FEATUREMay 2016

My Comic Relief

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PHOTO BY Nicolas Genin, via Flickr/Creative Commons
PHOTO BY Nicolas Genin, via Flickr/Creative Commons

PHOTO BY Nicolas Genin, via Flickr/Creative Commons

By Salomon Maya

I was in high school and I was pissed. Upset at the fact that I wasn’t graduating one year later. And why you may ask? Well then I would be able to party like its 1999. Unfortunately I was class of 1998, and well, we didn’t have a catchy tune like that. I wanted that to be our anthem, a symbol of our crossing into adulthood. No more high school dances or football games I couldn’t go to because they were on Friday nights and well of course … Shabbat.

One day, while going through our vinyl, I saw a smaller than usual record. Seven inch records (also called “45s”) are referred to by their playback speed of 45 rpm and their standard diameter of 7 inches. Because of their smaller size, 7 inch records have a fairly limited capacity. This is why they’re traditionally used for single releases. The song on this single was “Little Red Corvette.”

I played it and it blew my mind.

Now of course “Little Red Corvette” starts off like most ’80s tunes of that era. A melodic synth goes high and low as a heartbeat like drum line echoes softly in the background. Then Prince starts singing. I guess I should have known by the way you parked your car sideways that it wouldn’t last see you’re the kinda person that believes in makin’ out once, love ’em and leave ’em fast.

Holy shit! Welcome to puberty! These lyrics weren’t your normal he likes a girl and she likes a boy lyrics. Oh no these lyrics were mom did you hear what this man said? And mom would just change the channel on the radio type of lyrics. Prince was a visionary artist, and he evoked every sense of the word art. As we’re surrounded by pseudo-artists today … the One Directions and Brittney Spears of the world, never will there ever be another Prince. For God’s sake he changed his name to a symbol and it stuck! I remember people just referred to him as The Artist … how rock n roll is that!

On April 21, 2016 the world lost that artist. Just as we were getting over the loss of Bowie, it seemed heaven needed another singer. I wrote this article the day Prince passed and had heard that his flight had to make an emergency landing a couple days prior. On that day I thought to myself, wow it would suck if Prince died. I never thought my premonition would come true. And now we sit here, one less artist in a world starving for art.

Prince revolutionized music. He made it okay for kids to be unique, out of the box, quirky, weird … me. If someone in high school bullied you for liking something the cool kids didn’t like, well you just pressed play on “1999,” “Purple Rain” or even “Little Red Corvette” and then suddenly you weren’t just okay … you were cool … because you listened to Prince.

And now he is at rest from whatever ailment caused him to depart this world way too soon. And it leaves this world to continue on, enduring his legacy of living each day as if it were the last. Because in his immortal words…the entire grieving world is now “gathered here today to get through this thing called life” without Prince.

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Barbara Bry

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