1. Prince was undeniable. It doesn't matter if you like his music or not, he owned a stage. He was undeniably outstanding in his work. I think about that so much. I think about how, more than anything, I want to be undeniable. Like many, I've been watching Prince videos since last week. I've been listening to Prince stories and smiling in recognition of how truly gifted he was. The clothes were crazy, the songs were fearless, he was present in the moment during his performances. Prince was just being Prince so none of it looked like a show. It all looked real and authentic. There are other performers who rely on the clothes and the stage and the theatrics to make themselves bigger. In spite of the weirdness, Prince shined through as an artist and we forgot about how crazy the clothes looked or how insane the song was. We loved it and took it in as natural because Prince, the man, was so flippin' real even in the ruffles and velvet and high-heeled boots. Those weren't props, those were just him.
Being undeniable might just be my goal. That might just be the boldest thing I've ever written. Ya know, I'm gunnin' for the next CD and the next gig and trying to make progress, but really, the goal is to be undeniable. I don't want to be "good for a girl" or "She's OK for living in the middle of nowhere." I want to get up on that stage and be undeniable whether or not you like my songs. That's the goal. I wrote this new song yesterday (that I didn't write down, cuz why?) and my favorite line in it is, "The world doesn't need another B grade CD." I'm so proud of that line. And I think it's true. Undeniable. Think about it. That's what Prince was.
2. Prince's death is a loss of something that we can't get back. We felt it with so many people who've passed away lately- Merle Haggard, David Bowie, now Prince. I'm afraid the time for those kind of artists might be gone forever simply because we never have to be alone in our rooms anymore. Those guys became amazing because they spent hours by themselves. They used the music and the quiet and the desperation of loneliness or the need to find their own world in order to create something new.
We never have to be alone with our thoughts or our loneliness anymore because we can numb it all with our smart phones and video games and television streaming services. I don't think we're ever going to get those guys back again because new artists, myself included, are but a shadow of what they were. If quiet and desperation can be muted by clicks and swipes, then so can the space needed for creation. Watch a Prince video, then pick 5 artists who are big right now and match them up. They don't hold a candle to him. They are phonies and part of it is because we like our artists disposable and interchangeable and part of it is because they didn't grow out of the kind of ground from which Prince or Bowie or Cash or Haggard grew. So sad.
It's sad because Prince was young and belonged to me and my generation. And he had something that is hard to come by and now it's gone. So maybe, in response to his passing, we give the phones a rest and pick up a pen instead. We dig deeper than we want to, we feel more than feels good and we practice it fearlessly. Otherwise, we'll forget how to do it altogether as the years go by.