Friday, April 22, 2016

Inspiration

There are artists who come along from time to time that change the way we understand art and culture. These icons are not driven by what is in front of them, but by that kernel of greatness that makes them step out in new ways and reveal beauty to those of us living in the gray. Elvis Aaron Presley was one of those. While his music was not particularly new, his expression of that music stepped boldly on to the stage and flashed across our culture in an entirely unique way. Centuries ago it was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One century ago, it was Robert Johnson and the Blues. For my Generation, it was Prince Rogers Nelson.

Prince was the kind of artist it was hard to discount. His music got under your skin, both in style and in substance. Listening to a greatest hits this morning still made the hair stand on end on my arms. He was what it is to be a great artist. He was often derided for his overly-sexualized lyrics. But it was in those lyrics, and the perfectly matched music, that he reached into your soul and connected with your heart. We all crave the attention of others, and we all have a sexual aspect of our beings. Prince and David Bowie were the two great artists for my generation that were willing to listen to their own soul and connect with mine. We have lost them both.

I am thrilled that the music doesn't die, and that I can continue to be swept up by the works of these men. I know that while the music lives on, these great artists are immortal. They are forever in our ears, reminding us of the depth of our emotions an the greatness possible for each one of us. But, it doesn't take away the vacuum of knowing that I will never hear new music from them. For that, I am sad. I don't know if you believe in Heaven, or not. But, I choose to believe that there is one hell of a jam session going on somewhere. I look forward to the day when I get to sit before that stage and listen to the sound of greatness in person.

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