Yesterday I finally got around to setting the "preset" channels on my Sirius radio in the good ol' minivan.
90s on 9 is the first station. 80s on 8 is the second. I also added a Margaritaville channel, MSNBC news, Entertainment Weekly, and "adult pop songs." [Yes, Radio Disney is also in the mix for the kids].
As I was driving home from the grocery store last night, I realized that I was officially "old." No, I don't mean walking-with-a-cane old but more like "I'd rather listen to the 80s on 8 than any regular modern day pop radio station."
I would rather listen to the songs of my youth and the 90s on 9 (high school, college, and law school) than any of the crap on the top 40 radio of today.
I remember when I was a kid and my parents listened to the "oldies" station and I couldn't understand why.
I totally get it now. I want to listen to the 80s and 90s because that's who I am. Those are the decades that made me who I am.
And now today, Prince is dead.
Everyone on Facebook and Twitter is mourning the loss, the passing of a musical genius gone too soon. The talking heads on cable news are doing their best to sound hip while covering the news.
I'm going to admit right now that I just had to turn off CNN - not because of Wolf Blitzer (although that is usually the reason) but because I couldn't watch anymore without crying.
I was standing in my kitchen, eating chocolate chips out of the bag, crying about Prince.
I never owned a Prince album. I think I might have watched Purple Rain at some point when it was on TV. But damn it all, I know all the words to all his hit songs. Purple Rain, Let's Go Crazy, Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Kiss, 1999, When Doves Cry ... the list goes on and on. If any of those songs come on the radio you can bet your ass I'm singing along with the volume cranked up.
I never bought any of his music and I never saw Prince in concert. But I knew he was a musical genius. He was pure talent - a far cry from the manufactured crap pop of today. He was the real deal. He was part of the soundtrack of my childhood and it really f*cking sucks that he's dead.
When Michael Jackson died it was surprising but not THAT shocking. Same thing with Whitney Houston. But Prince? Nah. This goes beyond shocking. I'm seeing my friends post that they can't concentrate enough to work, that they're numb from the news.
Me? I'm eating chocolate chips out of the bag. With a spoon. Because this is all just too weird to process it. Because in my mind, Prince wasn't 57 years old. He was still Prince from the 1980s and 1990s. Younger, healthier, vibrant. Not dead.
How is one supposed to feel when the musicians and actors they grew up with start dying? It's just so f*cking bizarre ... because that means we're all getting older. And maybe that's the rub. We're all getting older and our artistic heroes and icons are getting older too.
That's a tough pill to swallow my friends.
Now it's time to party like it's 1999.