Thursday, 21 April 2016

Prince | SMC Editor's Personal Tribute and Farewell to an Epic Era in Music History

by CA Marshall

I could not write this two days from now when my heart settles down from the shock. I have to write this in the moment while I feel it because I know that the world will feel it with me. I write from the depths of my soul and from experience here....and I know I can't write it later. It has to be now.

Today, Prince has died. 

and even as I sit here writing this, hot tears are rolling down my cheek. This was a man who made the ups and downs of my teenage years very bearable. Without going into it too deeply, let's just say that being an empath and witnessing many of my high school friends pass away way too young by suicide (at least 4), cancer, and motorcycle accidents, tragedy was nothing new to me but it always impacted me greatly, Heartache was always fresh and I absorbed so much at such a young age that no one should ever have to. So it became that music was always my escape and it was a trait I adopted by my parents who listened to the classics: The Beatles, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Mamas and the Papas, list goes on...until the late 70's and 80's when bands or Artists like The Smiths, New Order, Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, and Madonna began making their mark in my music catalogue aka: my memory bank. The music of the day was with me during the loss of so many, too many, too young because the songs were written with thought and intention and they brought me to a place of peace in my heart. 

For me, one of the greatest Artists of that time was Prince. 

It is his earlier work that brings back the best of memories and for me, the Purple Rain album was resonated with me through a time where I felt very fragile and uncertain in life. Prince had that quality vibe similar to the aforementioned Artists: and unlike my friends who were slipping away so rapidly, you always knew their music was going to be there and you never imagined them not being on this earth. So for me, today, when I say goodbye to this Music Icon, I am also saying goodbye to an era that, for me, truly was magic.

Life has been so fragile since the start of this year, that it's becoming increasingly painful to wake up each day and read a headline informing me that yet another one of my childhood Music icon's has left this world. I know this is par for the course: we are born, we live and we die. I accept that. But as one of my friends said to me once, 'That dash, that in between life and death stage, that's what we need to make count because we are never really truly prepared for the end.'

We realize our own mortality when this happens (the end)...think of it: for any one of us who 'grew up' influenced in some way by these magical human beings you have probably played their songs on the turntable when you were happy, sad. mad, excited, depressed...(pick an emotion, pick a memory). Back in the day, the only way to listen to their music was to sit by the record player or in the car commuting. We intentionally had to sit and be present to be listening, and it was our experiences that lead us to the turntable too. We listened to hear not to interpret but to allow ourselves to be immersed body and soul into what it was we were hearing and relate it to whatever was happening in our own world at that moment. There were no iPods, Tablets, Smart Phones (only the wealthier families had the Walkman's back then, the majority of us had radio and the turntable. I didn't get one until I was at least 14) so suffice to say, music 'on the go' wasn't as readily available to us like it is now. I am happy for that. There was no such thing as listening to music and multi-tasking. You absorbed. In addition to having to sit and listen, we had to go out and purchase the cassette tape or album with intention and not 'rip it off' for free. Music was valued and we saved our allowances up for that new album and when we got it, it was gold. This is the reason why I became so attached to the music of that era. 

If you, like me, are one of the lucky ones who grow up in the 80's or earlier, you can appreciate what I am about to say next: Our time is now. Our time was then. We don't know when 'Our Time' will be going forward so it goes without saying that we need to live in the moment and be grateful for the little things, circumstances, and events that bring out the best in us always and cherish them. Live with intention. Live with Purpose. Marry that person you said you would. Apologize for the mistakes you made, Forgive someone for theirs. Walk your dog. Smell the flowers. Whatever it is that floats your boat. 

For me, for today, it's sitting down and listening, really listening to the music and being nostalgic. That's my today, my moment. I think you all know what I'll be spinning on the turntable.....

Rest in Peace sir, and thank you for leaving us with your Magic.

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