by Brad Roberts
Even though I was transitioning out of my rock fandom during the age of Prince, his impact on the ultra-dreary Reagan years was a tonic and a source of hope during those dreadful days of mundane Republican incompetence being thrust on American culture. (trickle down anyone?) Those dark days needed just the kind of explosive, kinetic, sexual energy of an artist like Prince. Someone who could push the outer edges of the envelope and still bring in a gigantic, thriving fan base. When I saw Purple Rain, apart from the stunning musical sequences, I didn't think it was much of a movie, but his genius was undeniable... and I will take another look at it. It was on TV all weekend so I did see it and the musical performances are remarkable. The music has had such a lasting impact, and will continue to do so for decades. Now for the tributes...
Weezer play a special intimate show at The Troubadour on Monday, introducing their new release The White Album for their die-hard West Coast fans. They did the same thing last month in New York and this is all before they embark on a stadium and bowl tour this summer.
And nostalgia took a front seat for me this past weekend as I attended The Grammy Museum's Tribute to Jefferson Airplane on Sunday afternoon with Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Not only did they share incredible stories of their first years together as teenagers, but how they came to become members of the Airplane, the amazing collaborative creative process, and then sang four songs. A kind of acoustic Hot Tuna. It was one of those 'life-coming-full-circle' moments. On Saturday Jefferson Airplane had been honored with a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in a program at the Dolby Theatre which included Grace Slick and David Crosby as well.
History seems to be passing right before our eyes.