I dont normally write stream of consciousness blog updates, although it is something that I sometimes do with my lyrics.
But, today…. having not long got home from the day job and switched on my tablet and tuned into a satellite news channel to be smacked in the face by the banner of BREAKING NEWS: POP SUPERSTAR PRINCE DEAD AT 57. Its been about half an hour since I first saw that headline and I’m still not wanting to believe it.
I was never his greatest fan, but was lucky enough to see him live at the 02 in London nearly a decade ago and no one could ever deny that while being an enigmatic personality, that he was a phenomenally gifted and flamboyant multi-instrumentalist – alongside the likes of Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney – and a prolific writer and performer.
The industry has changed so much since he and the other artists that we’ve lost in this horrible year came to prominence. As it stands, maybe its the end of the era of the superstars in the industry. Certainly ones who can sustain a career over one decade, let alone three or more. Maybe we’ve just been lucky to have shared our time on this earth with these guys and to have had the opportunity to witness their artistry in full effect and to wonder at it and be inspired by it.
The one thing that came to my mind while I was trying to absorb the news is one thing that I would exhort to any other creative who may be reading this, whether emergent, latent, just starting out or whatever:
For Gods sake, if you’ve got “it” in you, something to say, no matter what it is – music, lyrics, art, photography, poetry, it doesnt matter what it is – I implore you, let it out and let it out now, while you still can, before time comes and lays its hand on your shoulder to usher you on to the next realm. There will be an eternity in the next realm to wonder whether it was good enough, but by then no one in this world will ever hear it, see it, marvel at it or be inspired by it. And everyone’s story is an inspiration to somebody.
I have made no secret that the loss of Glenn Frey, Colin Vearncombe and David Bowie earlier on this year had focused my mind on the KOAS project and that now was the time to find the courage to go out on a limb and create this thing, even if nothing else, for posterity, as a legacy of “no matter what else happens afterwards, this moment was mine”. If anything, the events of the last 24 hours have proved to me personally that the time is right to do it and the decision is the right one.
Many of us, particularly when we get to a certain age become conscious of our own mortality (heaven knows, I do, its pretty much all I write about!). It speaks to us in different ways as we go on and some of us I guess choose to ignore it and then have to deal with it when it comes to us unexpectedly and the rest… we’re aware that its there, carry on doing what we’re doing anyway, but occasionally take a look over our shoulder to make sure.
Time is of the essence and it is the most precious thing you will ever have. Use it while you can.