Good-night sweet Prince


price's piano after last show

Prince’s piano and mic after his last public show

              Prince’s last concert in Atlanta,Georgia, summed up his continuing evolution from the young man with his guitar who was everywhere on the stage – to the mature man on the stage with only his piano. He had nothing left to prove, yet this intimate setting did prove, among other things and that was the fact that all he needed was his beautiful music – his extraordinary musicianship,and his fans.  For those who attended – it was a wonderful experience, and as he gave to them, his audience gave back – singing back to him or with him – as they had always done, even when the stage was filled with a band, vocalists and such.  

             Now, since his passing – the refrain of Purple Rain has echoed all over the world inherent within the sadness which words cannot speak – so the world sings its sadness – as if singing to him, for him, about him and at the same time allowing the sadness and love to  escape into the universe itself.  One must know that, for a couple of nights – this big blue ball we call ‘earth’ – turned purple, witnessed by the international outpouring of grief, including the lighting of landmarks bathed in purple light. The musical tributes fill the air with even ‘The Boss’, (Bruce Springsteen),opening his show with a tribute performance of ‘Purple Rain’,Aretha Franklin singing Purple Rain at the White House;Minnesota Wild bathing the arena in purple light, and so much more.Prince-Purple-1984-BIllboard-650

The truth is that it appears as if each individual thought Prince belonged to them alone – for all those times when dancing to his music, or crying to it, when it was just them and Prince, an intimacy was formed between artist and fan that cannot be compared. Perhaps that personal feeling is what each fan carried within their hearts for his fans had nothing to prove either – Prince was theirs and that was just that.  Commencing with the early years, when it took courage to be a fan – when he was such a different and bad boy. But even then, fans refused to abandon him, while and giving a figurative finger to the ‘establishment’ which had initially tried to ostracize him, and remained fans until his dying day, .  Those fans responded to Prince with voices and record purchases which shouted: “Do you! ” And that is exactly what he did. Prince did Prince – and took us all along for the wonderful ride, and we loved it. And, amazingly, as time moved on, the children and grand children and even great-grandchildren of his first fans were added to his fan base – an artist whose reach actually did span generations.

Prince sitting on purple piano

Although we thought that we knew him – stories are now resurfacing about his beautiful and unselfish generosity. Prince in whiteClearly he did not do the things which he did for the approval of others: paying medical bills for those in need, providing financial support for the family of Lauryn Hill family when she went to jail; reaching out to Van Jones when no one would talk to him; financing Malcolm X  for Spike Lee – proving what his fans knew, intuitively, all along: that he had a good heart and that he was kind, caring and wonderful person.

His fans watched his life – and were happy when he was happy and sad when he was sad. The loss of his child was such a private thing – and it is something which no parent ever gets over. But he suffered in silence – not addressing it publicly. And more recently, the death of Vanity – also suffering in silence. And his silence as to his personal suffering said even more about him – no public pity party for Prince.

English: Prince playing at Coachella 2008.

English: Prince playing at Coachella 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prince playing guitar

Prince playing in rain 2007 NFL halftime performance

Although some were critical of his determination to keep his music off of youtube – only now are we learning that it was not about selfishness at all – but his perfectionism. He could not stand the thought of his music being played via inferior quality such as the grainy videos now surfacing online.  And he was very particular about his lyrics being written – but only because so often they were incorrect. During an interview with Tavis Smiley – he referenced a time when his lyrics to the famous opening line of When Doves Cry “Dig if you will, a picture, you and I engaged in a kiss” as having been written by someone as”Dig if you will a picture, me Marvin Gaye and the kids” or another person he knew who thought the words ‘little red corvette’ were: “pay the rent collect” and when he told these stories, even the crew on the Smiley set could be heard laughing in the background. So he was actually protecting his lyrics – not in a selfish way – but in an artistic way. No one would dare view a Micheal Angelo painting and have the audacity to take a brush with paint and add to it – well Prince felt the same about his music.

As this world moves forward without him in it, we are left not only with music, but happy and exciting memories. The shows and performances which could only be described as “lightning in a bottle”  with music flowing from his entire being. Prince did not just create music. Prince did not just perform music. Prince did not just ‘do’ music. Prince was music. And many will now spend their time in the “wreka stow” looking for that music. He will be so very,very much missed by family,friends and fans.

Rest in the peace within which you lived Prince.

We only wanted to see you laughing.

prince face in purple

           “I only wanted to see you laughing.”

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Opinion: Bernie Sander’s Broken Promises

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an effort to win the primary in New York city, Bernie Sanders has apparently abandoned his promise to conduct a campaign based upon issues and to not engage in personal attacks against his opponent, Hillary Clinton. The promise was broken when one of his surrogates, implied that Hillary is a “corporate whore”. His attacks against her appear to be without merit – especially the one which accuses her of somehow being influenced by big money corporations such as Goldman Sachs.  However, during their last debate, when asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to name just one instance in which Hillary Clinton was influenced by big money donations  in any of her decisions while she was in office as senator of Secretary of State, he failed to cite just one. And in response to his inability to do so – Hillary Clinton said: “He can’t – because there isn’t any.”   But he continues to imply that there is something – despite not  having any concrete proof and when asked specifically – he has nothing to say.Hillary and Bernie debate

Now, in yet another attempt to smear her and her campaign, he has falsely accused her of violating election campaign laws – this despite the fact that the money raised at the Clooney dinner is not for Hillary – but for down-ticket Democratic candidates and their campaign.  As Clooney stated – the purpose is to support down -ticket candidates so that Democrats can win back the house – and overturn ‘Citizens United’ and get more liberal justices on the United States Supreme Court. The money does not go to the Hillary Clinton campaign. The facts are that at the onset of both campaigns – both candidates agreed to do this – something which has always been done.  Now he falsely accuses her of violating campaign laws – notably a few days before the New York primary. (No coincidence there.)  This is something which he could have done as well – but has chosen not to – apparently because he is not a Democrat – and something he also agreed to do as a Democratic presidential candidate.  He apparently decided to get in one last smear – despite it being a factual misrepresentation – just in time for the New York primary.

It is said that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Sanders’ campaign is being investigated by the FEC ( Federal Election Committee ) due to donors giving donations over the allowed amount directly to his campaign. There is also the allegation that donations are coming from individuals in other countries who are not American citizens – a clear violation of federal election rules.

Sanders has no problem, apparently, with destroying a party of which he has never been a member. Bringing forth false allegations and other smears by himself as well as his surrogates and supporters all indeed point to Sander’s broken promise to run a clean campaign based solely upon the issues. The integrity of which he and others once boasted is now but a memory, and provides a plausible answer to the question as to  why so many Democrats refuse to support him , despite all of his years in congress . The answer to that questions is perhaps,  this is the side of Bernie Sanders which they knew about all along.  The nastiness and the smears by Sanders and his campaign are signs of desperation of a  losing campaign.  His campaign and the media point to the huge turnout of supporters – but it is rumored that there are many within those crowds are traveling from all over in order to give the appearance of massive support in a given locality.

Bernie selling his soul and principles for a primary victory is a sad sight to witness – but hopefully the damage he is doing will be short-lived and the Democrats will move forward to victory in the fall with Hillary Clinton.

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