I’ll never forget when I found out Arthur Lee died. I was in my office, when I worked for the City, and got a call from my friend who told me she’d seen it on CNN. I had the distinct displeasure of calling my mom to tell her the love of her life was dead.
When Michael Jackson died, I was in my office at the Red Cross. Everyone on social media was linking to TMZ. I was shocked. I was pregnant with Michaela and remember playing his music nonstop for days, hoping that the baby in my belly would appreciate the good tunes.
I heard David Bowie died while on a school site visit. As I drove back to my office, I turned on the radio and listened to the tributes pour in and to his great music. I wasn’t ever a huge Bowie fan, but there was something about his death that touched me deeply.
And now Prince is dead. I was at work — maybe I should retire, so that rock stars may live? — and saw a tweet about it. “NOT PRINCE, TOO,” I posted on Facebook. Alas. Prince, too.
These men supplied the soundtrack to my childhood. Like all kids in the 80s, my brother and I were huge fans of Michael Jackson and Prince. So was my mom. We would play “rock and roll star,” singing and dancing until we collapsed. Whether we were copying the zombie dance from “Thriller;” pretending we had red shoes while we danced the blues, a la 80s Bowie; dreaming of “orange skies, carnivals and cotton candy, and you;” or wiggling our fingers down our face as a pantomime of doves crying… These are among the fondest memories of my life.
The men are gone but their music remains. For that, I am grateful.