Friday, April 22, 2016

Chicago Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta pitches a no-hitter against the Reds. Best no-hitter since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

Blackhawks beat the Blues in 2 OT. Craw-daddy was a baddy, but Kaner was insaner. 

Guess who they considered replacing Michael Strahan with on “Live with Kelly and Michael”? Kobe Bryant. Did not work. Kobe could not pass the audition because he can’t pass anything.

Harriott Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20. When informed an abolitionist would appear on the $20, Donald Trump asked, “Why put someone from Abolitiona on our money? We should put an American on it.” 

When informed an abolitionist would appear on the $20, Sarah Palin asked, “Are abolitionists the ones who wear the turbans or the scarves?” 

A True Prince

How rare is it when god reaches down and kisses someone with the five gifts of singing, playing, writing, recording and performing. Each one is their own art form. The five-tool club, like in baseball, is elite: Springsteen, Hendrix, Elton, Bowie. 

But it is possible to argue nobody had more of all five of those gifts than David Bowie or Prince. (Did Michael Jackson play an instrument?  My favorite artist, Clapton, is electrifying on guitar and singing, but a gifted performer? Jagger is a talented harmonica player but not in the league of Stevie Wonder, Junior Wells or Little Walter. Love Keith Richards. But singing? Sinatra did not compose nor play an instrument. Neither did Elvis (strumming a guitar does not count) nor Janis) 

Not to be swept away with the tide of mourning, was Prince one of my all-time favorites like the Stones, Clapton, the Beatles, Hendrix, the Who,  Junior Wells, Led Zeppelin, Little Walter, the Allman Brothers,  Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Eagles? No. Maybe because he was my age. 

Yes, I liked his hit songs as much as anyone, but they were pop/ dance tunes and he did a lot of silly image stuff. The whispering, the pimp outfits, the Manson-like groupies. And especially - although now we know the noble contractual reason behind it - the unpronounceable symbol was way up there in space cadet land. 

No matter how gifted, when artists wear wild costumes and have giant dance routines and theatrics, like Michael Jackson, Kiss and Madonna, it undercuts their rock and roll credibility. But in our dinner game of Legends/Great/Everyone else, I always had Prince as a legend. Because he was a legend. His pure talent was a head above everyone else. I.e. legendary.

If there is one rub on Prince's music, it is he never had a huge hit "Layla", "Hotel California," "Jumping Jack Flash," "Help." "Purple Rain" was great, but it wasn't even the best song with the word purple in it. "Purple Haze." And yet just about all of Prince's songs were hits to a fairly good extent. And also hits for other people, Sinead O'Connor, Stevie Nicks and the Bangles just to name three. 

What makes Prince so amazing his is refusal to fall into any category.  Pop? Rock? Funk? Dance? R&B? Psychedelia?  

No. He was Prince.

It is heartwarming to see how much we love our performers and are so deeply moved when they pass. It gives me solace to know the artists knew, when they died, their music would live on.  

So far, the details of the reasons for Prince’s passing are not worthy of his ethereal talents and accomplishments. 

It is striking to me how many legendary performers had countless millions of loving fans and yet almost no close friends to save them from themselves. Elvis, Jimi, Marilyn Monroe, Cobain, Jim Morrison, Janis, Michael and Amy Winehouse. 

Of Johnny Carson it was said he was only truly happy and comfortable in front of millions of people. In front of ten people, he was utterly miserable. 

Now, according to recent accounts, we can describe Prince like that. 

But unlike the other tragic casualties, there is no reason to feel sorry for Prince. Yes, he passed way too soon. However, Prince, like Sinatra sang,  truly did it his way. And he will be loved through his music forever. 

Elvis was the King. And Prince was aptly named. 

"Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight, sweet prince;

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

(Shakespeare, "Hamlet." Act 5, scene 2)