Thursday, July 6, 2017
JOHN Blackwell JR., Prince's Drummer: Dead at 43 BRAIN CANCER
What a lovely tribute!
Since I don't have any first cousins, his lost cuts me deep. I think he's related to my grandad. We lost his siblings when he was orphaned... our family's naming convention is annoyingly predictable. We even had WOMEN named "George and Charlie". I'd just been tracing our families back to the American Revolution and back to England and Scottland! How Goth are we? Blackwell's Island, Goth (The original "Arkham" / Rikers) Those were definitely BLACKWELL hands and he was everything amazing about Blackwell legacy of wellness and The Arts. When Prince made us "official family", I thought it felt a little redundant, but I didn't know he had a Blackwell playing for him until that year. We'd been waiting DECADES for these genealogy records and real access to our intellectual properties. We lost Dad to prostate cancer in 2010. (This country ain't that old) I also started music at age 3... on my Grandmother's 1948 George Steck upright piano with waterfall keys like a Bosendorfer. You now those piano nerds who always wanted to play something portable like a GUITAR!? Yeah, this cuts deep. My great-grandad, Will Blackwell was "Buster Radd" of "Elmer Radd's Cotton Club Orchestra" from Missouri! The gift he had with colors is also a gift we share. The ability to see colors like the ones Prince shot at Doc at the "Purple Rain" show in Landover, MD....when I was "born" to Paisley Park...when 1984 happened as planned in 1948... Computer Blue, INDEED.