I’ve been thinking a lot about celebrity deaths lately. It’s kind of a morbid thing, I know, but Prince’s death has hit me especially hard. I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of his, but I did see him in high school. I probably didn’t appreciate him enough back when I saw him. (The man has made relevant, fresh music in five different decades, FIVE. That’s insane.)
But I’ve been soaking in the online tributes, the videos, and the Prince marathon on the Current radio station. I think it’s because he was Minneapolis. It was pretty much agreed on by every current resident that Prince was the coolest person living in the state. It’s hard to argue. It’s been nice to see the state come together in honor of him.
I was trying to think of the other celebrities that have affected me. Oddly enough, most all of them have come recently. I think I was upset when George Harrison died, but I wasn’t enough into the Beatles to really comprehend it.
One I do vividly recall is Senator Paul Wellstone’s death. I was on my first break from my new boarding school. My mom and I were driving in the car when we heard the radio report come on. I had shook his hand a few times and really liked what he stood for. It’s weird to think that was in a time before social media broke things.
There was Robin Williams. I grew up watching his movies and he always struck me with the joy he portrayed. I really miss that spirit he had. It was just fun and funny. It put me at ease with things.
Then there was David Carr, the legendary NY Times media columnist. I appreciated his optimism about journalism and brutal honesty about writing. I never had a class with him, or met him, but his role in the New York Times documentary “Page One” really stood out for me. I especially liked it when he ripped the guys from Vice media a new one.
And then there was Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves coach. Those mid-90s TWolves teams were the first one’s I really latched on to. I loved KG and Steph Marbury. He made basketball cool again in Minnesota. I was glad he was back and it’s good to see his plan for the organization was starting to take hold.
I don’t like thinking about death a whole lot. Mourning is a weird thing. You want to put a time limit on it, but you can’t. I really didn’t think I’d be listening to only Prince Music for the last 48 hours, but it’s really helped. Death really sucks, but I’m glad there’s a joy that can come from this.
Celebrity deaths are weird because you don’t know them, but they seem extremely personal to you. You feel like you knew them, even if you never even got close to them. With all these awesome stories coming out, it’s good to know that Prince generous, funny, good-hearted, and ultimately, his own man. God bless.