Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
Andy Warhol got it wrong when he said, “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” The truth, now that we’re living here in the future, is that everyone is famous to 15 people.
One person’s celebrity is another person’s passerby. To some people, Steph Curry is the world’s hottest athlete, but two editors at this newspaper almost let “Stef Curry” make it into print.
That fickle flicker of fame makes it seem all the more unusual and powerful when there’s a nearly universal outpouring of emotion for someone, as when Prince Rogers Nelson died last week. Of course, there were the usual dickheads chiming in with “overrated” and “I don’t care about rich celebrities,” but even they acknowledged the enormity of Prince’s influence in their own backhanded way.
Prince was a stunning singer, superb dancer and fantastic guitar player. He was the undisputed master of the stage walk-off. He wrote great songs usually associated with other artists, like “Manic Monday” and “Nothing Compares 2 U.” His own discography is a world unto itself, a paisley planet somewhat removed from Earth and populated with odd beauties.
As a kid, I loved his songs in the 1989 movie Batman. I went dressed as Prince to a costume party in college. (At the climax of the ’80s pop star-themed party, we had a party-wide drunken singalong of “We are the World.” Simpler times.) Later, I almost met Prince when he came into the bookstore where I worked—on my day off.
To me, part of the magic of Prince was that he blurred all the lines—the lines of music genres, gender and race. And he did it in a way that was seamless and endlessly appealing.
As I read tributes and watched endless videos of various artists covering “Purple Rain,” I thought the country might not ever be so united again.
And then, 15 minutes later, Beyonce dropped “Lemonade,” and then 15 minutes later, it was time for the season premiere of Game of Thrones.