high risk of acquiring life-threatening secondary bacterial pneumonia."

That's the scenario I currently favor. But flu is a tough disease anyway. I suspect he had something else going on.

Tacitus2 said...

Well it is very unlikely to be influenza. There is effective surveillance for that and incidence of it peaked months ago. People use the term "flu" to cover damned near anything.

Influenza btw is a viral illness but that was not known in 1919. They examined the lungs of people who died of it and saw bacteria (named hemophilus influenzae) but these were secondary infections not the primary cause.

This could turn out to be lots of different things. In addition to the various life style related stuff that seems more prevalent among musicians you could have a range of infectious disease. Sepsis (meningococcemia or various flavors of strep) is uncommon but not unheard of. If there was a potential cardiac scare recently I would put the money on pulmonary embolism which is common and very easy to miss. Or outside chance of viral myocarditis. Or heck, a plain old heart attack. Back in my ER days folks coming in with that also all insisted it was "the flu".

Tacitus MD

Roughcoat said...

Back to the topic of the flu:

How do you know when you have the flu and not just a very bad cold? Or vice-versa. Every time I see seen my doctor when I'm very sick, and I ask him if I have the flu, he always says, "Uh, I dunno."

I get the blood tests and all, but no diagnosis is made. If that's the case, generally with everyone, how do we know that most of the times we think we have the flu, we don't?

MadisonMan said...

Seb, the first side of the 1999 LP. Contains 1999, Little Red Corvette, and Delirious.

I also like I Would Die 4 You.

Seen elsewhere: Prince died on Queen's Birthday.

Sydney said...

I always thought of Michael Jackson as a pale imitation of him. (Not intended as a racial or complexion comment. Prince had the talent. Jackson got all the adulation.)

Roughcoat said...

it had a W-shaped line because it was also killing adults between 20 and 40.

That's exactly the point I made. Read my posts again.

MayBee said...

I also really like I Would Die 4 You.

Sounds romantic, I suspect it is religious. I cool song that works either way.

Sebastian said...

Thanks, MM, MB. Will listen. We should have a real discussion about this sort of thing sometime. De gustibus disputandum est -- I mean, what else are we gonna argue about? Whether a man can be a woman? Nah, get outta here.

Titus said...

I loved 1999. I was the only kid in my high school who liked him and was teased for it, natch.

They liked Def Leopard.

I was like 15 and going to The New Bar in Madison and danced to all his shit, good times.

So sad and so young....

When Jamie Foxx did standup he did this part about how it was hard, even for a straight guy, not to want Prince's little ass.

Tacitus2 said...

Roughcoat

Influenza is primarily diagnosed with a nasal swab of respiratory secretions. The test is fast and pretty accurate but does have false positives and negatives. That's why knowing the incidence in the community is important. Negative test with classic symptoms at the height of the annual epidemic...and family members confirmed positive....your test is a false negative. Inconsistent symptoms in mid summer? Your positive test (why'd ya do it anyway?) is a false positive.
There are not "antibiotics" for influenza but the antiviral meds help a little. They maybe shave one day and 20% of the misery off IF you start them within around 48 hrs since onset of symptoms. And of course try and get a doctor's appointment in that time frame during influenza season.

There are lots of other generic viral illnesses that we don't try to nail down specifically because there are not rapid tests available. Doing a viral culture that comes back in two weeks is not generally useful.

Tacitus

Ron Snyder said...

He was a self-centered punk that exemplified the degradation of pop music. Glad he is gone.

FWBuff said...

Such sad news! What a great artist and musician! He blew through the waning days of dreary disco like a hurricane and brought in new energy, rhythm, and sound to music. He had a harder, sexier edge and more versatility than his contemporary, Michael Jackson. I also respect that he preserved his privacy and mystery by letting his music speak for itself and himself.

Freeman Hunt said...

How do you know when you have the flu and not just a very bad cold? Or vice-versa. Every time I see seen my doctor when I'm very sick, and I ask him if I have the flu, he always says, "Uh, I dunno."

I get the blood tests and all, but no diagnosis is made. If that's the case, generally with everyone, how do we know that most of the times we think we have the flu, we don't?


Where I live it seems like all the doctors do a flu test if the symptoms warrant it. If the test comes back positive, and the onset of symptoms was within the time window, they prescribe an antiviral.

Freeman Hunt said...

We're going to watch Purple Rain tonight.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Tacitus2 said...

Negative test with classic symptoms at the height of the annual epidemic...and family members confirmed positive....your test is a false negative. Inconsistent symptoms in mid summer? Your positive test (why'd ya do it anyway?) is a false positive.

So if you know which are true positives and negatives, and which are false, why are you bothering to do the test?

Lem said...

@HarveyLevinTMZ says he doesn't believe the Prince flu story. Says he is putting up what is likely the real story up on the site.

CarolMR said...

"@HarveyLevinTMZ says he doesn't believe the Prince flu story. Says he is putting up what is likely the real story up on the site." - Lem

I just saw Levin on Greta's show on FOX and later on CNN. He kept saying he's not ready to put up the real story just yet. Intriguing.

Matt said...

rhhardin
Sebastian

Prince songs worth your consideration:
Purple Rain
Kiss
Raspberry Beret
When Doves Cry
Little Red Corvette

These just scratch the surface of his output but they are genuine hits. I guess some people may not like them...? But the songs are pretty easy to like as they have a universal appeal and have been on standard radio play for years. Many people who don't own Prince records know these songs.

Fabi said...

Sebastian -- please watch the link upthread of Prince playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". His solo starts at about 3:30.

Rob McLean said...

Prince was a very talented writer and performer of popular songs, but he was hardly a Mozart. Talent is too often today equated with genius, but even great talent almost always falls short of genius.

The word "genius" is so overused these days that the mere mention of the word always get a quick eye-roll. But for Prince, it fits. Imagine if Frank Sinatra could also write songs like Irving Berlin and play guitar like Les Paul, and you've about got him.

I'd like to hear from people who genuinely loved him and his music.

I did. I have every damn song the man ever did. I'm listening to them right now.

I'm still in shock, really.

harrogate said...

The record _Purple Rain_ blew me away when it first came out, and all these years later, the guitar solo in "Computer Blue" still freezes me.

But there are so many songs, so many great Prince records and performances. Y'all have said it better than I can. Thanks for the great thread, sharing memories and such.

Roughcoat said...

Thanks to all concerned for your posts re influenza. Very interesting.

Roughcoat said...

I liked Prince. But I like Jimi Hendrix and Cream even more. Because I'm old, I guess.

I still think Hendrix and Cream-era Clapton were more impressive than Prince as ax-men. Because I'm old, I guess.

But even so, I did like Prince.

CarolMR said...

TMZ is now reporting that Prince was treated for a drug overdose just 6 days ago.

Roughcoat said...

Actually, Randy California was an awesome guitar player/soloist. Peter Frampton is too. Many, many other names come to mind. There are lots of terrific guitarist populating the history of rock, guys capable of playing blisteringly hot and technically proficient guitar solos. Prince was one of them.

Tacitus2 said...


"So if you know which are true positives and negatives, and which are false, why are you bothering to do the test?"

An excellent point. Never do a test that makes you dumber not smarter. There is a time to say "sounds like influenza, treat it". And a time to decline to do a test that you are being pressured to do. The latter is more difficult.

Of course most of the time the test result is in fact telling you the truth.

Tacitus

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Tacitus2 said...

Of course most of the time the test result is in fact telling you the truth.

Yeah, I was half joking. I suspect the best reason to do the test is so that the healthcare community has the statistics to know when they are dealing with an epidemic. Most tests results are correct, but that fact doesn't help you unless you are running the tests.

BN said...

Prince, Michael Jackson, and Madonna are (were) the same age. One is still alive.

And people wonder why I'm a pessimist.

EMD said...

There are lots of terrific guitarist populating the history of rock, guys capable of playing blisteringly hot and technically proficient guitar solos. Prince was one of them.

Prince was a much more prolific composer and entertainer than most of those people. Also more talented in a complete sense.

He was a one-of-a-kind.

madAsHell said...

I had never seen the George Harrison tribute with Prince playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Although I was never a fan, he can sure pull sound out of a guitar like Beck, or Hendrix.....and what a showman!! I love the flipping-the-guitar-into-the-crowd, and then walking off. The show is over.

Laslo Spatula said...

People, people.

Be patient. We have to find out his cause of death to judge his music talents properly.

If he died from an inflamed Mozart Gland then we know. Something. I think.

i am Laslo.

Michael K said...

Last word I've seen is a drug overdose. Unexpectedly !

Laslo Spatula said...

Headline:

Prince Dead. Cruz Takes His Delegates.

I am Laslo.

Fabi said...

Thanks for your 8:27, Laslo -- my first laugh since I heard the bad news.

FullMoon said...

Obviously way more important artist than I realized.
Sadness is, no opportunity for fresh stuff from him.

And, of course, fans just lost another part of their youth.

Donald Douglas said...

I saw Prince open for the Rolling Stones at the L.A. Colosseum, in 1980. I was about 19 years old. Fans threw bottles at Prince. It was before he broke into the big leagues. I cried when I saw his movie "Purple Rain," because the abuse reminded me of my father's abuse. Other than that, I'm not that big of a fan, but no doubt it's kind of shocking he died, at just 57 years old. You never know when you're going to go.

FullMoon said...

Drug OD? Please, Say it ain't so !

Moderation, is my motto.

traditionalguy said...

The saddest part of Prince's early death is realizing that this combination of talents in a 5'2'' male independent persona is just irreplaceable.

Although many try to imitate him, none comes close.

chickelit said...

I celebrate him as the crown prince of his contemporaries: The Replacements and Husker Du. May they all three live on!

Curious George said...

Never was a fan. But sad to see someone so young pass. Drugs? Damn.

EMD said...

Drugs? Damn.

The only report I've seen on this is TMZ. Not ready to buy in yet.

Michael in ArchDen said...

Apparently, there is, during the media crush of Super Bowl week, a press conference with the halftime act. In 2007 the media was waiting to talk with Prince. He walked out with his band, played a mini-concert for the assembled media, and left without taking a question. Best halftime show ever.

Mary Beth said...

That's exactly the point I made. Read my posts again

You're not my supervisor!

rcommal said...

Perhaps we will find out that Prince died of drugs. That's sad. If they were recreational ones, that would be very disillusioning, given especially his last many years but I will accept that, if that's what the facts bear out, and more fool me for thinking otherwise. There are other possibilities, however. My memory could be faulty, yet I'm still willing to venture a recollection that he's had hip and other joint issues for years (I can relate) exacerbated by all those moves he did for all those years on stage (I can't relate). I also recall some talk about how what he needed was some at least hip-replacement, if not other joint-replacement (knees?), surgery, but this was problematic due to his Jehovah's Witnesses faith, not limited to but perhaps specifically because of the transfusion prohibition, among other issues, related to the practice of that faith by the faithful.

Who knows? I don't.

Maybe we'll find out, but not in an instant.

walter said...

Blogger mgarbowski said...
loved his generosity in sharing his stage with his friends, putting them in his movies and helping to launch other careers: Morris Day and the Time, Sheena Easton, Sheila E., Jimmy Jam, Vanity..
--
Vanity..who died in February...at age 57 too.

Rhhardin, get off this lawn...

For those who want to take the flu seriously and maybe better their odds, investigate the quadrivalent flu vaccine.

That said, the public statement of Prince's reps didn't seem to mention the flu or any recent illness...odd at minimum.

walter said...

Blogger Rick said...
don't fall for the doctor's subtle pressure that it's nothing and you're a hypochondriac.
--
It has been "reported" that the emergency landing hospital docs wanted him to stay longer than he was willing. But..way too early to accept any info at face value..especially given who he was.

walter said...

I found it interesting that he remained in "flyover land" the whole time. And his last drummer was Hannah Ford..a Chicago gal with tremendous chops...played previously with Milwaukee's Michael Sean/Bellevue Suite.

walter said...

Oh..there are supposedly images of him pacing in a near to home Walgreen's hours before his death.

Martha said...

Reporting now that Prince died of a drug overdose. The emergency landing 6 days ago was for a "save shot" for a drug overdose—not the flu.

Michael K said...

Heroin and music seems to be a combination. Gene Krupa, who my parents knew well, was an addict in the 1930s.

walter said...

Reporting at this stage is often shit..

walter said...

Dunno..was Krupa like Prince? JW recruiting an explicitly devout Christian drummer?
Eh...I'm waiting out the speculation for a month or so.

Howard said...

Mike K: Doctors and Oxy are a much bigger combination for opiate addiction. A lot of athletic adolescents get hooked on opiates after docs repeatedly proscribed Vicodin or percocet. There was a rumor that Prince refused a double hip replacement because of the Jehovah Witness prohibition on blood transfusions. Perhaps his solution for grinding hip pain was oxy from Walgreens. Given his tiny stature, he seems to be a candidate for shallow acetabula displasia. If true, it's too bad. Could have done the old cell-saver.

Prince was always my go-to example of an artist and businessman I always had the utmost respect for, but didn't care for his work. The Weeping guitar did not change my opinion, I just don't get it. My bad.

Just saw the dude at a Golden State Warrior game last month. He looked like a little Jewish guy that would live forever.

Very sad day for his friends and fans.

walter said...

"rumor that Prince refused a double hip replacement because of the Jehovah Witness prohibition on blood transfusions."

Even in Madison, facilities to avoid that issue.if I understand correctly. (Meriter)

walter said...

https://www.unitypoint.org/madison/services-general-surgery.aspx
Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program

Meriter developed Wisconsin's first coordinated Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program. Some patients choose bloodless medicine and surgery programs because of deeply held religious beliefs. An increasing number of individuals are choosing such programs to reduce the any risk of blood-borne illnesses, such as hepatitis or HIV infection, or other adverse reactions.

We honor your choice throughout your stay. Our skilled team of physicians, surgeons, nurses, technical and support staff is committed to meeting the needs of patients who choose blood conservation and bloodless care.

coupe said...

In the movie Unforgiven, the prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald tells the recovering William Munny of her associates "advancing favors" on anticipation of work being done for them. Said work being the assassination of two cowboys.

Which pretty much describes the recording industry in one act.

These gifted musicians and poets are as astute in business as many great doctors who find that they couldn't manage a lemonade stand if their life depended on it.

So, along comes someone who says "not to worry" we will pay for the studio time, we will pay for the clothes and cars, and motorcycles, and pharmaceuticals.

Then finally, in the end, there you are an old man with a scraggly beard, beat to crap, getting off the tour bus and recovering in a place without a toilet or running water, when a prostitute suggests all you need is another favor.

Get in the elevator and keep pressing up, but it will take you down. Down, down, down"

911 woman caller: "Does anyone know the address of this place?"

Sad. Really sad. Maybe she wanted to give him another advance.

Now some pathologist will be measuring the weight of his brain, and photographing the finger with the broken nail and embedded plastic, which are the remains of the up button.

Barbara said...

Apologies for not addressing the death of Prince, but I'm of the wrong generation for his music. I'm butting in just to recommend Gina Kolata's "Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918," which is absolutely compelling and will answer most of the questions posed here. It reads like a thriller -- long book, but I couldn't stop myself from staying up half the night to get through it in two days. My grandmother's little brother died from that influenza on his 18th birthday, and the stories surrounding his death -- he had an argument with his father who told him to accede to the old man's wishes or leave home, so he left home and caught the flu on the train out of town -- are to this day discussed at family gatherings.

walter said...

Have we progressed since 1918?

rcommal said...

Have we progressed since 1918?

What a silly question, because, of course, the obvious answer to that sort of thing is this:

Yes and No.

walter said...

Yes and no is far from "silly".

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